Emotionally: I’m done
Mentally: I’m drained
Spiritually: I’m dead
Physically: I smile
That’s one concise and painfully honest piece of soul-searching, isn’t it? I’ve been there. That state is indicative of living with an empty bucket.
In my last newsletter and blog I asked, “What fills your bucket?” When your bucket is full, life is good, manageable and you have margin. You are effective, productive, kind, patient and just pleasant to be around. But when your bucket is empty, your energy is depleted, your passion is blunted, life is a grind and joy is nowhere to be found.
Here’s what fills my bucket: Creation. Wonder. Anticipation. Love. Fascination. Wellness. Adventure. Calling. What fills yours? Now let’s flip the coin. What drains your bucket? What circumstances kick a gaping hole in your bucket or cause a slow leak? What compounds the anguish of an empty bucket is the inertia it creates. We just can’t bring ourselves to patch the holes and leaks. We’re too exhausted. We get stuck living on fumes.
The first and most essential act of patching holes and stopping leaks in your life bucket is painful honesty and a steely eyed self-assessment. You gotta name it to fix it. Let’s start there. Here is a sample (non-exhaustive) list of holes and leaks common to most people.
Pain – acute physical discomfort and chronic disorders
Loss – tragic deaths of loved ones or heartbreaking ending of dreams
Failures and fiascos – self-inflicted sabotage or others-created disruption
Relational conflict – broken relationships and breakdown of communication
Financial insecurity – chronic inability to match income with wishes and debts
Lack of focus – distractedness caused by habits and sensory overload
Overburdened daily grind – juggling of tasks and an overtaxed schedule
Purposelessness – a struggle with meaning that confuses work and calling
Anything resonate with you? Do you see why you are so drained, anxious or depressed…and why your self-worth is wilting? Two things are absolutely necessary. One, you gotta patch the bucket and two, you gotta refill it. It’s not complicated…but it IS daunting. In my next posting I will offer some beginning solutions to repairing holes in your bucket. Preview…you can’t do it alone. But for now, why don’t you go get a notebook and pen, grab a cup of tea or coffee (or something stronger!), draw a bucket on the paper with holes in it and label them. Be brutally honest with yourself. Refilling your bucket starts right here.