At my kids school they spend a lot of time talking about how to be a bucket filler. I love the simple yet powerful illustration of our mental and emotional well being as buckets. And to realize that we all have the choice whether we want to be bucket fillers or bucket dippers for those around us. I love that they are talking about such important things as kindness and dealing with emotions, and the importance of it all. We have been having great talks about it and working on only filling each others buckets. And so I have been thinking about it a lot this week and how we can make sure we are not taking from the buckets of those we love.
We all have those people in our life who we can identify as bucket fillers and bucket dippers. When you spend time talking to a bucket filler you leave feeling happy, and full, understood and recharged. When you spend time with a bucket dipper you leave feeling kind of gloomy, or irritated at people, or frustrated with life. Sometimes life just makes our buckets to feel emptied and at that point what we need most is a friend to come along and help to fill our bucket back up. That can come in the form of a helping hand, or a simple, “I understand.” Being a listening ear, or a genuine compliment on the way they do life. My friend Kendra and I have been using the Marco Polo app to communicate lately, and I can’t even count the amount of times and ways that a simple video message from her has filled my bucket to the top. Sometimes when I catch myself being overly negative or critical of my children and husband, I go out on the back porch and watch my latest video message. Just that short little clip is enough to set my day back on the right track and all of a sudden I have enough in my bucket to fill the buckets of my family too.
I want to be a Kendra to those in my life, I want to fill people’s buckets instead of draining them. I want people to know that they can call safely call me when their buckets are nearing empty, and know that I won’t spill out their last couple drops. That I will be real and honest, and relate to them. But also positive and encouraging. I realize to do this I also need to learn how to fill my own bucket. To stop splashing out my own water by focusing on the many ways I have failed or the ways I feel that I am not enough. I want to fill mine with thoughts of how uniquely I am created and how much God ensures that I am enough. I have spent my whole life draining my own bucket and than wondering why I don’t have enough to give to those who mean the most to me.
Another thing the bucket fillers program talks about is using your lid. That you have to teach yourself how to protect the contents of your bucket. When life throws you trials and hardships to look at them in a way that doesn’t drain the life right out of you. To not just view your bucket as half full but do everything in your power to keep it that way. To stop when you are hurt, acknowledge the hurt and process it in a way that doesn’t allow it to dip into your bucket. I tend to get hurt a little and than just say screw it and dump out the rest for good measure. I am working on healthy ways to respond to hurt and criticism.
I end with this, dear friends, please forgive me for the many times that I have been a bucket dipper in your life! Please know that I am trying to change. I am working on shifting my outlook to a more positive one and working on letting those I love know how blessed I am by them. So that my family can leave their home and take on the world with full buckets. It is a challenging thing to shift the way you think, but I am determined to end my bucket dipping ways. It takes a lot of thought, and work, and lots and lots of prayers. So please dear Lord, make me a bucket filler!