IMG_2683I devour books like I devour chocolate— I’m all in like a sugar-gasm (is that a thing? If not, it should be).  So it makes sense I’ve read a lot of Brene Brown (if you don’t know her— here’s a taste via TED).  Brene has spent a lot of time recently talking about the anatomy of trust in relationships.  She uses an analogy of a marble jar.  What are you putting in to the relationship versus what are you taking out?  She cautions when the marble jar gets low– the relationship may need new boundaries.  If you only have 2 marbles in this jar and the other person keeps reaching for the marbles— it doesn’t feel so good.   Time to re-define this relationship so it better matches the input and output of what each person is willing and wants to contribute.

Her analogy got me thinking— about our relationships with ourselves. What does our own marble jar look like?  I know for years mine was empty.  I was constantly giving away all of my energy, my trust, my time to everyone & thing but me.  I rarely took the time to consider what I truly wanted.  I believed it was selfish and I probably even told myself I didn’t have the time for that.

My jar was empty for so long— I probably cracked the edges.  I know it felt like I was breaking.  I no longer wanted to play in a world where I wasn’t my own focus.  My health suffered, my marriage suffered, my finances suffered, my career waned. 

So, how do you create a jar that feels good?  No more emptying my jar without enough marbles rattling around in there already.  I prioritize keeping my jar filled.  This feels like a radical approach— focusing on ourselves first.  Choosing carefully when and where I share my marbles (wow– that sounds like a whole different thread for the state of my mental health. . .)

If you think of each marble you deposit as an act of self-love — your jar is uniquely yours.  Define what counts as a marble and see how often you are adding to your jar versus giving out.

Your relationship with you will always be the  most important.  Treating it as such is a game changer.