I try to picture every relationship I have, with every person in my life, as having a cup sitting between me and the other person.
The relationship can be with anyone…….my children, my grandchildren, a friend, a co-worker, my spouse, and strangers I meet in a grocery store or on the street.
Even my relationships with the earth, the universe, and myself have a cup.
Whenever I spend time with a person, I picture everything we say to one another going into the cup. All of our behaviors, both verbal and non-verbal, go into the cup. Even the words we don’t say to one another, but could have, go into the cup.
I picture the relationship I have with that person contained for eternity in the cup. Once something enters the cup, it can never be removed. Ever.
Many years ago, with friends quietly drumming in a circle around me, I had a tattoo of a dragon, a snake with wings, drawn on my arm as a spiritual reminder that I always have a choice as to the kind of energy I choose to put into the relationship cups in my life…..the kind of energy I send into the world.
I can manifest the energy of the snake in the grass, or the energy of an eagle flying gently on the wind in the sky. The choice is always mine.
I try to pay attention to which of us is filling the cup. Am I listening to them or am I talking too much.
I try to pay attention to what the other person is feeling or needs from me in our time together so my words and behaviors can be helpful and healing.
I try to pay attention to the energy flowing between us….is it positive or negative. Is it hopeful? Is it embracing the dreams and possibilities in each of our lives or are we simply talking about the weather.
Am I putting kindness and compassion into the cup? Am I fully present to the other person?
I try to remember….the energy I put into the cup will define who I am…..for eternity.
I don’t always get it right.
Sometimes I have to return to a relationship and attempt to change the energy I put into the cup shared with that person. Sometimes I have to live with the regret of having put energy into a cup that I’m not proud of.
But I find, over time, the metaphor of the cup is helping me to pay more attention to the quality of energy I put into all of the cups in my life.
Because every choice I make has a consequence, the metaphor of the cup has become one of my most useful spiritual practices.
It reminds me that once spoken, my words go into the cups I share with the people in my life, and those words will define my relationship with them forever.
My hope is that this metaphor can be useful for you and the relationships in your life.
PS. I you would like to have a compilation of the recordings previous quarters, you may purchase and instantly download them here. They are great to have for listening on your mp3 player in your car, while exercising or just relaxing.