It’s one of my favorite parables explaining the idea of growth and self-care. There’s a table. You and all your friends and family are sitting around this table. You’re all starving. From the ceiling descends a bowl of soup. It lands right in front of you. You are the only one who’s allowed to dip your spoon into the soup. No one else can have any soup.
Here’s the big question: Do you eat the soup?
Yes. You eat the soup.
Many of us fight this concept, especially if we’re accustomed to believing that others are more important than we are or that belonging is more important than our own wellbeing. In some ways, it stems from a good place. We care for others. We want to be with them, we want to understand them, we want to feel connected to them. We all have a deep-seated desire to belong. Historically, we know we need to be part of the herd to survive. Stragglers get eaten by peckish mountain lions, after it chases you around for awhile to get you nice and salty.
You starving to death doesn’t help your friends and family. Not even a little bit. Your pain doesn’t remove their pain. You being in pain only adds to the pain of the room.
Yes, there’s some guilt associated with taking deep and tender care of yourself. Because suddenly you’re feeling better than people around you. But the guilt isn’t because you aren’t taking care of those people – you can’t take care of them. They can only take care of themselves. The guilt stems from taking care of yourself when those around you aren’t.
I find Amber Adrian very inspirational.