I’ve noticed lately more than ever that giving is considered virtuous. The more you give, the better you are. So guess what we all do? We give and give and give even more. I am certainly guilty of this. I love to give. I love working with others who also have generous spirits. It feels good to give, right? We feel good about ourselves when we make someone feel better.

And all of this is good. Except for one thing.

What happens when we are so busy giving and giving and giving to others and making their lives better and happier and fuller that we forget to give to ourselves?

What happens when we live in a world where giving to ourselves is oftentimes considered selfish and unimportant and even a foreign concept by so many?

What happens when we give and give and give and wake up one day with a cup that is completely empty? We have given our last drop. We have nothing left to give. We have nothing left to offer.

Now what?

How can we help others now? How can we put good and love into the world now? How can we serve and fulfill our calling now?

We can’t. We are too tired, too burned out, too empty. Because we gave, gave, and gave some more to everyone besides ourselves.

Giving is an amazing feeling. I can’t think of anything better than knowing that you have touched someone else’s life with your actions, your words, your love. Nothing can compare.

But I am no longer willing to stand by and watch so many of us give until we are completely empty. I am no longer willing to stand by and watch each of us give to everyone besides ourselves. I am no longer willing to watch you do it to yourself, and I am not longer willing to do it to myself.

Don’t you think it’s time we took a stand? Can we all look ourselves in the eyes and know that we are worth our own love, our own time, our own care? Can we be gentle with ourselves and spend time each and every day filling up our own cups so that we will be able to continue giving and serving and loving?

Can we agree that it’s okay to love ourselves?

Can we admit that self care isn’t bad? That self love isn’t bad? That a full cup isn’t bad? Can we see that these are good things to have in our lives? Can we agree that they are absolutely essential?

I have spent years giving from an almost empty cup. But I am realizing that it’s time to fill it up, so that I can continue to give. I hope you’ll join me and fill up your own cup, too. I know you have so much to offer, and I want you to be able to serve the world like only you can.

You can do this however it feels right for you. If you would like to take 20 minutes each night to write in your journal, do it! If you want to take one day a week and declare it your self care day, do it! If you want to make sure to meditate each day, do it! If you want to take a bubble bath, do it! If you want to go to a movie, do it!

Whatever you need to give to yourself, please do it. You matter, and you deserve it. You really do.

Author's Bio: 

Jodi Chapman is the author of the inspirational blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life: How an Unlikely Friend Helped Me Reclaim My True Spirit; and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her husband, Dan Teck.