I’ve heard it said that periodically it’s important to fill our “buckets.” I’ll admit, the first time I heard this advice, I pictured the buckets of water my siblings and I used to fill for the livestock we raised while living on an acreage in a very small Idaho community. Nearly a teenager, I remember thinking, “Well, duh! We do that all the time. And it’s important because water is vital for the animals.”
Ah, the wisdom of youth. And yet, my snide silent opinion was on target. Filling buckets is important. Filling our own personal “buckets” is crucial, especially in this current time of unending stress and challenges.
What is meant by this term? It means that we need to make sure our inner self is continually restocked with items that give us strength, courage, and peace. It means that sometimes we need to call a “time-out” from the stresses of life to nourish our spirit, and to cultivate those things that bring us joy.
Currently it is a challenge to keep one’s head above the “water,” and not drown in negative news, heartbreaking trials, and the raging criticism that surrounds us. satan (I purposely don’t capitalize his name) has been very busy surrounding us with pessimistic messages, and to encourage any process that tears us down as individuals. Internally some of us may resemble the worst fight Rocky Balboa ever survived as we continually get beat upon by life.
It is a necessity to find the time to work in items that build self esteem and spiritual self-worth. These are not difficult things to do. Finding the time and energy is often the problem. Sometimes we’re so worn out from the daily battle that it’s easier to simply sink into despair. We can’t seem to find the strength to do those items that will fill our inner buckets with living water—and yet, that is exactly what we need to do to endure this current time.
Here’s my current bucket list that I am realizing is not discretionary, but absolutely mandatory for survival these days:
Daily personal prayer
Daily scripture study
Attending church weekly
Attending the temple whenever possible
Doing service for others (Great way to renew one’s spirit)
Look on the bright side (This means avoiding the dark side . . . just sayin’ . . .)
Find the time to do things you enjoy: work on a hobby, talent, or skill you want to possess
Frequently spend time in nature appreciating the beauty that our Father has created for us
Count blessings instead of fallen flower petals
(Count your garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall.)
Get some form of exercise daily (Great way to clear one’s mind of icky cobwebs)
Spend time with family members and good friends (those who build you up, not tear you down)
Seek quiet time (We live in a noisy world of multiple electronic gadgets. Sometimes we need to shut everything down and embrace the ensuing silence. That is when promptings of the Spirit can actually get through to us. It’s also when we can mentally sort through all that is taking place in our lives. I know it’s the best time for me to write out the thoughts bouncing around in my heart and head.)
So these are the current items on my own personal bucket list. Yours may be different. The point is, it’s important to sit down and compose your own list of things that fill your heart and mind with peace. The really important part—DO IT!!! Don’t procrastinate! The longer you wait, the more inclined you will be to continue dealing with an empty inner bucket. And seriously—how do you help fill others' buckets if yours contains nothing? Something to think about.