I was having a conversation with a friend this week and mentioned a blog post in which I talked about being the manager of our compartments. Basically, I was trying to say that in a relationship, we can’t look for our partner to fill us up in part or in whole. We have to learn that we are the supervisors of the inventory of the compartments that represent the various aspects of our life. By looking at it in this way, we are able to realize the role we play in our life.
It’s much more empowering to understand and accept that we are in control of the levels of the compartments in our life. It’s not anyone else’s job to fill up our inventory. Imagine you have four rooms-
- Physical storage room
- Mental storage room
- Emotional storage room
- Spiritual storage room
Not only do you have to ensure the main storage rooms are regularly cared for and maintained, but you also have to make sure the contents within are regularly stocked. In each room, there’s a huge wall full of drawers with compartments. Behind the wall is a hidden stock room. You have the key to each room, you’re the manager, supervisor, and employee of those rooms. It’s your job to assess the inventory levels in each drawer and monitor them regularly. Ideally, you’ll increase the inventory before it depletes to less than optimal levels. You are the only one that can place inventory directly into the drawer and its compartments. The people in your life can add inventory to the stock room but it could take a while for it to accumulate and make its way to the correct drawer.
This seems like a lot of work doesn’t it? This is easier for some than others. Some people might be aware that this is their job and they’ve been managing it diligently. They fill their passion compartment religiously, add inventory into their self-care drawer and rest compartment daily, and keep most of their drawers at optimal levels. Others might have a more difficult time. Maybe they didn’t realize they were in charge of supervising, stocking and maintaining these storage rooms. Perhaps they were on top of it at one time but they got distracted somewhere along the way and became overwhelmed with so many depleted drawers to stock. Maybe they never learned to stock them and depended on others to do so.
If everyone is busy supervising their drawers, who is monitoring and maintaining the inventory levels of yours? How can you come up with a way to start increasing the inventory in your drawers and compartments? Do you know what drawers you have in each room? Do you know what compartments are inside them? Do you know what your inventory levels are like? What drawers tend to get depleted faster? Why? What can you do to ensure they remain better stocked? Do you have any systems in place to let you know when the levels get too low? Do you have any signals that warn you when they are depleted?
I know that’s a ton of questions, but they are meant to be digested not answered at once. I’d like to encourage you to come up with a list of drawers that would be in each of the four rooms. Once you have as many drawers as you can think of, I’d like you to come up with a list of compartments that are inside each drawer. The last thing I’d like you to do is evaluate the current levels of the inventory in each drawer and compartment. By breaking this down you might get some clarity around tension, frustration, aggravation, stress, and discomfort in your life. You’ll also be able to pinpoint things that cultivate happiness. You might find that doing one thing a few times a week yields great results and increases the inventory level of that drawer exponentially. Allow yourself the time it takes to go through this thoroughly and evaluate it honestly.
Was this a helpful way to approach self-care? Is this a better way to reframe the importance of self-nurture? Does this help you realize self-nurture isn’t being selfish, it’s a necessity? Will you be taking up this exercise? What are your thoughts on this? Are there any rooms you’d add? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, feel free to share in the comments!