( The ) Empty Bucket

By Melinda Truitt

Who wants an empty bucket?

How about an empty box?

No?
Ok, an empty bag. And that’s my final offer.

What if it’s wrapped with a big bow or a bag that’s overflowing with beautiful tissue paper? You get excited because the anticipation of wondering what’s under the bow or hiding in
the tissue paper could be something spectacular that’ll blow your mind.

Put the box on a shelf right now and the bag with the tissue on a chair and let’s talk about
the bucket...

A bucket is a pretty straightforward thing. Not much pretense here and not easy to wrap. But all 3 of these things have the capacity to carry something.
Go back to the chair and pick up the bag. Take out the tissue and peer down into the bag.

Nothing.

Disappointed?

Reach for the box. Unwrap the box. Savoring the luxuriousness of the bow. Now lift the lid.

Nothing.

A realistic reaction would be to look at the person who gave you these with
confusion in your eyes mixed with incredulous disappointment.

“What is this? You are giving me an empty box? An empty bag? Are you daft?”

The person who gave these looks back at you with disbelief.

“I gave you all I had to offer. The wrapping. I’m as empty as that bucket over there by the door.”

The silence is deafening.

“Wait…what? Surely I’m missing something here. You put so much
thought and effort into presenting me with these beautifully wrapped containers but
then left them empty. And that’s your gift to me?”

“I used what was left of my heart to make a grand presentation but the truth is I was giving you the opportunity to fill the box and bag with parts of your life to give back to me.”

The lesson here is dramatic but very real. I've done it. Not literally but in the way I've approached a relationship in my past. Wanting to and being satisfied with just playing a bit player in his life. It doesn’t work for a variety
of reasons....

Despite what some may think very few people want an empty person to
share life with because what would you share? One person’s life divided by two
is not sustainable. Each person must give something. It’s only when fear of
rejection takes hold that you second guess everything you were going to put into
the box or bag so you end up giving nothing.

What will you fill the bag with to give to someone of yourself?

melinda truitt

Author of 5 children's books. Blogger of the Cotton Ball Syndrome on Tumblr. Divorced since 2008 after almost 24 years. Making sense of my new life through tears, determination and humor.

Latest posts by melinda truitt (see all)