Fill Yourself Up First | How I Changed My Life Around.

by Marianne  - May 9, 2012

There are some days I am inspired to think and write. Often I will just write on a random piece of paper, but other times I enjoy being deep and meaningful on here. Today I want to share more about my journey of inner strength.

Over the past month or so, my life has turned around remarkably and I put it down to 3 main things:

  1. Being happy and grateful for what I already have
  2. Giving first
  3. Learning to have faith that things will work out

There are still times when my ability to do these things are more of a challenge but learning to get back into a zone of gratitude, makes any day go a lot smoother.

This quote still gives me goosebumps! It does so because the first time I read it, it clicked with me that when you are happy, grateful and full of faith you are in a state that allows you to find solutions to your problems. The doors are always there, but what changes is your perception of the wall. If you believe there will be a door and you are grateful for the doors you’ve already gone through, then a new one will become visible.

For a lot of people, when one thing fails to go their way, they give up altogether and write off the whole dream, goal or experience as a big fat failure, when in actual fact, all they were lacking was faith and perseverance.

Other aspects of inner strength I have discovered are the power of Love, and the power of Giving.  Too many times in my past I have expected to receive love and kindness without actually investing in it.  I did this out of fear of rejection or that I would not get it back.  But that is a selfish reason to give love anyway. By expecting it back, it becomes about you … when love is about the other person/people.  Giving love, kindness, or help to other people is human nature at its most basic, yet we have become accustomed to expecting, consuming and draining all resources, including the well of human nature!  When you see a child in trouble, or someone involved in an accident, do you stop and think “well, they haven’t helped me”? NO! You feel their pain, you feel responsible and you HELP! You give unconditionally! When you see acts of human love and kindness, do you flinch with disgust and feel these people are a let-down to the human race? NO! You feel full of empathy and pride that you are part of the human race that can do these wonderful things.

There can be times when you give and give and feel empty. I used to do this, and never seemed to feel fulfilled or loved in return. The issue was that I hadn’t allowed myself to see all the things I loved about myself.  This sounds silly and self-indulgent (which is why many of us feel empty), but you must learn to feel gratitude, love and respect for who you are, how you look and really feel proud of YOU! Until you fill yourself with love – that’s right, LOVE YOURSELF! – Then your love won’t reach anyone else.  How can you expect anyone else to feel the power of your love if you don’t feel worthy of it yourself?? Make sense? The day I realised this, I actually cried!

Fill yourself up first and then over-flow to everyone else!  When you are full of love for yourself, you do not give out of need, you give out of compassion and it is for them, not you.

I have had an overhaul of my outlook on life. From a negative, assuming and a little bitter attitude at times, to an outlook of tolerance, gratitude and love!

Last night, I watched this documentary (below) and it confirmed once again that the key to happiness and to fixing the world’s problems is LOVE! Not wishy washy love, but the kind that moves you when you think about all the wonderful things in your life.  Like, when I see something awesome in nature; a sunset, the smell of cut grass, the sound of the sea, or the feeling of the warm sun … I feel alive and I absorb every great sense and it makes me so grateful for these things.

Think of all the areas of your life that can improve just by being grateful for what you have already achieved.  Fitness related or not, Life’s journey is pretty damn amazing.  If you can notice that, then you are only going to see the good in all situations, people and experiences.

It is definitely worth the effort to practice these techniques. I am so glad I have awakened to the reality that life is not hard as I once thought, it is easy! You just need to perceive it as such.

If your goal is to be happy, then you can easily assess what your inner thoughts are manifesting by simply looking at how you are feeling.  Monitor your feelings and develop techniques to change your negative feelings to positive ones. For example, one day I was petting my cat, Tim and his face was so adorable, I just gave him a big hug. He is the most docile cat and lets me do anything to him … so whenever I feel upset, I just remember that moment and it immediately turns my mood around.  Something as “small” as that can change my whole day!

All of this may seem very “new agey”, but I cannot advocate enough the power of Gratitude, Love, Faith and Giving!  You have no right to expect anything without unconditionally giving first!

Pay it Forward with LOVE!

Have an awesome day 🙂


Who could resist this sweet face!


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  1. Wow – the universe really does know what is meant to happen. This was exactly what I needed to read tonight. I need to start loving myself first. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  2. A friend of mine often says: Pity is for free – envy is something you earned with hard work. I finally got it.
    I lately had the opportunity to look behind the scenes of some people’s life – people one can look up to and even envy, because they are strong, kind and live a wonderful life. But the big connecting thing is – they all have their weight to carry, their curses and painful stories, but they all moved on, sometimes with laughter through tears, but they did! So why being jealous of their life? The difference is in the attitude. There is no such thing as a perfect life, there is just the hard work you can spend to make the best out of it.

    I love that documentary! Funny, how people start to make their journey after they learned, that today’s principles of competition leave them alone in their worst times and do not make sense anymore.
    Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  3. Thank you for that wonderful journey to human insight. You truly are a humanitarian. I believe in the power of positive thought and being grateful for who we are and what we have. God Bless you.

  4. sometimes you stumble upon something that was not what you had intended to find. This piece of writing was just what I needed today. Funny how the universe gives you what you need. Beautiful and powerful. Thank you 🙂

  5. Great essay very inspirational.

    I love your 500 reps workout!!! I’m a 58 year old cyclist and marathon runner. I also do personal training part time at the YMCA. I do the 500 3 times a weeks and found it better than anything out there. Granted I have to sub a few of the exercises. It is so simple ( but not easy) that I want toss out my workouts I give to my clients. I want to say “Buy some kettles, watch this and send Marianne some money!!!” I found out in only a month that I have more lean muscle mass and what I’ll call “more strength through range of motion”. I also found that it does not hamper my distance training like hour long 3 sets etc free weight training have done in the past. I have past on your workout to friends and co-workers and given you full credit for teaching this old dog some new tricks.

    Broomall, PA USA

  6. Thank you so much for this emotional post. I wanted to reply sooner but I started to browse into your former “more personal” posts which I discovered with much pleasure and emotion. Thank you for sharing so freely your personal thoughts, doubts, fears and achievements. It takes a lot of courage and generosity. It’s been a blessing for me to be reminded of some truth about love and faith, about the inner journey everyone has to face. And that quote from Mark Twain I had almost forgotten suddenly came into my mind : “They didn’t know it was impossible so they did it”. I know now it’s time for me to make a change. So thank you again Marianne for your beautiful soul and your beautiful singing (I watched the video… Prends soin de toi.

    1. 16a13735e0I have been absent for some time, but now I remmeber why I used to love this website. Thanks , I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website? 187

  7. Incredible post, Marianne! It sounds like you and I are at similar points in our inner journeys – and I really needed this right now. Especially the bit about being full of faith.

    Thank you thank you thank you!


    1. Yes! I have realised some things are more difficult to have faith in than others. And unwavering faith is something I am working on very much. During the wonderful moments I achieve this, life is its most amazing. The only thing is that the wavering moments come along and ruin it LOL! Here’s to faith! 🙂

  8. Thank you Marianne for sharing your journey with us. Although I’ve seen the inspirational quotes before, to see the quotes come to life in someone whom we feel we can relate to is so reassuring.

  9. Thank you Marianne for this post. It was a good reminder for me! I really like the Lao Tzu quote – Makes perfect sense!

  10. Marianne, thank you! I always to remind myself of how luck I am and to see things under a positive angle.
    Your cat is so cute 🙂 I too think of my dog when I feel down. Every time I walk him and I see him so happy to be out and running it reminds me to appreciate what is around me.
    Kindness and love are free and easy to give.

  11. This is so beautiful and straight from the gut, Marianne. I encourage you to learn about The Elders. It’s an incredible organization founded by some of the most prolific advocated for peace in our lifetime.

    We are put here for the purpose of loving and we have the innate power to do so. We just have to let go of ideals and think with our hearts, act with our guts.

    “Despite all of the ghastliness in the world, human beings are made for goodness. The ones that are held in high regard are not militarily powerful, nor even economically prosperous. They have a commitment to try and make the world a better place.”- Desmond Tutu

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