Contributors Learning to love like him

Accountability partners can help you set goals, stay true to them

Joshua Ruoff is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan special-needs ministry. He can be reached by email at:

by Joshua Ruoff

I once was told that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

As Catholics, we are called to love sacrificially. We must, however, be mindful not to pour so much of our cup for others that we are unable to meet our own needs.

Even God needed to rest on the seventh day. After Jesus preached, he would go off on his own to pray and fill his cup. If all we do is love others, no matter the cost to us, eventually our cups will be empty. This can possibly lead to physical, mental and spiritual ailments.

How can you tell if your cup is empty? The best way to “check your cup” is to do a self-check every morning and evening.

God uses our minds, bodies and spirit to send us messages. If you find yourself feeling more tired than normal, if your temper is shorter than it usually is, or if your eating habits have changed, those are probably messages from God that it is time to love yourself more.

It also may be a sign that your mental and physical health need  some attention. Contact your doctor to rule out any physical ailments. Your doctor should also ask you about your mental health and offer you resources.

The archdiocese has a list of Catholic counselors. Please reach out to the office of special needs for assistance.

There are so many things that you can do to fill your cup. You should always consult a doctor before making any drastic lifestyle changes.

After you determine what your mind, body and spirit are in need of, make the necessary changes. Set goals for yourself and make them goals that you will realistically be able to achieve.

I personally think there is one factor that will help you be more successful at loving yourself, and that is having an accountability partner that you can rely on to regularly check in with you.

Make it a priority to call, text or visit them at least once a month to hold yourself accountable to loving yourself and the goals you set for yourself.

Most of all, pray for yourself. Ask God to give you whatever it is that you are lacking, or to help you with whatever area of loving yourself you are struggling with. If you struggle with praying for yourself, ask your accountability partner to pray for you.

The special-needs ministry of the archdiocese is working to promote and assist others in improving one’s mind, body and spirit.

If you have ideas or want to get involved in expanding this ministry, please contact me at (913) 647-3054 or by email at:

Fill our cups, O Lord!

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Joshua Ruoff

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