We have had a very gentle week, with few responsibilities, no requirements and a very short list of measurable accomplishments. I began to feel guilty, because I could not account for much progress in my list of “shoulds”.
Then I remembered a recent article on burnout, geared toward clergy, who typically invest many more hours supposedly doing their jobs than caring for themselves. But it could, in reality, apply to anyone who thinks that his/her profession, job, or care-giving position takes precedence over personal care.
We are taught from childhood to be unselfish, giving, sharing, helping members of our families, the groups to which we belong, society, the world. Too seldom are we taught to take time simply to be good to ourselves.
This is the month that we celebrate motherhood. Way too often, we hold mothers to impossible standards of self-giving love. We blame defective mothering for our own short-comings and failures to be(c0me) what we think we should be.
As a therapist, I often told my clients that it was time to grow up, to give to themselves the caregiving that they believed they had not experienced in earlier times. Jesus tells us to love God with all that we are and have, and to love others, AS WE LOVE OURSELVES.
Remember that every safari includes times of rest as well as times of self-stretching. On your personal journey through life, please take the time to rest in the love of the One who gave himself for you. You are precious. You are worthy of the God who died so you can live. Love God, love others, and do not forget to love you!