(Originally posted on 4/19/10)
Slow Down. Get away. Lose the phone (or at least don't answer calls). Don't take care of any one else for a little while.
Do any of those statements make you nervous? You are not alone. It's funny, but even as I was writing the last sentence, I almost erased it so that no one would argue that I was sounding selfish.
Sometimes we just need to rest. Anyone who knows me knows that I believe we need to help each other. But, you can't really care for anyone if you're not healthy. I know this next statement might get someone a little agitated, but here goes: I DON'T REALLY AGREE WITH THE FIRST LINE OF THE "PURPOSE DRIVEN..." BOOK. You know the one that says "it's not about you." That is such a co-dependent, sounds good on the surface statement. One of those things you see on a plaque or stitched on a pillow. Trust me, I get the message. We shouldn't be so self-centered and selfish. I obviously agree with that. But, I believe that statement, when lived to the fullest, is at the heart of all of the masks we wear and facades we portray. If that statement is true, than we should never show hurt or doubt or damage. Otherwise, it becomes about us. It leads to a performance based life that requires us to tally up how much we do for everyone else. I used to live like that. I have always been a compassionate person...at least in my actions. But, honestly, I didn't really care. Not beyond it just being something I did; I was supposed to do.
But, when I was alone, without my "projects," I didn't really like what I was. I was broken. I still am (just not as much). As Brennan Manning would say, I was living as my "Imposter". Try spending an hour with yourself. No other voices. No other sounds. Can you do it?
You see, I think ultimately it is about each one of us. We were each created lovingly and uniquely. Obviously, I'm not advocating selfish living. I just want us to sometimes be. Just be. I know this sounds trite, but we are called human beings, not human doings. What you'll find is that if you start the process of rebuilding your own strength and connecting with your own life, you'll want to help other people. You'll have so much more to give.
So, get some rest. Find some new strength. Connect with the Creator. I recommend playing some music. Let it take you somewhere. Lately, I've been listening to some music from my teenage years. It takes me to good places. It reminds me of the dreams I had. Some I have lived and some I have let fade away. Those old songs have reminded me that it's never really too late to start things again...until we're gone. I've also been throwing in some Dylan "I Threw It All Away", Radiohead "Karma Police", 77s "Do It For Love", Etta James "Seven Day Fool", Dave Barnes "Little Lies", Mark Heard "Strong Hand of Love" and on and on.
Find your time. Locate your place. Enjoy the gifts we have been given. I can't think of much that is finer than music...and rest.
Take care of yourself,