This week the world was rocked by the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams. Even sadder than the loss was the way it occurred: an apparent suicide. It breaks my heart when I hear of people committing suicide. In a world of over six billion souls for someone to feel so lost, so alone, so hopeless that death is the only option is beyond my comprehension. Those of us on the outside looking in would be fast to assume that someone famous and wealthy like Williams was a “success” and had it all. His death is a reminder that everyone, rich and famous included, has their demons.
As I’ve read the news stories about Williams’ life there is little doubt that he was a hard working man who gave his heart and soul to his craft. Under-reported stories have surfaced about his quiet trips to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to entertain the troops without fanfare or press; he did it from his heart. As I learn about all that he gave it makes me wonder how much time did he take to replenish himself?
Like Williams, many of us are givers. We give ourselves to our families, our jobs, our churches, our neighbors, and more. But none of us are a bottomless pit. There comes a time when you have to stop giving and you need to replenish.
Just as he modeled how to love, how to pray, and how to help the less fortunate, Jesus is also modeled for us the importance of self-care, replenishing our souls. In the Bible we see several instances of Jesus withdrawing from the crowds and even his beloved disciples to spend time alone and pray.
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed
As summer vacation comes to a close, the kids start back to school and lives settle back into a routine, I challenge you to make self-care – that is taking time out for you – a priority in your life. If you need help getting started, consider my book “Just Selfish Enough: A Guide to Cultivating the Habit of Self-Care” for ideas.