I\’ll be out of town this weekend on retreat.  It\’s a personal spiritual thing where I am going to have both solitude and silence – two things I have very little of.  As good as it is to figure things out with my mind, I have found that accepting there are things of (at least) equal importance that I can\’t figure out.  Plus, I am no good to anyone when full of life\’s shrapnel.

I like the word \”retreat\” for this, as I am truly getting out of the reach of the things that pummel me every day.  Life seems like a war against things that want to take over its direction.  There are the demands of being a doctor, to be sure, but the stress of being simply human (see my recent post on defectiveness) is the greatest pressure.  One of the main things that I wish I could teach my patients is the ability to retreat.  I wish I would have learned this earlier.  We all need a place to heal.  Many of us can\’t can\’t do it, as life is not always as cooperative to our needs as we would want, but most people (myself included) are not good at taking care of themselves.  It feels self-centered to leave the rest of the world to take care of itself, and many of us are taught (wrongly) that being selfish (focusing on our own needs above other needs) is the same thing as being self-centered (thinking we are the most important thing).

But what\’s the point of getting physically healthy only to be stressed and unhappy?  Life\’s too short for that.  One of the most important lessons I learned while away from blogging was taking care of myself.  I need to learn to be Rob before I can be a good doctor, husband, or father.

So I am going off-line for the next few days — out of the reach of life\’s artillery.  I hope that all of you are selfish enough to do the same.

4 thoughts on “Retreating”

  1.  I’m a very “crafty” person–counted cross stitch, crochet, plastic canvas, etc.  Even though I have more finished craft projects around here than I know what to do with, I keep making things because it helps me relax.  It’s my way of “retreating” from feelings of negativity.  I may not be able to keep a clean house (not nearly as clean as I would like it to be, anyway), but making pretty and/or useful craft projects makes me feel like I’m contributing something.  Now, if only I could find a way to get paid for the things I make, life would be grand.

  2. Eileen Denning

    Good for you, Dr. Rob!  I hope you have a wonderful retreat, and return to the world refreshed, well cared-for, and more you than when you left.

  3. my former pastor’s wife used to tell us (worship team) that her goal was to : Depart Daily; Withdraw Weekly; Abandon Annually.
    the idea of getting away on a regular basis is an rx we should probably all use!

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