reasons we run from self care
In spite of the fact that we preach, "love your neighbor as yourself," those of us in pastoral ministry seem to have a terrible time with the last part of that phrase. Regularly, pastors confess that they don't take days off, don't exercise, struggle with obesity and other health-related issues, burn out and fight depression. Doesn't that seem contrary to what we preach about good stewardship of time, our bodies, faith, etc? Of course it is. But nonetheless, here we are. Struggling. Why is that?
Do any of these sound familiar:
1. There is no end to work. We don't punch a time clock so when is the day finished?
2. Too many people in our congregation believe they are our bosses, adding their expectations.
3. We are on call around the clock.
4. We have difficulty giving ourselves permission to rest.
5. We too often struggle with a "messiah complex," believing that we are the only ones who are capable of doing or fixing things.
6. We believe the comment that "if we aren't participating, the event will not succeed."
7. We don't build margin into our lives. We pack our calendar with no breaks and no allowance for the normal interruptions that take place.
8. We want to be liked.
9. We don't want to disappoint people.
10. We place our love of the church higher than the love of our family.
There are plenty of other reasons, but these tend to bubble to the surface. If you struggle with any of these, check out January Lunch & Learn (starting Thursday, Jan. 5) for the 1st of two installments on clergy self-care.