Sometimes you just have to get away. You have to empty your cup so you can refill it with new stuff. You have to turn off the phones, lock the doors and just BE. It's so rejuvenating! This is exactly what's been going on over here. And I can tell ya, it was heavenly.
Reclusion is easy when you live in the country. There are far fewer distractions. And people. So it's not a stretch to 'hole up' and just BE. Especially if you don't have to report to a workplace. I'm blessed this way. Most of my 'work' is done from home. If I don't feel like talking to anyone, I can turn off the phones and enjoy the solitude for days on end. (Did you KNOW you can turn off your phones???) There are those who might find this sorta thing ghastly. HOW CAN YOU STAND BEING ALONE FOR SO LONG???? I find it both refreshing and cleansing. You gotta be able to empty your cup before you can refill it. And sometimes, whatever is in that cup is old and stale...so if you want to refresh, you MUST empty it out. Make sense?
I read a story once about a young man who was on a quest to become the best warrior in the world. He studied for years under various masters, all the while intent on becoming good enough to meet THE Master. At last he felt he was ready. He traveled for a year to reach The Master's home, high atop a grand mountain. When at last he reached his home, he was met at the door by The Master's wife, who kindly invited him in and asked him to wait. Many hours passed and the young warrior became agitated. How could The Master make him wait for so long? Didn't he realize how far he'd come to meet him? All manner of ugly thoughts ran through the young warrior's mind as he waited and waited and waited. When at last he thought he could bear it no longer, just as he was about to get up and leave, The Master entered the room.
The young warrior could not hide his frustration and anger. But slowly, The Master wove his calm around him, completely ignoring his agitation. The Master's wife brought tea to the table where they sat, and as the young man began his long and detailed story of his trainings, The Master began pouring the tea. As the young man rambled on, The Master continued to pour until the tea was spilling over the cup, onto the plate, then onto the table and down to the floor. The young man was so confused by this, he finally stopped talking and said, "Master, the tea is running down onto the floor. Why do you continue to pour when the cup is full?"
The Master said nothing for a few moments. The young man thought that perhaps he had lost his mind. He was, after all, a very old man. Quite dismayed at this thought, he was about to take his leave when at last The Master said:
"This cup is like you. Too full to hold any more. Before you can proceed with your life, you must empty your cup. Only then will you be able to refill it with what you seek."
I've always loved that story. And I've kept it as a treasured reminder that when I begin to feel any kind of angst, it must be that my cup is full. Full of stuff I no longer need or want. Full of old, stale tea that no longer suits my tastes. Time to empty it out and start over.
That is what a sabbatical is for me. A means to empty out the ick and wash the cup clean. A way to discard any of the 'stuff' that keeps me from living the joy-filled life I know I came here to live. To make way for more of the good stuff...the stuff of Life that keeps me growing and smiling and loving. While some may view this as selfish, I see it as the most selfless of acts. Because if I'm not groovin' in MY life, there's no way I can share the joys with anyone else. I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Selfish is NOT a four-letter word.
So, when's the last time YOU took a sabbatical from the madness of the world? When's the last time you put YOU FIRST? Doncha think it's time?