I think the truth is that it's part of my personal alarm system... a code red that requires some attention. I'm burned out, and dried up, and it's my responsibility to recognize that and take the necessary steps to replenish my spirit. For me, what's usually required is some solitude. I get over full with people and all the love and care I have for them pouring out of me and their needs and wants and desires and ways I can be helpful, and I put my own needs and wants back and away, out of sight, to be dealt with later. When my martyr mode comes along with all of its internal angst, later has arrived. I must consider what I need, or I will spill my punishing frustrations all over the world.
The challenge for me is taking the time I need without guilt, when there is work to be done and things to accomplish, when anyone I love might be struggling and need me to cheer them up, or listen, or encourage, or inspire. But I can't help with a dried up spirit, not really. I can only drive myself further into depletion, and then I'm no good to anyone.
So it's ok to take my time. It's ok to need solitude and relish it. It's ok to love people, and its ok to need time and space away from them. If I honor my need, then I come back refreshed and rejuvenated, and we are all better for it. The martyr in me is quieted and I am restored to delight in my work and pleasure in my life.
I take the time I need, when I need it, for my soul's restoration. I take it without guilt and without apology.