For a long time I struggled with saying no. I thought I should be able to do it all. I thought I should be an exuberantly willing participant in the doing of it all. I thought it was part of the job description. If you’re a woman living on this planet, you can probably relate.
Eventually I came to understand that sometimes, saying yes to me meant saying no to something or someone else, and that’s okay. Wanting time for what’s important to me doesn’t make me a bad person or a lazy parent; it makes me human. And being that this is my life and all, it’s sort of my responsibility to do the things that are important to me.
So, I set about mastering the art of saying no. I practiced a lot, and I got better at it (mostly.) But over time, even though I felt a huge sense of relief from taking a lot of things off of my plate, I still didn’t feel like I thought I would feel.
I kept wondering what was going on…I was saying no left and right, I had more time, but I still wasn’t saying yes to ME.
Whoa. That realization hit me hard. Because if I’m honest, the one area in my life where saying no was easy, was to myself. I had been saying no to myself for so long that it had become a habit, and little by little, it was stripping away the things that made me me.
The next thing I had to learn was how to say yes to me. Yes to things I didn’t necessarily feel worthy of; yes to things that scared me a little bit (or a lot.) I wish I could say I’ve mastered this, but it’s a work in progress.
I have post-it note on my desk with this reminder to myself: sometimes no keeps sane, other times it keeps you safe (but not in a good way.) Say yes to YOU.