Say, "No", right now to yourself. Let it roll off your tongue and through your lips. No, no, nopedy, nope, no, no, no. This one word will be your sacred guide back to the life you want to lead.
We all have a calling in this life. When we are quiet enough we can feel the pull towards a life that's filled with love, joy, and purpose. Saying "no" allows us to open up space to live for this purpose. This "no" makes room for choosing "yes" to the things that truly matter to us. Things like family, creativity, and rest.
When you close your eyes, listen to the value that you would choose to inspire every aspect of your life. Many of us conjure up words like love, kindness, generosity, and service. However, we cannot be in full dedication to any of these values when we are chasing around approval.
Shauna Niequist writes, "But the sweet rush of approval, the pat on the head, can often derail us from real love, and real purpose. Time always helps me make these decisions, because if I'm rushed, I always say yes. When I have time, I can instead say to myself: Go back to being loved; go back to your purpose. This thing I am being asked to do will not get me more love. And this will not help me meet my purpose."
At our core, I believe that we all know this message to be true yet the fear of letting others down can keep us stuck in this pleasing pattern. Stretching and reaching to do everything for everyone often plops us back home with rolling eyes and utter fatigue. This is not the legacy we want to leave.
Dr. Brené Brown writes, "Boundaries are hard when you want to be liked and when you are a pleaser hell-bent on being easy, fun, and flexible. Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They're compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment."
This is your life. What do you want it to be about? Look at your planner and visualize the week ahead. Cross out the items that are unnecessary noise. Contact the people that you need to and tell them that you've changed your mind. The world will not collapse.
You, brave soul, are returning home to yourself. You are deciding what you want your life to be about. Yes to your purpose, your values, your people. Yes to freedom, love, and intention. Yes to you.
©2023 Jennifer Padilla-Burger, LMFT. All rights reserved.
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Jennifer Padilla-Burger is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who helps people manage anxiety, work through depression, and learn to live wholeheartedly.