I wouldn’t say it’s easy to say “no” but it’s definitely getting easier. After decades of people-pleasing I’m finally less concerned about disappointing others than I am about disappointing myself. The heavy feelings of resentment and regret are no longer worth saying “yes” to things that aren’t in alignment with my spirit. But I was raised to put everyone else first. My religion taught me that the very definition of JOY is “Jehovah. Others. You”. In that order! I was coerced into believing that my wants, needs, goals and desires were selfish. And that if I put myself – or even my own intuition first – that I was spiritually weak. To become a self-sacrificing martyr was the goal.
For seventeen years I stuffed away my truth and lived an inauthentic life while pretending to be fulfilled and joyful. My persona served its purpose because my mom and congregation were so proud of me. I was considered an “exemplary youth”. And their love, albeit conditional was enough to keep me compliant. Until I felt like I was gonna implode. I found my way out of that high control religion at 23yo but had a lot to learn. Like my worth. That my time, energy and resources aren’t infinite so I need to spend them wisely. And I had to learn that saying “no” doesn’t make me selfish or weak but it allows me to say “yes” to experiences, people and opportunities that support, inspire and energize me. Saying “no” isn’t a threat to true friendships. Nor does it block the social and career opportunities that truly light me up.
7 Days of Soaked in Thought
S.I.T is an invitation to SIT with yourself – for a few minutes per day – to think your thoughts, feel your feels & express your emotions with a JOURNALING RITUAL. These 7 days are dedicated to “NO”vember; saying “no”, creating boundaries and honoring your needs. I’ll be posting daily journaling prompts as a source of inspiration for becoming #soakedinthought