You see, I tend to say no…a. lot. Usually, I direct my no’s at my husband.
This man is incredible – and spontaneous. He is entirely for “stealing time” whenever and however we can. For example, if an unexpected errand comes up – such as picking up spare parts for a vehicle (romantic huh?) – he will often exclaim: “Wanna come with? We can grab a bite to eat first.”
We live twenty-two miles from the outmost edge of town. A trip into town means a minimum of one hour in the car. Alone. Time to catch up, talk, and just enjoy being together.
In the not too far distant past, I would most often say no.
Why Say No?
Well, I said no because:
- I am not ready.
- I just ate.
- I have laundry to fold.
- Picking spare parts doesn’t sound all that exciting.
- Yada, yada, yada.
The truth is more akin to this: I became complacent and apparently, dull.
The problems with the – terrible – philosophy of saying no are many. The obstacle which stands out most to me is this: we do not get a redo in life.
Time – like sand in an hourglass – goes away. Except, unlike an hourglass, we don’t get to flip life over for more time. Once passed, time is gone for good.
In my defense, I used to be spontaneous and quite fun; then I became a mom. That’s no excuse I get it. However, that’s my story. In the course of taking care of little people, I neglected to take care of myself. I forgot how to break loose and seize the moment. I became too analytical and apparently, humdrum.
The thing is “mundane” did not make me happy, nor did it feed my soul. While embarking on my Happiness Project, I resolved I no longer wanted to make excuses and say no to everything.
Instead, I determined it was high time I lived!
Therefore, my commandment became to say yes!
The Power of Yes
How has saying yes worked out for me so far?
It has been wonderful!
Saying yes makes me feel alive. I am having fun, living fully in the present.
I smile more.
I laugh more.
I make beautiful memories.
I have rediscovered my “joie de vivre” (fancy French vocabulary meaning enjoyment of life).
Saying yes is intoxicating and powerful and amazing. In a strange and unexpected paradox, yes has also made saying no more powerful.
I know, this last statement will need additional explaining.
Saying Yes When I Want to Say No
In addition to saying no to my husband, I also said yes when I wanted to say no. Most often, this was done out of obligation or guilt (two crummy reasons).
I didn’t like this aspect of myself. Nevertheless, I was often too cowardly to say no when no was exactly what I wanted to say. Later, I would kick myself for doing so and on occasion, even grumble about it.
The funny thing is now I am committed to saying yes, I don’t always do so. There are certain times when no needs to be said.
The difference between “then and now” is, I genuinely ponder my answer before responding. I take the time to listen to myself. Allow me to expound.
If someone asks a question, whatever the inquiry may be, I have multiple choices.
- I say yes because I genuinely want to say yes.
- I say yes when I would rather say no. Nevertheless, my yes – at present – comes from a conscious place. In this case, my yes is a compromise and I accept it entirely rather than feel annoyed or resentful.
- I say no even though I would love to say yes because I must. Usually, this is due to other responsibilities which take precedent.
- I say no because I want to say no. I have asked myself to be entirely authentic and I am not willing to compromise at this point. I accept my no and the fact someone may be upset with my choice. I acknowledge we are all fully entitled to our feelings AND I am not responsible for everyone else’s.
In short, saying yes has made both my yeses and my no’s more meaningful.
Finding My Voice
I am finding my voice.
I am learning to live the authentic life I have so desired.
There is beauty in both yes and no when either answer is birthed from awareness rather than fear, guilt (or worse shame), auto-pilot, the mundane, or lack of attention.
I never expected to learn this empowering lesson from a three letter word, and yet, I did.
So far this Happiness Journey has been such a marvelous blessing.
I am looking forward to more unexpected lessons.