“No” can often be the most foreign word we ever learn to say. But in the “no” you discover that you exist; you discover that you matter; you discover that whatever or whoever you say that word to really cannot fill you up. “No” can actually liberate the soul – liberate the heart – and allow you to soar high above the things that have kept you down for so long.
Often times, it is love (or acceptan…ce) that is being sought and we fear that if we say “no” we will somehow nullify those two things in our lives. But that is not true, because as I told a friend today, “love just is…it is not something deserved,” so basically we can quit trying to earn it. Instead of working feverishly to prove we are worthy enough, start learning to recognize what love looks like (I choose to base my definition of love on I Corinthians 13), and then begin to practice love in those ways and surround ourselves with people who reciprocate love in those ways.
When we begin loving people with the I Corinthians 13 model and actually start receiving love in that way as well, we begin to realize that “no” is not a bad word. In fact, it begins separating out and pushing away those things that drain us and keep us from feeling alive.
I used to be afraid to tell people “no.” I used to think they would be disappointed in me or judge me or feel as if I didn’t care about them. Today, I am probably a rip roaring “no-addict” (ha) because I am fiercely protective over my time, my mind, and my heart. It is what keeps me sane and alive and in tune with the things I am supposed to be doing and the people I am supposed to be helping.
Here’s a practice run for you: “Hey, can you do…….?”
Your response: “No, but thank you SO much for thinking about me. I know you’ll find the right person for that!”