First of all I must apologize if it seems I write some of the same things over and over but this is what helps me to process and make sense of my new life. I am sure most of whom read this have a pretty good idea why this happens when your life has changed drastically.
Elton John had a big hit called, Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. I was sitting out in the woods yesterday thinking about saying the word NO and out of the blue this song popped in my head. I began thinking of the song going a little bit differently for me. Something like this, NO Seems To Be The Hardest Word. With no disrespect to Sir Elton of course.
When I was thinking back on years past the word NO was not a part of my life and when it was the guilt over took me. If someone asked me for something I would do it and many times say yes before I even had time to process it. I would just do, do, do. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed helping others, in most instances, but not all. Often times when I think back I wonder why I was so stupid and allowed certain people to walk all over me. Now I see it was me not them. I was the one who allowed it to happen. It is like I have slapped myself upside the head and said, "Idiot."
I have learned that people will take all they can from you and suck you dry but only I/you have the control. The control is quite simple. NO! That's it. I have learned there doesn't have to be an explanation to that NO, but just a NO. We do not owe anyone anything. Really. If the yes comes from the heart then it is meant to be. If it is a yes that makes you regret and squirm then it is just wrong.
It is actually quite funny because once you begin to say NO the calls stop coming and people realize you have changed. Changed who you are and changed your life, for the better. You had to. The NO's come much easier as time goes on when you are forced to spend all your time and energy on taking care of yourself and your family, anything else I am able to give out to others is just a bonus. I remember a past Pastor of ours Pastor Bookshaw. One time in bible study we were talking about this subject. This was quite a few years ago when I was saying yes to everything. I asked him how do we know when to say YES or NO if we are trying to be a good Christian? His answer was you ask yourself, "Are my needs met and am I taking care of my family? They come first that is why God gave them to you." I never forgot that. I think it was at that point that I started to evaluate my life and learned how to say NO to more stuff when I was asked. Believe me it wasn't easy and I still overloaded myself doing, doing, doing.
In the past few years the NO's have become even more a way of life for me. In my head I want to say yes, I really do, but I can't. It seems every time I decide to say yes I always have to back out of something so it is just easier to say NO. I want to do so many things. I see the youth group at church that needs a leader to take over and it kills me inside not to be able to do it but for now I just have to continue to tell myself NO. I want so badly to go back to Hospice and visit patients but for now I must tell myself NO. It is all a give and take when you are ill. Every time I give it takes something from me and I get more sick or knocked down for a few days. I am not willing to make that sacrifice anymore. I cherish every precious moment with Rich and the kids and I need to conserve my precious energy for them. It is all I have right now. Now instead of spending my time doing, doing, doing, I am able to spend it just being. Being wherever I am at that given moment and being happy in it. I love that!
So in the ending I am hopeful someone who reads this may realize you do not have to do or be every thing to everyone. It is refreshing to me when I say NO and I find out just how understanding and caring most people are. The ones who aren't are not a part of my life anymore. Stop letting the energy suckers zap the energy out of you and spend it on the people and the things you love to do and not what others want or think you should to do. It all sounds so simple but its not. It takes time and a lot of patience but someday you will get there just like I did!
May God Bless you one your journey!