Tuesday, August 11, 2009

serendipity? synchronicity? spirituality?

So, this is kind of how my life goes. Following yesterday's post, this showed up in my inbox this morning. Hmmmm.

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Saying No

For many of us, the most difficult word to say is one of the shortest and easiest in the vocabulary: No. Go ahead, say it aloud: No.

No - simple to pronounce, hard to say. We’re afraid people won’t like us, or we feel guilty. We may believe that a “good” employee, child, parent, spouse, or Christian never says no.

The problem is, if we don’t learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please. We may even punish others out of resentment.

When do we say no? When no is what we really mean.

When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.

If we’re scared to say no, we can buy some time. We can take a break, rehearse the word, and go back and say no. We don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions.

When we can say no, we can say yes to the good. Our no’s and our yes’s begin to be taken seriously. We gain control of ourselves. And we learn a secret: “No” isn’t really that hard to say.

Today, I will say no if that is what I mean.

You are reading from the book:

The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

10 comments:

Tess said...

I like a bit of serendipity!

For me, when I find "no" difficult, I think it's mostly around guilt and an inner accountant who keeps track of life's favours.

For example, my brother-in-law asked me for a lift to a particular shop last Sunday. As it happens I was out most of the day, so the "no" wasn't difficult. But I would have had absolutely no desire to give him a lift anyway.

What would have made it difficult is me thinking back to the days when I didn't have a car, and so many people gladly offered me lifts to various places. The inner accountant thinks I should pass those favours on. If that makes sense!

kigen said...

Before I read your post yesterday, I was in a battle with myself to say no as a form of self-protection in a private matter. I thought that I should trust other people more, but every intuitive warning signal was sounding an alarm. It was comforting to find your words proclaiming a possible no vote, although the context was entirely different. Also I apologize if I got too chick noir in my response to your collage, which I loved. I am more adrift as I get older.

tinkerbell the bipolar faery said...

Letting go of others' expectations in favour of priorities that better suit me.

AHA!

For 'yes girls' like me, this is revolutionary. When I say no, I dread it, because I can sense the disappointment in the other person, and tend to velcro it to myself.

And, so, letting go becomes holding onto myself.

lucy said...

tess--oh my, the inner accountant. yikes! i have lived with that one for years!!!! i hate to tell you this, but she is closely related to stoic chick...

kigen--so glad to add a bit of synchronicity to your challenge to say "no"...and i'm not sure our contexts are so very different. also, i only experienced "chick noir" in the fondest sense possible!!! btw--are you writing somewhere where i can read you?

tinkerbell--hold onto yourself, girlfriend! i love that you had a little "aha" here. i can feel your brilliance growing!!!

His Girl Friday said...

'When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.'

great line. :)

kigen said...

Lucy, in answer to your question, there's no blog, but I do post my own graphic illustrations of geometric quilt designs as a sort of journal of inner states of being. If you scroll down to the bottom of my homepage at earlywomenmasters.net you'll see a list of the latest designs, and you can follow the updates on that if you like. I also add notes to the illustrations to give them some context. It's a homey project, but traditional quilt designs were all created by women, and never copyrighted, but rather freely passed down from quilter to quilter, generation to generation. And I very much like being part of that.

I've linked my user name here to VORTEX, a time tunnel design, I illustrated recently.

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Lucy, serendipity, oh yes - in fact, I just sent a "no" off to a group to which I belong asking for an alternate date to the one we have on the calendar. I took a look at my personal calendar and thought, well, I could move this or this but I don't really want to move this or this or miss my this or this - so guess what - I just said I had one open date and otherwise it was a "no" meeting for me. Such a little word, such a little lie is told when we turn other folks' convenience into our inconvenience. Thanks for the post...

Kigen - didn't I used to see you on Cafewriting sometimes?

xoxo

kigen said...

SS, I've never posted to Cafewriting that I can remember. ((-:

Gabrielle said...

I have been getting better at saying no when I have too much on my plate and I need to focus on what I've discerned to be truly important for me to do. But in some areas of my life I feel like I may have been saying no for too long (saying no to myself), and in those areas now I want to say yes!

lucy said...

HGF--thanks, i agree on "the great line"!

kigen--thank you for the added data re: YOU! i was an avid quilter for about five years and still adore the craft. there is something so meditative and communal about the whole culture - including the principle focus of women. i look forward to exploring your work(s) a bit more!

btw--LOVE the Vortex!!

SS--bravo for you!!

"Such a little word, such a little lie is told when we turn other folks' convenience into our inconvenience." what a fabulous description of NO!


gabrielle--thank you for bringing in the wonderful point of saying "no" making more room for the important "yes's" of our lives. yea for you!!