Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saying No

Saying yes is so easy.  Like when someone asks you if you want to eat cupcakes, or if you'd like a second-helping of tater-tot casserole.  Besides the obvious pleasures of eating cupcakes and tater-tot casserole, even saying yes to things that require responsibility or money or time, happen to carry a sort of incredible satisfaction to them as well.  Perhaps you may disagree with me, but I love to see people's smiles when I tell them, "Yes."

It's exhilarating.  Intoxicating at times to see the happiness it can bring to others when you say, "Yes, I can do that", or, "Yes, I'd love to help, or buy that, or take that off your hands, or give you this, or watch that, or make myself completely at your disposal..."  Adaptability at its best; the ability to say yes in almost any situation and believe it's what you want.

In my last blog, I wrote about doing what you want.  Doing what you want because it is your life.  This blog is about the harder side of doing what you want.  This is the blog about learning to say no, learning to do the things that might mean you have to tell people, maybe the people who matter the most to you, "No."  Because the truth of the matter is that there are people out there who want to tell you what to do, and they don't want you to say no.  Maybe you aren't a people-pleaser like me, and if you aren't, I'm glad.  If you are, then you understand how hard it is to say no.

Over the past couple of days, I've had to set several boundaries with a person who I had become extremely close to emotionally and physically.  There were several reasons for my boundaries, all of which culminated in the idea of creating a healthier and more stable relationship between us.  These boundaries meant saying no.  And they meant saying no hard.  They meant pushing someone away.  They meant making someone angry.  They meant that I had to not please someone.  They meant I had to think about my personal health and safety first.  And they were hard to put in place.

And then they were ignored.  Un-sacredly and purposefully ignored.  These boundaries that I had so strategically placed around myself were ripped down, trampled over, and ravished by a person who can't hear, "No." 

Saying no is something we all need to learn to say.  No is a word that protects.  No is a word that can open doors for us to say yes.  No can be the word that shushes the thoughts in our heads that tell us we aren't good enough, that we can't do something, that we are not worth this or that or someone or something.  No is the word that can obliterate and shatter the lies that we have believed all our lives, the lies that a darker evil in this world would love us to believe and say yes to.

Saying no can save us from living a life that we never wanted, from marrying someone who we never really loved, from doing things that don't actually make us happy.  Saying no to tater-tot casserole and cupcakes is all well and good for your health, but it's even more important than that.  Saying no is really about understanding who you are and how important you are.  Your thoughts, your beliefs, your ideals, your boundaries, they all matter.  And if you don't like something or you don't want to do something, you have the right, the God-given power, to say, "No."  Because you and I are that important.

We are so important that we have been given the right to tell other people, "No, I don't want to do that, or buy that, or watch that, or give you that, or be completely at your disposal."  You are that precious, that strong, that much in control.  Don't let anyone ever tell you differently.  Take your life in your own hands, and learn to say yes and no when you want to and when you need to.  And never forget that there will be people who will push you and try to take away your boundaries and rape your no's, but there are also people, the good ones, the keepers, who will always support you and love you for your no's as much as your yes's.  Those are the ones to keep around, ignore the rest.  And if you ever want support in saying no, I'm right behind you, rooting for you all the way.


  1. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is the hardest part of good relationships (in my opinion). I'm married to a people pleaser...learning how to help maintain his boundaries when i wanted something has been so challenging...great for personal growth, but some times i don't want to grow. But if you value the relationship and the person, you do WHATEVER IT TAKES to do what is best for them.

  2. Awesome Jaz. Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Glad you're setting boundaries - and sorry they aren't all being respected up front.

  4. powerful. <3
    (you are powerful)
    (your words are powerful)
    (your impact is powerful)

    And I agree with Kris's comment about how setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is the hardest part -- in all sorts of relationships with life.

    I feel like a major lesson right now in learning to follow my dreams is learning how to say NO. Even to things that might be little dreams aching to grow big. Cultivating the space in my life. Honoring the boundaries of my time and energy.

    Thanks for sharing this blog post. Also -- it sucks when other people's paths open up gateways to violence (in whatever form) in our own. I hope their path leads them on many twists and turns that helps them heal and become more wise. Maybe these last few days was one of those twists. At least, that's what I always try to remind myself when things get crappy :-)