This week, together with the other God-sized dreamers, we're to write about one of the things we choose to decrease in our lives so our dreams can thrive. As Holley Gerth wrote, "Sometimes even what’s good can crowd out what’s best."
When I start thinking about what I need to say 'no' or 'not now' or 'not so much' to, I realise that it's not so much having to say 'no' to what's already on my plate. It's more about what to say 'no' to as things come my way.
I used to say yes to most things. Actually, I can't remember saying no to anything! Simply because those things were expected of me. My paternal grandmother used to remind me when I was growing up, "Be a good girl for your [adoptive] parents (I was given away to my father's brother when I was two); if they don't want you, you can't go back to your real parents as they wouldn't want you either!" So, I behaved (well, I tried very hard to) and did everything that was expected of me, just so I could have a roof over my head and not be cast out onto the streets. What fear, anger and resentment that I kept pushing deep into the recesses of my heart!
Decades later, all these negative emotions blew up like a volcano after Joseph had to leave home because I got burnt out caring for him. The huge eruption left a ginormous crater that had no room for yesses. No, sir, I mean, ma'am, none whatsoever!
So, basically, I said no to everything. At first, it was because there just wasn't enough energy or motivation to be able to sustain even the most feeble of attempts at doing anything. Then when I started to heal (something which I thought was impossible initially), I still found it hard to say yes to anything as there was a lot of self-doubt and resentment accompanying those yesses. I needed to come to a place where I was saying yes to things that fulfilled something in me, and not just to please others.
What joy and freedom it has been to discover that it is ok to do things for myself and to be happy! That I can value and celebrate myself for who I am. That I can say 'no' to things that I would rather not do and not feel guilty about it. Truth, when it gets transferred from being head knowledge to being a heart experience, really does set one free!
So, this year, I'm going be very deliberate about what I choose to put on my plate. So that I can live whole-heartedly. As Holley says, "You’ll know when you’re living wholehearted because you’ll experience more joy, energy and enthusiasm about what you’re doing." Laurie Wallin's guide to know when to say yes will be a very valuable resource indeed.
Priority number one: writing. My manuscript, that is. And blogging. It can be so refreshing and invigorating. As long as I don't wear my eyes out. I'm still adjusting to my first pair of progressive glasses and it hasn't been a fun ride.
And the rest? Anything that brings joy, fulfilment and a sense of well-being that doesn't distract me from priority number one.
"But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your "No', 'No'...." ~ Matthew 5:37 ~
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