“Wielded wisely, NO is an instrument of integrity and a shield against exploitation. It often takes courage to say. It is hard to receive. But setting limits sets us free.”
~~ Judith Sills, Ph.D.
I really don’t like the word “NO” but the reality is if we don’t use the word whenever practical, we’ll end up negatively impacting our lives and the lives of others. I think back on the many years of my life and wonder where I would be today if I had only said NO instead of acquiescing by agreeing to do things that really were not in my best interest.
Think about it. All of us can say about certain life situations, “If only I hadn’t said yes…” Why do we say yes? Because it pleases others, and it’s easier to say. Saying NO takes fortitude and the risk of disappointing others.
As I was trying to formulate my thoughts for this month’s blog, I received Jan Tilley’s weekly newsletter which I always read. Coincidentally, it was all about the power of saying NO in order to live a healthier life. I loved it and asked for her permission to use her information rather than creating my own. She titles this blog “Breathe” and talks about how we put incredible pressure on ourselves to be all things to all people. Our stress levels would be dramatically decreased if we learned to say NO to the demands others try to place on us. Jan offers three tips to help encourage you to say NO in order to live a healthy balanced life. Plus you’ll get a yummy-sounding recipe for a Spinach and Tomato Eggs Benedict Casserole and a list of 7 things calm people do differently. Go to JTA Wellness to be inspired.
Now for my featured hero. It is my 6-month old great niece, Arya. You can never be too young to learn to stand (or crawl) on your own two feet (or knees)! She has uttered her first clear word and it was NO. Her parents were shocked. How did she learn that word? Likely, because her parents have said NO to her on numerous occasions. Does she know what it means? Who knows – maybe so! If she doesn’t want something, perhaps she’s letting it be known. Arya is destined for a bright future if she continues to master her courage to speak her opinion. If it’s up to her dad, she’ll be a soccer player and one day work for the United Nations!
Jane Doe’s month five and final report – This journey is really only just beginning. Every day is a challenge of not “running away” from myself and facing each day with the honest truth. As I see my life becoming my own again and manageable, I wonder if this sickness has actually helped me to grow spiritually and mentally. That’s not a bad thing.
The key is this: Learning to live within my limitations and to live up to my capabilities.