Just about every woman I know has something in common….
Working moms. Stay at home moms. Work from home women. Retired women. Part time working mommas. Mothers of toddlers. Mothers of teenagers. Empty Nesters. Grandmothers. Women going to school. Women homeschooling their children. Women active in planning every church activity. Women in the PTA. Women organizing events. Women just trying to get their kids to and from school without any “extras” each day. Moms who send their kids to daycare. Women who don’t have kids. Women who are married. Women who are not.
We are ALL being pulled in so many directions. So many directions pulling and demanding of our time and attention that most of us even on our good days, feel that we’re on the verge of complete “burn out”.
Life is busy. There’s no getting around that! There are times and seasons where exhaustion is just a part of the equation. Times where we know in our gut that “yes” is the right answer. Even though it will cost us time, energy, maybe even resources, or finances.
What about the times where we have complete and utter peace that the answer you need to give someone who has asked something of you, is in fact a loud resounding…”NO!”
For as long as I can remember... I’ve never felt comfortable telling someone “no.” Why is that? Why is it that us women as a whole, struggle with something that seems like it should be so simple. I mean this isn't rocket science....open mouth...use a single word I've been using for my entire life. Should be that easy! Yet, it just isn't.
For me personally, Enneagram Type 2 “The Helper” it’s about people pleasing. I absolutely hate disappointing others. I loathe the feeling of letting someone down when they request or need me to do something. For that reason, I usually always say “Yes”.
“Yes” to my own detriment. “Yes” to the detriment of my family. “Yes” to the detriment of my mental health. “Yes” even when I know for certain, I shouldn’t! SO. SO. SO. many “Yeses” all because this girl never learned how and when it was ok to say “No”.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. In fact, talking to my closest girlfriends, and other women, I KNOW I’m not!
I get it...if all the women of the world always said “No”... the world would quite literally fall apart. Sorry men, but it’s the truth! However, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about knowing, and using the undervalued gift of discernment to know when your best “Yes” is actually a big old fat “No”.
What I'm learning is that a perfect 1:1 "Yes" and "No" ratio is not what actually creates balance in my life. Or in the lives of my family. It's having the peace behind each "yes" and each "no". No matter how my scale appears to others to be be tipping towards....more "yes"...or more "no's" in this season, I will know that the scale is actually completely balanced in my heart, mind, and spirit because discernment tells me that it is.
It's not easy to say no. If you're like a lot of women, you want to have the solution to the problem. You want to be the "I will do it" person, who steps up to the plate. And unless you have a broken leg, work on that day, or are dog sick with your face in a toilet bowl somewhere... it feels like you don't have a legitimate reason anyone will understand if you do in fact tell someone that dreaded "No".
Please hear me when I say this... as much as we need to learn the art and gift of saying "no",
we also need to learn the art and gift of accepting someone else's "no". Without judgement. Without questioning. Without hurt feelings. Or even without an explanation. Instead, accepting their "No" with grace. With respect. With understanding.
There is nothing worse than saying yes OR no... to something you know you shouldn't have, to later have the regret of not sticking to your gut. We've all been there. We've all fallen short in this area a time or two.
Let's learn to be women who truly take the time to discern our answers before we give them. So that our "Yes" can truly be a yes. And our "No's" can truly be our no. Because I believe our "Yeses" are sacred. They are valuable. They do require time to contemplate what is at cost when we give that yes. Time away from family. Finances. Energy. It's logical-when we say yes to one thing, we are inadvertently saying no to something else. As much as many of us try, we are wonder woman. We cannot do all things. So let's make sure what we ARE doing, is what we're supposed to be doing! What