Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful - Day 24 - Learning How to Say No

Note: Today is day 24 in my series "30 Days of Thankful."

Have you ever thought about the word no? It's universally understood these days. You could be almost anywhere in the world, but if you say the word, "no," people will understand what you mean. So why is a word that's so easily understood so hard to use?

A few weeks ago, I talked about struggling with codependency. As someone who identifies herself as being codependent, I find it very difficult to say no. I hate to disappoint people in my life, and I've been prone to just saying "yes" because it felt like the right thing to do rather than what I actually wanted. But I think I'm doing a lot better with that.

As Beyonce would say, "me, myself and I...that's all I got in the end...I took a vow that from now on I'm going to be my own best friend." So simple yet so poignant. For such a long time I was so focused on making other people happy that I forgot what was important to me. It's like I was a puppet in someone else's life. Sure, compromise is important, but you need to know when to say when and stand up for yourself. I want to play the role of leading lady in my life - not the role of head doormat.

A friend of mine used to make fun of me for planning out every second of every weekend. The thought of having free time killed me. I tried to jam pack as many things as I could into each day. In hindsight, I think I was doing that because I was so unhappy with myself and some of the things that were going on in my life. I wanted to stay busy so I wouldn't have time to think about the things going on around me that I didn't like.

So I consider today to be a victory in the war against "just saying yes." It's nearly 6 pm and I'm still in my pajamas. I didn't run today. I didn't clean today. I didn't really talk to anyone today. I'm just enjoying a day to myself. There were plenty of things I could have done today. Plenty of people I could have seen. But I felt comfortable enough with myself to just say no.

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