Loving enough to say no

Saying no in today's society seems to have such a negative connotation. But why? It really is a good thing, a healthy thing, to have boundaries in all aspects of our lives - relationships, food, posessions, etc. Yet, we seem to put on a pedestal the people that are yes folks and crucify the no ones. Of course, we like to act that we respect people's boundaries, but we don't. Each and every time we ask something of someone, not thinking of the sacrifices they will need to make to say yes to you, we are proving we don't respect people.

The truth is that in saying no, it gives us the freedom to say yes. Yes to the things that enrich us, encourage us and lift us up. All of this happens by learning to say no.

Loving (insert practically anything here) enough to say no.

my kids
my husband
my friends
my parents
my God

Though saying no can feel uncomfortable and more difficult in the moment than saying yes, it doesn't mean it's the wrong choice.

Saying no to my children's constant requests for things makes the yeses that much more exciting. Saying no to the constant, "Can you help...?" that come at us from school, church, friends, work, organizations, etc. frees up my time to say yes to those things when they truly matter to me, and not hold a grudge by doing something I don't really want to be doing. It also frees up my time to be a better mother to my children, wife to my husband and friend.

When we say yes to a request from someone, it generally comes at a price. Sure, that may not be a monetary price. But it costs time and energy. And by saying yes to one person, we may be then saying no to the very people or things we are truly wanting to say yes to.

Saying no to food that doesn't make me feel good, allows me to say yet to the many whole foods that don't wreak havoc on my digestive track. Saying no to the constant requests for things from my children allows me to teach them to be content. Saying no to the constant time wasters allows me to be there for my family in ways I am often needed most. I can go on and on.

It doesn't always have to be time wasters that I am saying no to. Saying no to things that are going to cause unneeded anxiety and stress in my life are also healthy things to say no to. Creating boundaries not only for my own health, but also the time and health of my family are important. Did you get that, they are important.

By saying no to certain things, I am saying to my children, to my husband, to my body, YES. I am saying I value you enough to say no. I value you enough to be present. To have time for you. To feed you (hello, self) to the best of my ability.

Learning to say no to the wrong things and yes to the right things (which are generally the things staring us right in the face and never asking) truly is an act of love.

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