1/23/09

No Means...

There was a time in my life, when there was nothing that I couldn’t do to refrain from saying, “yes.” I would make good on everything that was requested of me. So much so, that one time, I got up in the middle of the night to go help a manager do inventory. I was trying to please and help someone in their time of need. This occurrence was when I was a waiter and I tried so hard to please all of my guests that I would stress myself out. I finally had to hit rock bottom and the following is the lessons that I learned. My problem was that I became enslaved to saying “yes.” When I should have occasionally took the liberty and freedom to say “no.” My enslavement through no fault of her own came from my mother. It was a sin to tell someone, “no” especially in our own family. At 71 she continues to serve and volunteer at a food bank, but like me has gotten much better about saying “no.” I was recently reminded about some of these concepts in a recent book that I was reading. I realized that true freedom comes not in the ability to “yes” to something but to say “no.” Whether you’re struggling with an addiction or sin, true freedom is experienced when you can learn to say “no.” My addiction all of those years ago was wanting to please people and never being able to say “no” to them. It wasn’t until I finally did that I experienced freedom in it’s purest sense. Nobody likes a brown-noser. People pleasing can cross personal boundary lines in the workplace, where people can be taken advantage of. I’ve learned that in most instances, we are truly a victim of our own circumstances. This is why it’s so important to have boundaries and be able to say “no.” When you also don’t setup boundaries in the workplace you will become a victim of your own neglect and the circumstances if you don’t always give your all. If you cannot say “no” to people or to an addiction, I want to encourage you to try. The more that you’re able to say “no” the easier it becomes. You’ll gain control over any circumstance by exercising this freedom. Passivity is the reluctance to take control and say “no.” When has something great happened in response to someone saying, “yes?” What if the Bostonians had said, “yes” to increased taxes…get the point? Anyone can say yes to anything at anytime, but real freedom comes when we’re able to say “no.” No means freedom.

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