Have you ever had one of those weeks that you are dying to say “no” and shut out the world? If you have, you are not alone and its okay to be a human sometimes.
As you read the title to this post, you are probably thinking that the word “no” has a negative connotation. Most of the time I would agree, but the word “no” is also extremely freeing. In this life we have so many things thrown at us, whether its family functions, church responsibilities, nights out with friends or just life in general. We have to find balance every single week. One of the BEST things you can do for yourself on occasion, is to just say no.
In saying no to one thing, or even multiple things you are making room for the possibility of many other things to say yes to.
One of the things I’ve learned over the past year of life, is that we have to be vigilant in making time for ourselves. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t make it to dinner with your friends…life happens…and if they’re truly your friends, they know your motivation isn’t to hurt them or abandon them, and they will understand. I remember in my younger years the insecure feeling I would get when I would go through a season of life where I just wanted to make room for God to move and I would have to say no over and over to hanging out with my friends. It wasn’t because God was forcing me to, but because I was choosing to set myself apart for a time so I could focus on the things that God has for me. It’s not easy watching people leave your life over you saying no to them…and it’s happened more times than I wish to recall. It’s even heartbreaking because our perspective is so small when we are going through it…but when I look back on my circle of friends that have stuck by me in season and out of season, good times and bad, highs and lows…I know that the people in my life today, are there because God has placed them there for a purpose.
This is a life long lesson. We will have so many chances to figure this out on a daily basis but if you filter out things like this, your life will be filled with so much more purpose: Is this ultimately helping me fulfill my purpose? Are my decisions in life based on keeping priority in this order: Love God, Love Family, Love Life, Love People?
This one is tough. It’s not easy to say no to friends when we know this morning we rolled out of bed late and hit snooze 5 times so we missed our alone time with God and we need to make up for it now. It’s also not easy to say no with friends when we have responsibilities with our family or making sure you spend quality time with your husband or children. I think one of the hardest things in the season I’m in now, with launching my business has been to say no to friends because I want to grow my personal dream of owning my own business. I’m not saying we always have to say no, or that we’ll always get this right. Thankfully we serve a very gracious God who understands our need for human relationships outside of our family or work.
I’m not writing this to shame anyone but to offer a perspective on keeping a healthy balance in life and prevent anyone else the headache of “burning out” that I’ve experienced in the past. We tend to burn a lot of bridges and hurt a lot of people when we are burnt out. When I burnt out in my life, I burnt out for YEARS. I went from one event to the next and so much of it is a blur. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why so many people had started to distance themselves from me…I got negative and cynical…and honestly, I got angry sometimes and blamed other people for my misfortune, missed opportunities or my mistakes. To be fair, it wasn’t their fault that I had no idea how to balance my life. I always had to say yes, and the root of it all…approval. We think that if way say no, we won’t get that other person’s approval. As if somehow, our world will come to a screeching halt and everything will fall apart if we disappoint someone by saying no. I do realize, this is very extreme, but my point is, the only way we will ever feel truly validated, is if God is ordering our steps and we are doing our best to follow His plan for our lives.
Maybe you’re in that season right now, where you have so many things going on and you don’t know how to establish boundaries. I’m writing this to tell you, it’s okay to take a step back. Give your burdens to God, trust Him to take care of your heart…He knows your true motivations and His plans are so much bigger than this season you are in. Perhaps you are not in this season, but can relate because you’ve been there…please take a moment to be aware that every person you come into contact with might be going through something that you don’t know or understand. Offer someone compliment or do something unexpectedly nice for them.
By taking a moment to acknowledge that we are all human, and imperfect, we’ve now given ourselves permission to succeed and to help others succeed with grace and compassion.
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