I don’t know when I learned to spoil folks or to give too much of myself or give too freely. It might have been when I got married – the first time or the second- or when I became a mother… But I noticed that suddenly it was a part of me and I couldn’t snatch it back. I was a “yes” person. It was what was expected of me it seemed, and I was afraid of what would happen if I ever said no to someone or something.
The world would implode. People would stop loving me. They would be disappointed.
Whatever the end result was, I didn’t want to know. It was easier to simply adjust my schedule and inconvenience myself, than to risk disappointing others.
Though I rarely said no to other people, I, however, often and easily took no for an answer myself.
But I soon realized that something just wasn’t adding up.
It occurred to me one Sunday when I was cooking a fairly large dinner. Someone wanted me to stop what I was doing to do something for them that would take up an hour of my time when they were perfectly capable of doing the task themselves. It didn’t matter that I was busy or that I was tired. And I realized that these things had never mattered because I always just did it.
But on this particular day and at this particular time, I decided not to.
I said no. And then I waited… for the world to implode, for this person to stop loving me, for them to be disappointed. But it didn’t, and they didn’t, and they weren’t.
They just did it their damned self.
And it all worked out fine.
All it took was one simple no.
I had to tell myself that sometimes I have to say no, even when it hurts, because believe me, as it turns out, it doesn’t hurt them much at all. They mostly just deal, as I will learn to, too…eventually.