Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Beauty of Saying "No!"

Maybe being raised in the late 80s and early 90s wasn't so good for me after all. In schools, every sub-school program was centered around the student's decision to say "no!" (i.e., "Just say NO to Drugs" or "Just say NO to sex" or "Just say NO to smoking cigarettes", etc.). Guest speakers would come in and give true testimonies that would scare our little 10-year-old selves half to death which is okay I guess, as long as you later inform the kids that there are even good things in life that you should say no to too (not that sex, drugs, or cigarettes are "bad things," it's just that....well, you know what I mean I think).

Perhaps that's part of my problem with people and friends and my need/desire to please others: I say "no" when everyone in the free world should say "no," but not when my own gut tells me to. Meaning, I tend to overcommit and take on projects other people suggest (I can do them but I really don't want to and the passion is just not there) in hopes to please them and appease them, and I'm beginning to see what a bad habit this really is. I usually think that if I'm "free" or "available" then all is fair game and when someone asks me to do something during these times, then I should do it right away. But last night reminded me that I cannot live like this forever. I have to--sooner or later--come to a point where my "no's" come just as frequent, if not more often, than my "yes's." Does this make sense? Maybe I'm the only one struggling with this, but in my attempts at being forward and direct, I wonder if I'll ever sacrifice that little thing called grace and that bigger thing called selflessness in my attempts to NOT overcommit?

I don't know. All I know right now is, I said "no" last night as directly and to-the-point-as-possible and it was such a good feeling. I never knew how freeing the word "No" could really be? They didn't teach me that in those anti-drug elementary education seminars. Go figure.

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