The hardest word to say in the English language.
Maybe it’s just me, but until last year saying “no” was borderline impossible. I’d somehow convinced myself that the world would stop spinning if I wasn’t available. But after years of overcommitting, feeling drained, and seeing very little change in the people, places, and things that were pulling from me…it dawned on me:
Being available to everything isn’t always synonymous with being good or Godly.
That revelation hit me like a ton of bricks and because of some of the bonds I’d formed…the epiphany nearly broke my heart. But instead of resisting, I took a step back and realize that somewhere within my help, I’d become a crutch. And even worse, in some cases, I’d taken His place. Jess became Jesus because why reach for a God they couldn’t see when Jess was always willing to be the supply their needs.
I had to disconnect myself. And doing that meant saying the one word that was the most difficult for me. “No”.
It felt unnatural, people side-eyed me, and I felt I was letting everyone down. But ultimately, God had His way.
Today, I can say there is TRUE freedom in the phrase “Let Go & Let God”. I still have a problem over-committing at times but it’s nowhere near what it was. My time has no name on it until I evaluate necessity and set boundaries.
The transition wasn’t easy but here are a few things I learned along the way:
– You’re NOT selfish. – Self-preservation is your obligation! No one knows what you’re feeling and it’s not their job to. There will always be something to fill your time, especially you’re known to have a willing heart. But I t’s ok to set aside time for yourself! Even if you don’t have a thing to do but sit and watch paint dry…if that’s what protects your peace and keeps you replenished…set time to do it and tell folk you are BOOKED & BUSY!
– Self-Evaluate. – While asking myself why I was allowing myself to become so drained…I found that I’d become addicted to the way I felt when people were pleased with me. Yes, there are worse additions out there but the “high” only lasted until I was forced back into the reality of how much of me I was losing. I was exhausted. Take time to evaluate yourself and ask why you’re doing so much. Is it because you want to? Need to? Or do you just want to people-please?
– People talk, period. – I’d often think “what are they going to say if I don’t….?” But guess what…people still had something to say about how I did whatever it was I was doing! So, let people talk. But at all cost…protect YOUR peace.
– Every opportunity to help isn’t YOUR an opportunity to help. – Let God (and/or other people) be great!!!!
– “No.” is a complete sentence. – Matthew 5:37. Let your no be no…with no excuses! Too often we let our “no” cause us to start lying or making up excuses. NO HONEY! Just say NO and keep it moving. They’ll live. 😉
It’s never easy to stop doing something that once provided comfort. Helping was comforting to me. But just like anything…too much of anything is never good.
Balance is always key!
Song on my heart! I’ve been jamming to this song all day! Lol This dude is bomb!