Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saying Yes, Sí, Oui, Tak, Ja and Da
Part 1

Boarded Windows in LES
Somewhere on the Lower East Side

Back in early January, when I was doing my old year/new year reflecting, I decided one accomplishment I achieved during 2010 was getting a whole lot better at saying “no.”

“No” used to be difficult for me, because it came attached to a lot of guilt. Often I felt I couldn’t possibly say “no,” couldn’t deny a request for help, couldn’t turn down an invitation. Somehow I got it in my head that the good thing, the unselfish thing, the Christian thing to do was to say “yes,” always.

In 2010, several situations / events / friends helped disabuse me of this notion. I got better at recognizing situations that were unhealthy, or unbalanced, or unfair, and I started saying “no.” I started setting boundaries. I stopped letting guilt motivate my choices (well, mostly).

As good as saying “no” was for me in 2010, I decided I wanted a new word for 2011. And it was going to be “yes.”

But not "yes" in the old, guilt-driven way.  I decided I wanted to say yes to new situations, and yes to daring to imagine a different life, and yes to stepping outside of my comfort zone, yes to new challenges, and yes to surprising myself.

And surprise myself I did, when - a few weeks into 2011 - I found that saying "yes" was more difficult than anticipated.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Jennifer M. said...

That's so true. When i was at Bible college, in one of my classes they said that Christian women, in particular, feel really guilty about saying no, like they're doing something wrong. It's all about boundaries though. Figuring out what defines you and what define them and not letting someone step through that boundary and define you for you.

I like your thought on saying yes too. I am working on that this year also, though i hadn't really thought about it in quite those words. I look forward to hearing your story about it!