I said NO to my friend

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I had the opportunity this week to say no to a friend and colleague who asked me to write an endorsement for his new book. It’s not that I didn’t want to give him an endorsement, because I did, but my plate was full and I knew I wouldn’t be able to give it the time it needed. His response to my no was loving and accepting. We both know the importance of self-care and honesty. I have to admit that there was a time in my life that I didn’t say NO to others because I wanted others to love me and I was afraid of the consequences of saying no. I often anticipated others needs and offered to help before they even asked. I never thought about if it would be good for me. I lived from the SHOULDS and it was exhausting. I pushed myself to do things that I didn’t want to do because I thought that was the loving thing to do. What I didn’t understand was that I had it backwards. I wasn’t loving myself and my needs first. I was not taught how to go within and ask Spirit for guidance nor was I taught how to love myself first. Do you have a hard time saying NO to others when they ask you to do something or they want you to go someplace with them?   Are you able to say no just because you don’t feel like doing something without a legitimate excuse?   Do you think it’s selfish to say no to another’s request?    Do you feel guilty and beat up on yourself when you say no?   Have you ever felt resentful when you did something you didn’t want to do and did it because you thought you SHOULD do it?   Are you unable to say no to another’s request because you want to take care of them and rescue and fix them?   Whenever we focus on others, at the expense of ourselves, we are in trouble and not in alignment with God’s will. It is like we are saying, “Your needs are more important than mine.” It is not only dishonoring, but it is disrespectful to the other person when we think we have the answers for them and want to rescue or fix them. I want to be helpful and loving and be there for others when I can and choose to. WHEN I SAY NO TO OTHERS, I AM SAYING YES TO MYSELF. Believe me, coming to this place of knowing and truth has been a process because I understand how important self-love and self-care is to my overall well-being. I am responsible to take care of myself; body, mind and spirit FIRST before I can truly be there for another. Today, when I need to make a decision whether to say yes or no to another person’s request, I go within, trust my intuition and ask Spirit for guidance. I ask questions like: * Do I really want to do this (whatever the request is)?   * Is this in my highest good (and that of the other person) to say yes to this request?   * Am I feeling responsible for the other person and their needs?
Remember, it is not selfish to say no, but self-loving to say no when you want to. If I am not sure I want to do something, I give myself time to go within and ask for guidance. I do nothing out of the SHOULDS anymore. It takes practice to say no in a way that doesn’t offend someone. Being true to myself is self-loving and honoring.  

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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