Lessons in Emancipation

A strange thing happened last Tuesday…

I said ‘no’.

And it made me realise how much I normally say ‘yes’. It felt good to refuse for a change. It had been a very hard day and I felt it was ‘justified’. The people I said ‘no’ to were also totally cool about it and understanding. I gave an honest ‘don’t feel like it’ answer and didn’t say ‘sorry’. Wouldn’t you love to say ‘don’t feel like it’ more and stop spinning the excuses and overdoing the ‘sorry’? Maybe we are not really sorry to take time for ourselves. Maybe we just don’t feel like it. It makes me wonder how often we are saying ‘yes’ and pushing through.

As kids we are taught not to say ‘no’ or it is just a stage we go through, which the adults hope we grow out of. Empathy is a necessary stage in our development too, as we start to consider (and are taught) how other’s feel. But we can go crazy considering other’s feelings if we don’t also consider our own feelings.

Since coming back to Perth I have been saying yes to everything, since my time here is precious. Every day I have someone to meet and at times I’m taking triple bookings as if I’m Kim Kardashian on a night out in Hollywood. This doesn’t mean I am not grateful for all the wonderful people in my life as I’ve expressed here before, but sometimes we have to take a stand for our own sanity. At the best of times, not having enough alone time makes an introvert like me feel depleted. I am an empty purse and all my coins have been spent.

It just occurred to me that on Saturday I was all about the ‘serving others’ and today my message is ‘serve yourself first’. Serving others doesn’t mean do everything anyone wants you to. It all has to do with the bigger concept of self-care and standing up for your own rights. Self-care is not selfish. When we fill up first we have something to give to others.

We all have unique gifts and talents, energy requirements and emotional compositions that only you can know best. Standing up for our own rights and having boundaries is the thing that enables us to go for our big dreams. But we might miss this is we are being so politely co-operative.

James Altucher credits saying no with radically transforming his life,

When you start just saying “No” to the bad things, the “Yes” compounds every day. It compounds automatically, the way interest does in a non-US bank.

He started saying ‘no’ to ‘people who weren’t right for him and no to everything he didn’t want to do. ‘No’ to mindless meetings, mindless events, mindless people who were bad for him, mindless food or alcohol, mindless anger and regret. Mindless TV and news.’

There’s a time and a place for shows like Geordie Shore of course. But I get his point.

Can you imagine? If we said ‘no’ to these things, what would we being saying ‘yes’ to?

Published by Mireille Parker

My name's Mireille Parker and i love to write. I am here to peace for peace, to love for love and to share what I learn as I wander and wonder.

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  1. I started try out the “no” in Dubai, where i never was alone, always doing something with someone, and didnt take time for myself. I had a tiny burn out there, so i decided to answer no, once in a while. It feels so good, you get to like it!


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