Not too long ago we went through a very empowering stage that made it okay to give ourselves the permission to just say, no. We proudly practiced saying no to going to the wedding of a distant relative or acquaintance; no to babysitting our neighbors kids on our only day off; no to putting in a few extra hours at work to help a co-worker finish a project; and no to just about anything else that we did not feel particularly compelled to do. If something did not directly impact our life or situation, we were vigorously persuaded that the time had come to reclaim our voices, and use them to say no, without feeling guilty.
The scales have officially tipped, and it now seems that we have forgotten that we used to say yes so much because we got something very valuable out of it. And now it has been gone so long that we only feel the void where it used to be, but rarely can put our finger on what’s missing. What is missing is the pleasure we used to get from giving of our time and of ourselves to help to others. What is also missing is the sense of balance in our lives that kept us from becoming fully absorbed by our own problems and fears.
Not only have we become fully entrenched in saying no to others, but we have also let that selfishness spill over to our own needs and desires, and have become accustomed to scaling down to doing only what serves a functional purpose. In other words, we have stopped doing things for the simple pleasure it gave us or others, and have fallen into a dangerous rut.
We are in danger of wasting time that we can never get back. We are also in danger of missing out on the opportunities that can lead us to greater things; those things that we would have no other way of knowing about.
Constantly passing up the chance to get out of our own reality, and more fully experience our sacred connection to the rest of the world, is just as bad, if not worse, than over extending ourselves. There is no absolute set of rules that we can reference to find where our harmony lays, but to find it we only need to look within ourselves. Our feelings about the things we do will tell us if what we are doing is enhancing our lives.
When we are presented with an opportunity to do something for somebody, it is perfectly okay to stop and think about it for a moment; so that we have the chance to see it for what it is, beyond being a favor asked of us. It is also a good idea to see things that we have a chance to do for ourselves for what they are, and not like another obligation. If the chance comes up to do something that we have been putting off or haven’t made the time to do, we may have to talk ourselves into it at first, but we will be so happy we did. It’s amazing how the word yes leads to the words thank you.