Once upon a time there was person named Liz who absolutely loved helping.
Liz enjoyed seeing the look of happiness on other people’s faces when she was helping them or filling a need. If asked why she was always helping people she would answer that it was because it made her happy.
After long days of being a friend, volunteering, visiting with family, spending time with her partner, Liz would get home and almost collapse into bed after a hot shower.
Before switching off the light one night, she glanced at her journal on the nightstand and thought about how much she once loved reflecting on her days. She was so tired with all her commitments, that she hardly had time to reflect on her day or get to a yoga class or meditate. It was summer and she hadn’t enjoyed her back porch or planted the flowers that she once enjoyed communing with in the morning.
Tears started to roll out of her eyes as she realized in her helping she had lost all of the other ways she experienced joy and fulfillment before her schedule was packed with helping everyone else.
The next day, Liz made a list of all the commitments she was currently signed up for.
She looked over her calendar. It was clear that her helping had turned into full-on self-sabotage.
That even copious amounts of kindness has to have some boundaries.
At the end of the list she wrote this ::
No is a full sentence.
Liz is all of us who are dedicated to connection and joy. And sometimes we lose ourselves in acts of kindness and endless giving. These acts are without energetic return if we are doing it from obligation and not unconditional love. Also the endless giving can often be a mask for rampant insecurity - seeking external validation for our good nature and worthiness through endless giving.
This year, I learned how to tell people “no” without writing a long list of why I had to say no. “I really hope this goes well for you. I’m not available. Please keep me in mind for future opportunities.”
By letting go of some commitments I made a grand invitation for more.
You don’t have to say “YES” all the time.
Your self love is built also in your ability to say, “No, thank you.”
You are worthy of love and belonging exactly as you are.
And if your own cup of love is full, you won’t be able to pour into anyone else’s cup.
Boundaries are your quest and “No” is a full sentence.