Saying YES to Yourself While Saying No to Others
As a therapist and balanced life coach I have worked with countless women processing and working through the many issues that bond us as women. We share the alliance of our roles as daughters, sisters, lovers, wives, mothers, grandmothers, and friends. These bonds are often shared through silent connection or with a language only we understand. Time and distance frequently keep us from connecting regularly and with the intensity required to maintain our sisterhood. This basic need has become a luxury requiring preparation and strategic planning. When we do connect a common and all too often typical conversation involves the conflict between our innate desire to give with our discomfort with self care. This conflict often leads to an inability or reluctance to say no, set boundaries or take a step back even when we know we are over-extending or even pushing ourselves to exhaustion and very possibly illness.
So what is this innate desire to give, to nurture and to tend? There are many women who refuse to accept these characteristics and qualities.
I think this is so because many women don't understand them and somehow think that embracing these qualities will put them back fifty years in the evolutionary process. This group of women instead embrace the qualities and characteristics of the masculine energy leaving them depleted as they try to do it all. It's time to let that go.
We use our masculine energy when we need it but only when we need it. We don't need to buy into the faulty and negative messages we are bombarded with referring to being super moms, wonder women and the like. We can climb corporate ladders, remove glass ceilings and find our passion and fulfillment without clobbering and clubbing those along the way.
Women are creators. As creators we nurture and tend creating an environment and foundation for growth and expansion. Our greatest and most valuable creation is ourselves. We create and re-create ourselves on a daily basis growing and expanding beyond our own hopes, dreams and goals. Yet this growth can be thwarted or prevented when we stop tending and nurturing ourselves and instead fulfill the expectations of others or of those we have placed upon ourselves in order to please others.
Saying no, setting boundaries and stepping back are obligations to ourselves. When we can't say no, our bodies will do it for us! This is nearly impossible when we have a history of feeling not wanted. This feeling can arise from a traumatic childhood, a poor or toxic relationship with parents specifically with the primary care taker, being a victim of abuse or domestic violence at any age or a multitude of other situations that created a feeling of being less than, unworthy or undeserving. When this happens we often create situations in our relationships of being needed. If we aren't wanted then at the very least we are needed. This dynamic is exhausting. Once we are no longer needed the fear of not being wanted can be overwhelming and all consuming. So we work harder at pleasing, nurturing and meeting the every need of those important to us. This eventually extends to not only those in our intimate circles but also those in our everyday interactions. Any perception of abandonment, rejection or isolation becomes impossible to bear. No is erased from our vocabulary.
This is a dangerous and life-threatening path.
We will work ourselves to the point of exhaustion; to the point of disease and illness. Recognizing this pattern is the first step while understanding it's evolution is vital to deconstructing it.
Accepting our value and birth-right to fulfillment and happiness becomes the challenge. My first question is typically “Why would you deserve less than anyone else in this world?”
Think about that for a moment – why would you be pulled aside from the rest of the human race to serve it instead of having an interdependent relationship with it? How does this make sense? It doesn't!
We are wired for love, wired for relationships, and wired for interdependence. Without it we become depleted, develop anxiety and depression and make decisions that we think will protect us from these feelings and consequences yet only further reinforce our faulty beliefs and the unhealthy patterns that have been ingrained within us. Is is time for you to ask yourself if you have collapsed into your fear of abandonment, rejection and isolation? Then its time to make a change! Its time to serve yourself, create a sense of value and worthiness.
Its time to say NO and in doing so say YES to yourself!
What an exciting journey you have ahead of you!