When No Means Yes

Setting boundaries. Too often I don’t. I don’t say “No” because I’m afraid people won’t like me, reject me, I won’t be loved or cared for. I end up angry, resentful and mad, thinking, “Go ahead. Walk all over me. Don’t respect my time: what I do with it is worthless. Go ahead, use it up, waste it. It’s not like I’d do anything worthwhile with it.”

If I’m honest with myself—and I have to be since I’ve embarked on The Honesty Project (aka The No-Bullshit Project) in this year before I turn 50 years old—the reality is the only one not showing me love is myself. When I don’t set boundaries, I’m rejecting myself before anyone else has the chance, communicating clearly with my actions (because they speak louder than words) that my time is nothing precious that needs guarding or deserves respect.

“Go ahead. Use me as you will. I don’t matter to myself. Why should I matter to you?”

All the anger and resentment I feel is toward myself for not standing up for myself, for not speaking up, not saying No. That anger becomes the self-punishing, self-defeating, self-inflicted injurious behaviors that confirm my inner soundtrack that’s always on loop: You’re a loser. You’re stupid. You’re worthless.

“No” is one of the most positive, affirming things I can say. Each time I say No in order to guard my time, emotions, body, and spirit, I’m communicating Yes to myself.

“Yes, your time is valuable because you have the ability to accomplish amazing things with that time, even if it’s just existing as your fabulous self or dreaming of goals that yes, can be scary but you deserve the time and opportunity to pursue and attempt, and if you succeed, awesome! If you don’t, that’s okay too because you will learn and do something good with that knowledge. Something that only you can do. I know you will because I believe in you. I will set the boundaries to guard and protect you because I love you and you deserve it.”

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