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  • Dora Nudelman

Saying "No"

So many of us have trouble saying no when we want to. I know for myself, it took a while before I realized I was even doing this. The sign for me that I was saying yes when I really wanted to say no is when I started to feel resentful. I think it's especially true for women as we are naturally nurturing and want to help or "fix" other people's problems. However, we sometimes, or even often, forget to check in with ourselves to see if we are being way too self-sacrificing in the process. Don't get me wrong, helping others is wonderful and more people should probably get on this path, but it is never truly giving when we do something for others begrudgingly or from a position of guilt.

You can feel the energy behind any action you take. When you are excited about doing something and do it from your heart, you feel energized and inspired. But when you are going through the motions always trying to please and appease, even if you are exhausted or just don't want to do it, that's when the effects of what you do fall short.

Saying no does not make you a bad person. Checking in with your authentic desires does not make you selfish. Why should we feel selfish anyway when others are the ones trying to take advantage of our generosity? Why do we feel badly about ourselves when others have an unjustified sense of entitlement to what we have to offer? For some reason we tend to blame ourselves for wanting to say no to unreasonable requests from people who are not truly justified in taking from us what we do not want to give.

Having healthy boundaries does not and will not make you a bad person, un-spiritual, or inherently selfish. Honoring your soul's desires and standing in and for your truth will not cause you to be punished. If people do not like you for it, it's their issue, not yours. It can be likened to a child throwing a temper tantrum for not getting what he wants, especially if what he wants is not good for him. You caving in would cause horrible consequences, for the child and for yourself as the enabler, so who really wins?

I've learned over the years that guilt is not a good motivator. I now only do things because I want to and with conscious intention. That way I know that whenever I give it is because I choose to do so from my heart. And if I don't feel aligned with it, I don't do it and others will just have to deal with that. The funny thing is, as soon as I learned to set and uphold healthy boundaries, and respect myself as a result, others started respecting me too. I stopped attracting energy vampires and people who used to take advantage of my kindness.

So perhaps now is the time for you to ask yourself where you might be over-giving from a place of false obligation, self-imposed guilt, or lack of self-respect? You might be surprised by how often this happens, thereby explaining why you feel resentful, tired, and victimized way too often.

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