Woman sits calmly in bubble that is keeping out problems and stressors

Saying "No" Is Saying "Yes"

Learning to set boundaries has been a huge undertaking. Along the way, someone said to me it is okay to say no. Saying no means you are saying yes to yourself.

Cancer has taught me it is ok to be idle and process your thoughts. I thought about times I have said no over the last couple of years. I worked a full and a part-time job to pay for my masters. I kept myself busy. I tried to ensure I would stay out of my own head. Then I learned a simple “NO” will go along way for self-care.

Saying no

Do you want to work this weekend? "No, I will pass." I said yes to making a memory with my husband. We had a date night. This means unplugging from our phones and having a meal while watching a movie or playing a board game. It means we have time to cuddle or make a meal together.

Do you want to help with a project? "NO! I already had too many things going." I felt like a jack of all trades and master of none. I said yes to refinishing a set of bedroom furniture that has been in my family for more than 80 years. It was time spent with my husband. I was able to watch the transformation.

Do you want to hang out? "No." I said yes to staying in my jammies and reading a good book. I was able to live someone else's story briefly. I was able to allow myself downtime.

Would you mind loaning me some money? You are working multiple jobs. "NO." I was able to give anonymously to a needy MBC sister and her family. Watching her share the memories with her family left me with a sense of pride at how generous our community can be.

I think you should write a book. No, I am unsure. I sat on it for a good year and realized I said yes to patience and waiting for God's timing. He has bigger plans than we can imagine.

Finding peace

Saying no made me engage more with other sisters. It has allowed me to find peace and my place. It has allowed me to see how blessed I am even thru all the medical appointments. It has allowed me to find JOY.

I am learning we don't have to say yes to every assignment or project. Less is more. It allows us to recharge and give our best while saying NO. Saying no means we are saying yes to ourselves and our families. We are able to fill our buckets so we can pour them into the lives of others.

Make yourself a priority

I challenge you to try saying no to something that will make you tired or stressed. You will realize you actually have made yourself a priority. You actually will have said YES! Saying yes to myself has been something that makes me proud of my journey. It makes me realize I am treating myself with kindness.

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