Thursday, July 05, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 318

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a long shower
  2. some helpful processing with my therapist
  3. audio books for long bus commutes
  4. cuddles from both of my favorite little boys, including M coming to cuddle up to me while I read the scripture portion for the evening out loud.
  5. the chance to share and pray together as a core group of original home church members

Saying No

I've been thinking a lot about saying "no" this week. About the hows and the whys.  About the actual experience of it. About how context affects this.  About how hard it sometimes is.

I've had two opposing experiences and I find myself pondering them.

Early in the week I said no to something I very much wanted to participate in - the kind of thing I actually dream about participating in.  The reality is that I can't manage to participate in this activity right now.  That my schedule and mind and heart are already stretched thin, and that even though this activity is seemingly made for me, I couldn't give it the sort of time and attention it deserves.  Even with all of that, though, it was easy to say no.  It was in the context of some trusted friends, people who I knew would understand immediately, and who I could be confident wouldn't feel rejected, wouldn't read anything into my answer, and wouldn't judge my character.

Yesterday I said no to something I really had no desire to participate in right now, for exactly the same reasons.  My heart and mind and schedule are stretched thin, and even if I had a stronger desire to participate, I couldn't.  But saying no yesterday I wrestled with.  I wrestled with it because it's in a context of someone who doesn't know me well, and who I don't know well.  I wrestled with a desire to please this person, to be recognized and esteemed by them.  I wrestled with wondering if they would pass judgement on my decision - if I would be somehow less in their mind - because I said no.

I can honestly say that today's post is more about pondering the contrasts in these situations than about having solid answers.  I find myself thinking that I want to create opportunities that come without fear or judgement, like the first one this week, rather than opportunities that come with a weight of guilt.  I find myself recognizing my own ongoing worries about how I'm seen by other people.  And I find myself just a little bit proud of the fact that I'm at a place in my life where I can recognize, however hard or easy, when I need to say no.

What about you? What are your experiences in saying no? Is it a positive or negative thing for you?