Why I Say No

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Entering into the "terrible twos" phase in this journey, much like every other child in the world, Caroline has developed an attachment to the word "NO!". She is the sweetest little thing, but when she doesn't want to do something, there isn't a moments hesitation before that phrase flies out of her mouth, usually accompanied by a sly smile, as if challenging me to a dual of some sort.

(Doesn't she just look like she is ready to tell you "no"?)

All of this impulsive declaration of Independence brought a question to the fore front of my mind. At what point did we stop saying "no" to the things in life that keep us from happiness?

As we get older, we stop demanding what we want in life and start settling for things we don't. I think a lot of us are very in touch with what we want and what we don't, but it's so much easier to say "yes" in times of decision than it is to suffer the consequences of a rejecting "no". We are constantly presented with situations that require a commitment of some sort. What if we stopped committing to things that we know we shouldn't, don't want to, or can't do? What if we stopped saying "yes" to so much?

There is a silly song that comes on Caroline's "Nana Puddin" CD that we listen to in the car, and every time it comes on I tell her, "This is Mom's favorite song." The chorus says,

"Sometimes in life you've gotta say no, no doubt it. Sometimes in life you've gotta say maybe maybe maybe. Sometimes in life you've gotta say Y.E.S, but only say 'yes' to the choices that are best."

The point is: Just like Ecclesiastes 3 says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."

I'm for "yes", lots of "yes"s in life, but I'm also for "NO". I prefer it not be shouted in anger over an unshared toy or defiance, but honestly, I can suffer through Caroline's "NO"s right now, if in return she will continue to say it for the right reasons for the rest of her life.

Top 5 reasons Why I say No:

1. I physically can not do something.

2. I am not emotionally willing to risk my heart for this experience.

3. I have prior commitments to others, and intend to honor them.

4. I have prior commitments to myself, and intend to honor them

5. The potential consequences of this experience are not worth the potential 'fun'.

...and that my Dear, was all she wrote...


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