I was sharing with my sister this past week that I recently had to turn down two requests from two different friends which were about a week apart. The first request was asked at a time which I did not have my calendar with me nor could I remember what was going on during the date that my presence would been needed. The actual event was going to be fun, but I just didn’t know if I could be present for it. I was asked to think about it and after a couple of days and a review of my schedule, I returned my answer via the written word. I was not able to assist as I was back to back all that week and the next with scheduled activities, trips out of town and guests coming into town. Squeezing something more into my schedule would not be beneficial. I have been aware lately of not practicing self-care which includes saying no when I need to. I made sure I got back to my friend in a timely manner so they could make other arrangements and I wished them well.
The second request came in via text asking if I could assist in allowing someone to stay the night as they were going to be in town late and needed to remain in town through the next day. This was not an emergency and therefore, I needed to say no. There were other situations occurring for which I needed and wanted to take care of and to say yes would have derailed taking care of what I had already promised myself.
Declining the first request was hard because I felt like I needed to defend myself. I felt I needed to list why I was not able to assist. I actually found myself getting angry. I paused and asked my Higher Self… why am I defending me? I am not on trial. What is this defending about? It wasn’t about the person who asked for my assistance, it was about the belief that my reason wasn’t good enough and I had to convince myself that it was, that I was important enough. I didn’t want my friend to be disappointed, but that was not my responsibility either.
The second request was a bit easier as what needed my attention was right in my face when the ask came to me. I was in the midst of person concerns and I needed the freedom and space to continue on with the work. So, I said no without feeling the need to defend my reasons and I also was not in a space to share with my friend what was going on. My reasons for self-care do not need to be validated by others in order for them to be important to me nor for me to feel accepted. When the time is appropriate, I share what is going on with my close friends. That is what we do. But if my motive to share is to feel their approval and acceptance, then something else is going on, some hidden belief needs to be revealed.
A couple days past by and I was considering this whole topic. I write every morning on www.750words.com to do a brain dump of what needs to be cleared. Sometimes I get an idea for my blog, sometimes just crap comes out and other times… I clear a road block. This was the latter. I learned to defend myself long ago when I was accused in the fourth grade of doing something which I didn’t do. It wasn’t just not being believed as I tried to defend myself, it was the events that followed that day because I was not believed. I was not believed for years and was told that I could not be trusted. I was always being asked why I chose to do this or that and my reasons I gave were not met with approval. I could have always done better or chose differently. From that, I learned to give an account for why I do what I do. I learned to think ahead and think twice before making a decision. I learned to build a defense before I even did anything wrong. I needed to be accepted and trusted. I wanted to be counted on because I learned that was important. I wanted to be important. Ahhhh Haaaa!! As I pressed forward and continued to ask my Higher Self to show me why I was on the defense when I say “no” to someone, the answer was revealed. I didn’t want to be disapproved of any more. I wanted to be counted on even if that meant putting my self-care aside and the big observation was… that 8 year old little girl needed to know that she was believed and loved and trusted.
So after sharing this all with my sister, she gave me a quote with a twist; “If you’re not pissing someone off, you probably aren’t doing self-care.” Meaning, I am not always going to please everyone. I am not always going to say yes and I may not always give a reason as to why I am unable to assist. I am learning more about saying yes to me and finding where I need to put myself first for the sake of my healing journey.
By the way, some of the things I did learn as I was growing up have become valuable tools for living. I learned to think ahead and think twice before making a decision. I learned how to be someone that can be counted on even when it is difficult.
As a side note, as I was looking up the original quote that my sister gave me, I found this interesting read: http://oliveremberton.com/2014/if-youre-not-pissing-someone-off-you-probably-arent-doing-anything-important/
The Defense Rests,