When you hear the word forgiveness, what is your immediate reaction? "Eh, I like grudges". Or "Release that crap and move on". I'm not a huge fan of labeling things right or wrong, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say holding grudges leans toward wrong.
Likewise, when you think of having to say no to something or someone, what does that bring up in you? Do you pull the shades and hide when the doorbell rings or do you fling open the door and ask them to get off your porch?
Let's start with forgiveness:
Meet yourself right where you are and forgive yourself in this moment. Forgiveness really does start with you. Until you learn to forgive yourself you will never understand what it is to forgive others.
Forgiveness means that you must use intelligence and positivity over negativity and emotion. Intelligent thought knows that the free will of another cannot be changed by you. It's wishful and cluttered thinking that tells us we can have an effect on people to change their behavior, and make them see the error of their ways.
It's not your job to dictate how other people live - emotionally, physically or otherwise. It is your job to govern your own state and existence in a way that aligns you with your goals and aspirations. Basically, make you happy and stop worrying about other people's reaction to your happiness.
Aim your thoughts and energy inward instead of away from you to find meaning or rationalize why. You are in control and part of self-mastery is self-awareness. I know it's hard to really dive deep and know what triggers you, your feelings and sometimes even your reactions.
But....you have to girl up and do it. The forgiveness, the healing, positivity, and the raw honesty - all of it must come from you.
The event, person, thing that changed your state of being: it's over - whatever it is. You have to begin again. Yes it sucks, but you get to choose what it means. You get to decide "if" it defines you.
Think for a second, if you took all of your emotion and channeled it back at yourself and your life in a positive way; keeping the focus on you, and what's going on in your personal experience.
Basically, stop putting effort toward (insert here) whatever you complain or speak negatively about the most. It's pointless really, because it's largely out of your control. The quality of our lives depends on where we live emotionally, so give your time and energy instead to consciously removing the obstacles. Make way for only the things that you find pleasure, fulfillment and joy in.
Here comes the no part:
If you think finding your joy makes you selfish, I am happy to tell you it does not. Saying no to drama or refusing to listen to your friend's problems (the friend that always has a problem) or simply desiring a better life experience is not a "selfish" act. It is freedom from the chains of "supposed to".
Every time you feel like you are supposed to do something or it's the thing you should do, because that's what everyone else says you ought to do - do the opposite. Do what you know will make or keep your personal peace. Then, and here's the important part, do not feel sorry about it. Just say no.
Saying no is like a drug. Once you get the high of taking back your power, it becomes addicting.
Sometimes I say no just for the hell of saying it or I want to sleep in that day or my son comes first. Before I took my first hit of "no", I was yessing all over the place - like intervention worthy yessing. And now I'm like a pusher man: handing out no on the corner.
Just small samples at first, until I get you hooked on the power of it. You jones for the moment you can use your no on someone or something. Then that moment happens. Someone asks for something you are just not feeling like giving right then. And no takes over and it spills out of you. Elation and joy ensues. You are hooked and I'm on to the next corner of yessers.
Lisa Schmidt is a Reinvention Catalyst for women. She lives in Detroit, MI. Are you in need of support? Let's connect and thrive together! Join my free newsletter to get advice and tips to guide you in navigating your new or reclaimed life, a free mastermind group, and a copy of my eBook "Reinventing Me" Right Here .