Happy November, yall. Can you believe the year is almost over? (Thank God). This month I am learning to put the NO in November. Too often, we try to please everyone, help everyone, do everything, and it turns out to be at our own expense. I’m sure we all can think of a time we said yes to something we really didn’t want to. We all do it. And it’s okay. Sometimes we have to say yes to ourselves before we can say yes to others.
5 months ago today I said the biggest yes of my life and entered the doors of Selah House. In saying yes, I also had to say my biggest nos. I said no to my job. I said no to my friends. To my family. To my dog. To my responsibilities. To my phone and e-mail and texts and social media. I said no to friend’s weddings and people’s birthdays. I said no to summer vacation plans. And as hard as it was, in saying all of these no’s, for the first time in a long time, I was saying yes to myself. To life and courage and happiness and freedom. I was saying yes to myself so I could come home and say fuller and more whole hearted yeses to my friends and family.
What I didn’t realize is that I didn’t just have to say yes to myself on June 13th. Saying yes to myself is something that has to happen again and again every single day. Outside of the Selah bubble, there is real life and there is responsibilities and jobs and people asking you a million different things. And if you want to be able to fully engage in life and make your yeses count, you have to first say yes to yourself. And sometimes saying yes to yourself means saying no to others. And at first it feels horribly selfish and wrong, especially if you’re a people pleaser like me. However, I have learned that in taking care of yourself, you are able to make your yeses and no’s mean more to others. You are able to more freely give and to say yes without obligation and no without guilt. So one of the biggest lessons I learned this summer is this: That love you keep trying to give everyone else? You actually have to practice it on yourself first. Because as they say, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”