NO

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I am a quitter.  I quit things.  Some years frequently, other years, not so much.

I can look back on my 40+ years and see the line up of things I have “quit” is long, and fades off into the distance.  Its the confirmation classes of my youth, swim club, and french.   It is the rock climbing gym I frequented in my 20’s, until I didn’t any more, even tho the invites were still there.

It’s the first husband.
Pottery, scrap booking, making pastry.

It is a variety of jobs over many years.  It’s clients, and services I have provided, but no longer do.
It’s friendships.

And each of these times I have quit, it has been a gift. Such a gift. The process of choosing to close a door, to step off a path, has created the opportunity for me to open a door I know I want to walk through.

I have always believed that saying YES creates opportunity for us. It allows exploration, and the chance to challenge ourselves in new and different ways.  We all need weeks, months and years of YES.

Until we don’t any more.  Until we are able to knowledge that some of these “YES’s” are just distracting us from what we want to be doing.

It takes courage to be a YES.  It takes courage to put yourself out there. It takes courage to show up and participate.
But it takes even more courage to know when not to.  To know when to close that door.

No’s are final. They are lines drawn in the sand. It is very hard to come back from a NO.

But no’s always define you more than any bucket of “Yes’s” would.  They are your values, your beliefs, your commitments and your passions.   Saying NO to somethings means it does not add value. It does not bring joy. It does not strengthen your soul, or help you towards your goal.  No is admitting, “I can’t be everything. To everybody” and it is listening to yourself, the strengthening your spine.

It is the left turn, off the easy path, and into the forest.

But, over the years, I have learned, that while the journey on that different path can be challenging, you do eventually come out into the sun.  There is something out there, along that “NO” path and it is usually more than we could have imagined.

I am still saying NO to things but more importantly I am now teaching my kids how to say no.  How to recognize when sticking to something and being responsible is not as important as listening to what their instincts are truly telling them about the path they are on.  I am helping them find ways to say no, and choose their path, potentially leading somewhere amazing, rather than staying on the gentle path of “good enough”

 

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