You have a right to say no. Most of us have very weak and flaccid ‘no’ muscles. We feel guilty for saying no. We get ostracized and challenged for saying no, so we forget it’s our choice. Your ‘no’ muscle has to be built up to get to a place where you can say, ‘I don’t care if that’s what you want. I don’t want that. No.’ Iyanla Vanzant
Meditation: As recovering co-dependents, saying “No” and not feeling guilty is difficult. Often we were raised to care for everybody else, save others and put our own needs last. Our self-image and self-esteem rests on saying “yes” all the times to what others need. However, when we secretly start resenting those we say “yes” to and whose needs we are fulfilling, without getting our own needs met, our “yes” is not really a “yes”. It is a lie. And thus it does harm to us and even harms those who we serve, save or help. Practicing saying “no” is life saving for co-dependent persons. It is an emotional and spiritual journey where we learn to not listen to those voices that want to get us back to serving, helping or saving by making us feel guilty. There is tremendous freedom in letting a “yes” really mean “yes” and having the courage to say “no” and really mean it. God intends for us to be clear and honest. What comes natural to some, needs to be an intentional recovery journey for those who have forgotten how to say “no”. Giving ourselves permission to break patterns, to disappoint those who have gotten used to our over-functioning and to say “no” is healing, liberating and the beginning of a new authenticity where “Yes” truly means “Yes” and “No” truly means “No”.
Prayer: God, take our fear of saying “no”. Take our pattern of over-functioning. Take the lies we tell others and ourselves when we overstep our and others’ boundaries for the thousands time. As You take from us those old ways of functioning, give us freedom from guilt, freedom from shame and freedom to say “no”. Help us to enjoy the “me” space that is being created by doing so. Thank You for recovery. Thank You for emotional and spiritual freedom in You. Amen
But let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37