There are so many ways we tell ourselves what we think of ourselves. What we say in our mind when we do good, or not; when people give complements, or critique; what we choose to do that is either health supporting or not.
Life happens, but it is how we interact with life that determines how ‘well’ we live it. It all occurs based on our choices and self respecting our needs at any given moment. I am not promoting anyone to neglect commitments, or to ignore abuse or withhold from others. What I am promoting with this concept is, first get clear of what is important to you, and from this space make choices that support your values, and those who are important to you.
Compromise is part of this, but when they are consciously made and negotiated from a place of love, for self and the others involved. It creates a very different feel and outcome.
If we continue to do what we have always done, as the saying goes, we will get what have always gotten. Is this how you see the rest of your life? There is no judgement here, and I will support people which ever way they choose, as long as the choices are not morally, ethically or against my personal value system. Just like you, I too have the choice to say no, and most certainly done so in the past, even when close family members expected me to participate in blackmail or other unsavory actions and thoughts. There has to be a line in each person’s life where we stand for what they honestly believe in and while it is painful to let those people go with love to follow their chosen life path, self care, respect and honor is important and each of us are required to assess and stand for what we believe in.
When we choose to look after ourselves, it reduces the level of resentment towards ourselves and others; frees up energy, interest and enthusiasm to do what we choose and enjoy doing. The operative word in this is “choose”. When we choose, we are saying yes to something and not resisting or fighting against it to keep other people happy. When we choose to do things we normally wouldn’t do to help or support another it has the energy of giving, which is even higher than acceptance and it tends to deepen the relationship even more.
On the flip side of this, acts of self care, can certainly also be saying NO to things. This act of self respect maybe a much needed act you are craving. Have a look through the following suggestions, and see which, if any you may benefit from saying not to. As you read through each of them, feel what your response is. If it is Hell Yeah! Then mark them with a big tick or other symbol. These are the ones to really start putting into your action plan.
If there is no resonance, or agreement with them, then these actions are not a priority for you. The list can change from one time to another depending on what is going on, and as you evolve, so be open to change and responding as needed at any given moment, this too is an act of self love.
So, here we go..
How many of the following do you choose to say no to?
I choose to say no to:
□ Jump out of bed in the morning. (I give myself the time and space I need to start the day in a serene and relaxed way)
□ Live without pets
□ Compromise my needs to keep peace with anyone.
□ Eat meat
□ Balance my accounts and pay the bills, I have someone else to do it for me. (I choose to let others work in their strengths, that are my weakness)
□ Argue with people who see debating as a sport
□ Use my credit cards unless I can pay them off in full at the end of the month
□ Keep anything in my home that I don’t love or need
□ Keep my mouth shut when someone is out of line
□ Go to events that require hours of idle chitchat
□ Tolerate, or participate in gossip
□ Deal with difficult life situations alone
□ Hire anyone, be it a solicitor, doctor, health care provider or what have you who treats me with disrespect
□ Take phone calls during meals
□ Accept verbal abuse from a boss or co-worker
□ Go to work when Im sick
□ Keep my opinions to myself when they don’t align with those of others in the room
□ Let social norms dictate what I should be interested in, whether its clothes, art, music or the like. I love what love
□ Invest time in relationships that aren’t aligned with who I am and who I want to be
□ Accept wasteful packaging at restaurants, stores and so on
□ Finish reading books that lose my interest
□ Take junk mail into my home
□ Feel the need to check my e-mail multiple times a day
□ Eat when I’m not hungry
□ Get caught up in other people’s drama
□ Feel an obligation to spend time with family members or friends who choose to live in chaos
□ Feel bad about saying no when no is what’s best for me
□ Let my mind be on work when I’m not working
□ Let the tv networks dictate when I watch my favorite shows – record them and what at your leisure
□ Have my e-mail program set to automatically receive new messages. I choose when I get my mail
□ Keep clothes I hope to fit into ‘someday’
□ Throw away anything that can be recycled
□ Buy cars that aren’t fuel efficient
□ Spend time with people who talk at me instead of with me.
The list is taken from ‘The art of Extreme Self-Care’ by Cheryl Richardson, pg 45-47