Oprahisms out there tell us about "the year of yes" and just say yes to everything. I read a book called The Year of Yes and it's about a woman saying yes to every man that asks her out and just saying yes to the opportunities in her life. What I'm talking about here is different than being open to new experiences. That kind of saying yes is about overcoming fear and just diving in to new adventures. There are so many ways I say yes. In healthy ways. In exciting ways. In ways that enrich my life. That is a whole different thing.
No as defined by Dictionary.com:
no adverb, adjective, noun, plural noes, nos, verb
1. (a negative used to express dissent, denial, or refusal, as in response to a question or request) Example: Anyone: "Katy will you get a grip?" Me: "No."
2. (used to emphasize or introduce a negative statement): Not a single person came to the party, no, not a one. Example: Katy: "Story of my fucking life."
3. not in any degree or manner; not at all (used with a comparative): He is no better. Example: "Not one fuck was given that day."
4. not a (used before an adjective to convey the opposite of the adjective's meaning): His recovery was no small miracle. "Example: Statistics say she had NO chance at recovery, and yet here she is 10 years fucking sober."
Let's talk about the "year of no". Which is something I had to crash land into when I got into my halfway house for 6 months when I first got sober. It's the first time learned about co-dependency and being a people pleaser and all that BULLSHIT. Seems like a simple little word and yet SO MANY OF US struggle with saying no and sticking with it. I had no idea about these silly self help terms because I sprinted away from anything that would help me do any self discovery for the first 28 years of my life. I stuffed. And stuffed and DRANK. I drank every single feeling away. And it worked for a long time. Until it didn't.
I can capably say no today and stand behind it and for that, I am grateful. It was my people pleasing nature that got me into so much trouble when I was younger and not confident enough in my own judgement to say no to someone. "LOVE ME LOVE ME LOVE ME!" I just needed people to tell me I was good and that equalled I was loved.
Today, saying no is one of the healthiest things I can do. It is a skill and a behavior that I had to learn and it's not easy. My gut today still leans toward "yes, I will do whatever you want me to do so you will like me", and yet, when I pause, and take a breath and think before responding, I can do what is best. I still fall victim to saying yes when every part of me knows I should say no. My husband is quite good at saying no and meaning it. And he helps me with it when I need helping.
Such a simple little word, no. And yet, I know many of you reading this have problems with living the principle of no. All the bullshit jargon of self help and 12 step programs is enough to drive you batty. Until you reach that point of going, "you know what, this shit really fucking works". And then you practice. Over and over and over until you can confidently say "NO!" and really mean it.
No matter how guilty your dad tries to make you feel.