A couple of years ago I decided that I was going to say ‘No’ more, stand by my decision and not feel as though I had to justify my response. It served me well, particularly in my personal life. Saying no to outings I did not want to go to, saying no to having people in my space, saying no to things that did not please me or make me feel happy.
Sounds tricky right? It isn’t, not really. Once you let go of the guilt or assumed expectation that you ‘better’ have a good excuse. Truth is, you do not owe anyone your time, or pieces of you aren’t willing to share.
A couple of weeks ago I was put in a position where I couldn’t say no. I wanted to, with every fibre of my being. I knew full well that I would come home feeling like absolute trash. I tried to trust the experience like maybe it was not going to be a complete and utter waste of time. That I would be left raw and exposed. Of course, it went exactly how I expected it to. I went in with the best intentions, tried to leave my suspicion at the door of the intention behind the entire thing. Within an hour I could feel the judgement being cast upon me. Which is always rich when it is coming from someone who would be better off minding their manner and attitude.
So I sit here a fortnight later, still annoyed. I still feel as though I was made to expose a part of me which I was fiercely protecting. I tried to go to this event with solidarity with my Partner and instead what I suspected came true. I was the commodity. I was not welcomed, I was judged and I left feeling as though I had put myself into a position of judgement.
I now feel like the life I have tried to hard to justify and protect was left wide open for the criticism of people who, quite frankly, mean absolutely nothing to me.
Sometimes we cannot put our foot down, we find ourselves in a position of compromise. When you are in a relationship and you love your partner, you can sometimes ignore your gut instinct. Just like I did. I tried to push aside my suspicions and that awful feeling in my stomach. I tried to embrace the potential for new connections and (heaven forbid) acceptance.
It would seem that even seven years on, I still let the opinions of nobodies and those who are so far removed from being important in my world, hurt me.
Next time I will say no, and I will be firm in my response. I did for so many years, was challenged and ridiculed for it. Yet, when I finally backed down, I ended up in a space of hurt and sadness.
So I ask you, what do you do to reclaim your space, your purpose and your self-love when there has been a speed-bump you have gone crashing into? How do you leave yourself open to your partner and new opportunities, yet closed to criticism or judgement from others?