Past patterns tend to dictate that we are only worthwhile when we are giving to others. When we choose to put ourselves first, we then have to deal with feelings of guilt at saying no and drain ourselves of valuable energy in an effort to keep everyone happy.
With our childhoods led by parents and caregivers that were struggling with their own traumas, we were not taught what self-honouring was. At its core, self-honouring is about an acceptance that all parts of ourselves, the good and the bad are important. It is about understanding compassion and love, however this tends to feel foreign when directed towards ourselves.
We can strengthen our ability to self-honour though in ways that do not damage our relationships. Instead of readily agreeing or saying yes instantly to a request, soften the response by answering “Can you give me some time to think about it” or “I may not be able to commit to that”. It can take time to get used to the feeling of saying no and with some practise, you will discover it isn’t as difficult as you thought it would be.
Another great reason to learn to say no is that you will reserve your energy. This allows you the clarity to direct yourself towards your own pursuits and allocate suitable time for others. Putting yourself first will also help others in that you will have a more genuine energy for them, instead of doing it because you felt you had to.
If you feel guilt at having to say no to others this is showing us that we are intuitively recognising that we are not in alignment with our soul’s purpose. Our energy drops and we do not have the drive or motivation to pursue our own interests leaving us frustrated.
Balance, boundaries, and planning make for a great start in learning to say no. Take the time to sit down and honestly think about the requests that have been put on your time. With evaluation and room to think, we can truly make the right choices not only for ourselves, but also where we are comfortable giving to others. This makes the time we give to others much more genuine.