“I told them no, absolutely not.”
“How was that for you,” he asked. “It’s still hard for me to say no to someone when I know they want something.”
“I’m not afraid anymore,” I replied. “People can get upset, have feelings, try to control, or do what they do… but I don’t have to do anything about it unless I want to. I look for the request and decide if I want to respond… no one gets to hurt me anymore. I don’t have to bend or fold. I don’t have to compromise myself.”
This moment was big.
I’m not afraid of the consequences anymore. Because consequences, simply put, are just things that happen as a result of other things happening.
Sometimes they’re bad… people get mad, try to hurt us, leave, or attempt to make us wrong… we lose, mess up, fail… but really, it’s all just stuff happening that we then give meaning to, and that meaning is often based on interpretations rooted in the past. Interpretations that aren’t relevant and have no weight in the present moment.
We’re always going to bump up against other people’s feelings, blocks, and beliefs, but we get to decide what we do or don’t want to do about it. We get to listen for the request—what’s being ASKED of us, verbally or not—and decide if or how we want to respond. We get to look for the lesson—the potential reflection of our own blocks and beliefs—and decide how we do or don’t want to grow based on what truth may be there.
It’s not about not caring.
It’s about not compromising ourselves for the sake of someone else’s comfort… unless we WANT to change something about how we’re behaving, who we are, and how we show up. You can care—really, truly, deeply—and still stand firmly rooted in what you know to be true and aligned for YOU. People can do whatever they want to do around that… but you don’t have to bend or fold.
Saying no, not giving people what they asked for, and not being who they wanted or needed me to be used to be incredibly unsafe for me. Literally, physically, and emotionally. I believed I would get hurt or someone was going to die because that’s what happened.
Until I found my voice… my no… my truth… my power. Until I started understanding that consequences are simply responses. That people are simply making requests of me that I get to choose to respond to or not.
It’s not always easy, but it’s really very simple.