The Power of Saying No

The Power of Saying No

Have you ever caught yourself stuck in a situation you didn’t want to be in? You defied that intuitive feeling that told you “nah sis, I don’t want to do this,” yet there you are trying your best not to think about an escape plan while engaging in an uninteresting (and unimportant) conversation. Or thinking about how you could’ve saved your coins had you just said no! If you are anything like me, a natural nurturer and giver, saying no is innately a difficult thing to do. I learned a while ago that when I am asked to do something I don’t necessarily want to do, I’m inclined to say yes despite the fact that my intuition and my body are screaming “NO” at the top of their lungs. Why is it so hard to say no?

Boundaries, that is why. Repeat after me, boundaries. Uncovering what your boundaries are means understanding exactly what it is you want. Often times I worry about offending someone and neglect the physical and mental reaction that my body is giving me. Disregarding my own feelings makes me more disappointed in myself when I end up in a situation that I know I should not be in. In the situation I’m constantly wondering why I’m there, wishing I was in my bed instead. This is where self awareness takes place. Why is that I put others before myself? Why do I consider the other person’s wants and needs quicker than my own? Why am I willing to inconvenience myself for someone else? 

My problem with saying no and lack of boundaries begins with my inability to say no to the most important people in my life: my family. Building the courage to say no to them was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do. I was torn between feeling guilt, and fearful of what the outcome would be. It was when I realized my self doubt, self hatred, and lack of confidence came from their verbal abuse. Their doubt and negativity was a drug, and I was succumbing to it in every way. I was drowning in their fears and I knew it was time to say no when I started living in them. Their doubt in my capabilities made me question every aspect of my life. I began questioning myself more than ever and thus came the dreadful insecurities that I am still fighting off today. So, how do you say no to family? 

Truth is you don’t. What you do is model and only allow behavior that you deserve. This may take some time, especially if you’ve developed an unhealthy idea of how you should be treated. Knowing and understanding your boundaries means you have to discover and explore what it is that brings you peace. That does not mean agreeing to something you don’t agree with in order to maintain that peace. That is a prime example of not loving yourself. You are choosing someone else’s comfortability over your own. Modeling and only allowing behavior you know you deserve can be difficult. If you are anything like me, stubborn and ready to vocalize herself, it takes a lot of willpower to not engage in argumentative dialogue with people who refuse to understand you.

What I learned was to express myself as directly and precise as I could. While I was ready to express and vocalize my emotions, I learned that not everyone has the same capacity. There were many moments where I felt defeated and hopeless. My family was not willing to understand the pain they were causing me.

Eventually, I walked away from anything and anyone who was unwilling to meet me halfway. I walked away from people who were not willing to be self aware and accountable for themselves, even family. More importantly, I recognized that I won’t always get the apology I know I deserve. I have learned to be okay with that. Their actions and lack of effort to better understand my emotions is loud enough.

What people’s reaction may be when you say no is not for you to control. Worry about how you are at risk of losing yourself if you don’t say no. Codependency has the potential to make you want to give more than you should. Do not let lack of boundaries be the reason you cannot trust yourself and your intuition. Do not let codependency keep you from eliminating people who drain your energy while making you feel responsible for theirs. Prioritizing yourself. Set those boundaries fearlessly. It will teach people how to treat you. Trust me, once you acknowledge your emotions it empowers you to be in control and aware of yourself. 

Conquering the fear of saying no to family, acquaintances, friends, and relationships does indeed get easier. I’m not saying this will always be easy. What I mean is that eventually it will be second nature to choose yourself over anyone else.

Perhaps the most important thing I have learned about myself in my journey of saying no is knowing when I need to say no to myself. No, I will no longer allow family to get me out of my character. No, I will not allow half assed apologies without changed behavior. No, I am not responsible for someone else’s feelings. No, I do not have time for individuals who are not reciprocating the same effort and energy I give.

One more thing: Always remember you are deserving of the love you put out. So why not give it to yourself?

Recommended crystals:

Rose Quartz

Lapis Lazuli 

Tiger’s Eye

Why I’m Alright Without Children

Why I’m Alright Without Children

Most women my age beat themselves up over their childless circumstances. In American culture, 30 seems to be the acceptable age for moving into the family-building facet of life. Women feel like they have to be married by 30, have a baby by 30, own a house by 30, be in a stable career by 30. The reality of these challenging times is that most people aren’t even self sufficient by 30.

The fact of the matter is that most grown adults are still dependent on their families to survive. Gone are the days of the Baby Boomers where a teacher or a mechanic could afford to support a family and there was such a thing as employment security. Nowadays, we have grown adults with families of their own who receive continued financial support for various reasons stemming from economic inflation and mental health issues. And in this age of entitlement, it’s becoming the norm for grown adults to expect their parents to pay their mortgage, student loans, health care; then they have children and expect their parents to pay for them too.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with parents who want to help their kids, regardless of age. But that reality is a mere fantasy to others. For the rest of us who have to support ourselves— truly support ourselves— bringing a child into the world isn’t the smartest decision just yet.

We also live in a technological era that causes us to want everything now. It’s to the point we are destroying the planet at alarming rates simply for immediate gratification. How will this pan out for future generations?

These are a few factors I consider when I think about procreation:

Environmental Security: Now this is a hard one because most of it is out of my control. But I think about it a lot, which means it’s an important factor to creating life on this planet. It makes me so upset to go to the beach and see endless amounts of litter blowing by my blanket in the sand. I pick up other people’s trash constantly. I read about the devastating state of our oceans. I know about overpopulation and the earth’s dwindling resources. This is all common, accessible knowledge. And yet, people continue to litter, to ignore conservation efforts, and destroy the very world they bring their children in to live. It makes no sense to me. So I do my part, and when the time comes, my future children will do theirs. At this point, nothing less should be tolerated.

Financial Security: I’ve been asked a few times why I do “all this.” Well, number 1 because I can only rely on myself. The more trades I am able to work, the more likely I am to not only survive, but to thrive. People can achieve a certain level of success and lose it all within a matter of months. You can assume that the relationship you’re in will last forever, but patterns of marriage and divorce in America prove otherwise. When you don’t have people underneath you holding a safety net made of cash, this reality is enough to make you put the breaks on starting a family prematurely. This is a sink or swim economy. Sinking alone is one thing; sinking with an innocent life that depends on you is quite another. For me, being a parent means I am required to swim, and swim well. But I admit, I have high standards. If it’s not good enough for me, it certainly won’t be good enough for my offspring.

Emotional Security: Too often I see women have babies simply because of co-dependency issues. They just want someone to love them unconditionally. What better plan than to have a tiny person “need” them? What they fail to recognize, however, is that it’s the parent who is supposed to love the child unconditionally. The parent isn’t supposed to be the one “needing”; the parent should be the one teaching and leading. A child shouldn’t be the one expected to support the parent. This creates toxic patterns that will affect the emotional stability of the child well into adulthood and possibly the rest of his or her life if left untreated.

Furthermore, the child is a separate person from the parent, with his or her own likes, dreams, and aspirations. No one wants to be a vessel for their parent to live through, especially when he or she doesn’t even like the same things. I am not done living my own life. There are still personal accomplishments I’m striving to achieve and until I have done that, I won’t bring a child into this world. For me, forcing the things I didn’t do onto a child isn’t good enough. It’s not good enough for me, and it certainly isn’t good enough for them.

In my opinion, we’re at a point in society where Darwinism is at its best: survival of the fittest. We must learn to adapt to changing times in an era where our very world disintegrating beneath our feet due to the negligence of political leadership, artificial intelligence (AI) is replacing jobs left and right, and depression and anxiety are at an all-time high due to lack of mental health care. This may seem pessimistic, but I don’t believe it is. It’s reality. And it’s the reason I am alright without children for now.

For those who feel societal pressure to fit into this unrealistic cookie-cutter scenario of kids by 30: have the courage to walk your own path. Trying to control divine timing will only lead to karmic situations. I’m sure in a few years I’ll post another blog about the joys of motherhood and all the wonderful feelings that come along with it, because I do want a family. Though only on my terms, and in the very best conditions I can provide. Don’t all children deserve that from their parents?

Recommended healing crystals:

Carnelian: grounding stone to embrace reality and the cycle of life; motivates positive choices that lead to success

Fire agate: grounding stone that promotes inner security; helps heal unresolved emotional issues

Ammonite: ancient mollusc of the sea that is now a fossilized shell; awakens Kundalini energy and provides clarity of the bigger picturepatiencesurvivalfinancial stabilityfamily

To the Troubled Some

To the Troubled Some

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven,” says Satan in Paradise Lost as he tries to make the best of his banishment. And that’s the devil for you. Doesn’t matter what you believe in, evil is human nature’s fundamental flaw. Most people are able to keep it at bay, mostly because they’ve been exposed to more good than bad. Life blesses some people that way. Others know nothing but pain and struggle. Fear and anxiety. It becomes so common it’s a normal way of life. The only way, so it seems. For the troubled and tormented, there was never a paradise to lose. 

It’s basic psychology that how you grow to perceive the world lies solely in the environment you’re born into. It’s luck of the draw really. Some call is fate. Others call it karma. Why we come into this world with the reality we’re faced with has been a topic of research since the dawn of conscious thought. Some people are perfectly happy with next to nothing while others are drowning in the misery of their own materialism and lack of self love. The less fortunate seem to have endless suffering. Being planted in a garden of manure with little to no sunshine leaves a small chance for growth. 

One of my students said it best when she told me “these kids have nothing to live for.” Unfortunately for troubled some, this statement is true. Living in poverty, violence, disappointment, anxiety, and hardened sadness has the ability to turn anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be. There is no self care. It’s hard to find the light when you’re buried under the burning barrel of a gun. It seems like the only option is to play in the fire. 

Regardless of the circumstance, everyone is given a choice of which road to take. We either go down the road of the same pain we grew up with because it’s familiar, or we take our chances on the unknown in hopes of a better life. This sounds like an easy enough choice, but it’s harder than it sounds. The latter is scarier because it’s more work, less familiar, and the outcome is unknown. We prefer to stick to what we know, even if what we know we know isn’t right, or even what we really want. 

For some people living for themselves apparently isn’t enough. Somewhere down the line they were taught that they weren’t good enough, smart enough, strong enough. Somewhere down the line they were taught there was only one way, this path of pain, and that paradise was exiled for them from the very beginning. It’s too hard to believe, then, when someone tries to lead you to light. Learning isn’t very difficult, but unlearning is a task only the strong will take on. 

And if they refuse, then that is their path to take and choice to make. Unfortunately the ones who need the most love are the same people you should stay away from. This is where the word “toxic” comes in. People will play their pain onto everyone, and if you’re not careful, you’ll get sucked into the vortex and dragged down to their personal hell. How deep this goes depends on the person. How far you’re willing to stray from your own truth and value is tested. We’re all on a journey of choice and consequence. Do your best to stay on your own path. 

It’s true that you can’t change anyone, you can only change yourself. There are some real angels in the world who will try and lead the inflicted to light, but ultimately the acceptance of guidance can only be granted by the person to whom it’s offered. If a person wants to suffer, then suffering it is. As time goes by, the offers and chances dwindle like a candle burns through wax. And then only darkness ensues. 

So choose the path of the light, no matter how dim it may seem. Dark tunnels lead to a brighter endings. We may not know what’s outside, but we definitely know what is in— darkness. And is that really something you want to live with forever? The choice is yours. 

Recommended Crystals: 

 Clear Quartz

Smoky Quartz

Pyrite

Want to read more like this? Check out To the Broken Being.