I recently listened to the new episode of the Dear Sugars podcast on the power of “no,” and I couldn’t help but feel inspired. They interviewed Oprah Winfrey on this episode and asked her what her experience has been in saying “no.” Oprah talked as if she had taken the feelings right out of my own soul.
She talked about this inherent feeling that, I believe, as women, we all have. This need to say yes to everyone and everything in order to please everybody, otherwise we think that they won’t love us. WE EQUATE PLEASING AND SAYING YES WITH HOW WORTHY WE ARE OF LOVE. If I say no to my father, the inside of my whole being is screaming at me and is thinking that he “won’t love me anymore” or it is eating itself up inside because it is full of guilt. But guess what, me saying “no” to working a shift at the restaurant doesn’t close the restaurant down. The show continues, and people keep working, and people continue to be served. Without me. And look at that, the world does not crumble.
The world does not crumble when a woman says “no.” Even though we are forced and taught to believe that we have to say yes to everything otherwise, no one will survive. WE, as women, have to fulfill so many roles that are just expected of us, like when did we even start believing this? At what point in our lives did this switch go off in our heads that made us think that we had to spread ourselves so thin to please everyone around us. WHEN!?
When we are so busy trying to make everyone else happy, there is no more space for ourselves. And our hearts. And OUR desires. There is no space for us left. How can we continue occupying a body that is only valued when others are happy? Why can’t we stop. And begin to set boundaries. And allow OURSELVES to breathe. And to value ourselves even when we say no to helping, and take a fucking nap instead.