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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Your Strong No

Ben Goshow

This is a godforsaken place, and I've now spent four hours here. I'm speaking of the waiting room at the place where we get our car serviced. It smells of stale coffee, and the television is on blare. I've asked them to put on my snow tires, and you would think I had asked them to make snow. I need nothing cosmic. Just put on my snow tires.

The consolation is my laptop, my iPad and my iPhone, which I need to generate internet juice, and this will make me sound like a sorry 21st-century sack, who can't survive five minutes without connectivity. But I assure you that what I can't survive is this colossal waste of time. My self-importance gnaws, grows greedy and impatient. There will never be enough time for the all-powerful I and her feats.

Dear LORD, deliver me from this greed for more time, this inability to say no, which is why I must have more time for the overindulged yeses. It's on this day that I NEED the words I read from Emily Freeman in A Million Little Ways.

A million little ways

“People may love you, respect you, look up to you, want to be with you, but they will not say no for you. They will let you work and volunteer as long as you are willing. They will let you lead and be strong and move ahead if you want to. Don’t get mad at them for letting you continue to say yes. Only know your boundaries. If you don’t, might I encourage you to find them out? Because yes can be brave, but it can also be bossy. It can become an addiction. Before you realize it, all your yeses are to obligation and duty. And because of those obligated yeses, you are forced to look passion and intention and desire in the eye and say, ‘No, I don’t have time for you. Weight the cost your yes will have on your spirit, your soul and your body. You may have to search for your brave yes, but you will have to fight for your strong no.

I had been praying for discernment for a particular yes I've been weighing. I'm thinking I have it.

NO to the self-importance that drives the YES.

No to the greed for more time.

No to the anger and irritability that everyone refuses to say what I must: NO.