I read once that the universe has lessons to teach us, and that it will repeatedly send us messages until we learn that lesson. My lesson, for years now, has been to learn to say "No." In recent weeks, I guess the cosmos have decided that it's time, once again, for me to resume my studies.
I suck at saying no. I hate feeling like I let someone down, and I love the feeling of helping other people. In fact, volunteering to help others is an important lesson that I hope to teach my kids, but here's a fine balance that needs to be struck. It's a wicked combination for me though, that makes that one two letter word very difficult for me to say. Our family is still recovering from can't say no volunteer syndrome, which overtook me a few years ago. The intentions were good, but resulted in a huge strain on family life. I always try to live my life with passion, and when I commit to something, I always try to do my best. The problem is that I let other people's priorities skew my own, and ended up doing more for others than they were doing for themselves. I'm determined not to let that happen again.
I do tend to feel guilty about saying no when the request comes from a person or organization that I care about. I try to be polite, and beat around the bush, and that never seems to work for me. I end up feeling selfish and beaten down sometimes, and then I end up putting the blinders on. That only makes things worse, because the other person ends up feeling frustrated, let down and disrespected. That's never my intention. Maybe I need to take a course in assertiveness or something!
After a day of confronting this issue, I need a drink!