So we just finished the year 2012, and for me it was a year filled with many blessings, but also things that made me do some deep soul searching and brought healing for myself. Being a recovering codependent, I have had lots of problems with saying “no” when I should, and even saying “yes” to things when I should. Recently I read something that helped really clear things up for me, and so I thought I’d share it. I hope for those who fight this battle of codependency that this will help you as well, and for those who have no problems with these two words, but know someone in your life who does, maybe this will help clear up why they battle it so much.
In my daily meditations for codependents called “The Language of Letting Go” by Melody Beattie, I read the following two daily devotions (one on saying “No”, and one on saying “yes”) Here goes…
Codependent Daily Devotion: Saying “NO”
For many of us the most difficult word to say is one of the shortest and easiest in the vocabulary: No. Go ahead, say it aloud: No.
No — simple to pronounce, hard to say. We’re afraid people won’t like us, or we feel guilty. We may believe that a “good” employee, child, parent, spouse, or Christian never says no. The problem is, if we don’t learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please. We may even punish others out of resentment.
When do we say no? When no is what we really mean. When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.
If we’re scared to say no, we can buy some time. We can take a break, rehearse the word, and go back and say no. We don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions. When we can say no, we can say yes to the good. Our no’s and our yes’s begin to be taken seriously. We gain control of ourselves. And we learn a secret: “No” isn’t really that hard to say.
Today, I will say no if that is what I mean.
Codependent Daily Devotion: Saying “YES”
Okay, so we just read about learning to say no. Now, let’s discuss another important word: “Yes“.
We can learn to say yes to things that feel good, to what we want — for ourselves and others.
We can learn to say yes to fun. Yes to meetings, to calling a friend, asking for help.
We can learn to say yes to healthy relationships, to people and activities that are good for us.
We can learn to say yes to ourselves, what we want and need, our instincts, and the leading of our Higher Power. (to me this is God and His word.)
We can learn to say yes when it feels right to help someone. We can learn to say yes to our feelings. We can learn to identify when we need to take a walk, take a nap, have our back rubbed, or buy ourselves flowers.
We can learn to say yes to work that is right for us.
We can learn to say yes to all that will nurture and nourish us. We can learn to say yes to the best life and love have to offer.
Today, I will say yes to all that feels good and right.
I hope this has helped encourage other codependents with these issues, and cleared up the crazy mindset we have to others that just don’t get it.
One other thing that I read recently that has helped me when I’m asked to give a yes or no answer is this: “Whenever I say ‘yes’ to something, that means I’m saying ‘no’ to something else.” For example — If I say “yes” to teach that course on Tuesday nights, then I’m saying “no” to my family on Tuesday nights. This has really caused me to stop and consider what I say “yes” to before I do. Which actually brings me to another issue I’ve dealt with. I’ve always felt that I had to give an answer immediately. I’ve realized that I don’t have to. Actually, it’s better for everyone involved if I don’t. It’s okay to take time to think about it, pray about it, consider all options and to provide the answer that will work out best for me and those in my world. That’s being responsible for myself, my family, & the world that I’m a part of.
By realizing the healthy way to say “No” & “Yes”, has allowed me the freedom to enjoy life, and for others to enjoy it with me without the “craziness” I go through in my head always stressing about what to say or do. Because I’m starting to learn what Jackie wants, feels & likes is one reason I believe I’m now able to understand this more clearly. I have never allowed myself to stop and consider what I want, felt, liked….so now I’m working through this, getting a little more clarity each day, and it’s a wonderful journey I’m on.
For those who understand this battle I fight and the journey I’m on, I encourage you to do the same. You don’t have to be a victim by giving up your wants, likes and needs, by giving everyone else what they want, like and need. By getting a healthy perspective, and taking responsibility for “YOU”, and allowing everyone else to be responsible for themselves, will give you a freedom like you’ve never had, and your relationships with others will be healthier, stronger, better and more enjoyable than ever before. I wish you the best in your journey through the recovery of codependency.