Don't be a co-conspirator in your own self destruction
There is a passage in A Course in Miracles that says, "Giving of yourself to the point of sacrifice makes the other person a thief." Iyanla Vanzant says, "When you sacrifice, you are not giving freely. Nor are you serving others when you give to your detriment. In addition, when you give to your own detriment , you become resentful."
Have you allowed others to support you in sacrificing yourself? Well, now it's time for you to be self-loving enough to say no. "No," does not require justification or explanation. "No," holds so much power and resolve. Sure, by saying no I may disappoint others. I may not be invited next time. I may feel left out. I may not be liked. But I will never lose myself again.
When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself ~Paulo Coelho
In most of my adulthood, people have always assumed that I'd drop everything to help them or do what they wanted me to do. I'm a giver. And a people pleaser. It always seemed much simpler to say yes.
And though you'd think yes would get me more acceptance and love, it actually produced a lack of respect and consideration. My habit of people pleasing attracted into my life the sort of people who disrespected and used me. In addition to attracting to wrong type of person, people pleasing created this overwhelming need for me to be in control and it created intense pressure to keep up appearances. I created so many inauthentic connections. I continually held a part of myself back from my loved ones, either from fear of conflict or a reluctance to drop my mask of “niceness.” Intimacy cannot flourish from pretense, only authenticity.
One day, the light bulb lit up...My worth is more than what I do for others. The need to be needed was co-dependency. The first step in making changes was putting words to my behavior; although, knowing which changes to make isn’t the hardest part of change. It’s actually doing it, and sustaining those changes over time, in spite of the resistance and backlash that may come.
So I took off running.
I said no to inauthenticity and draining people and situations . Authenticity cannot exist where honesty is absent. AND some aren’t ready to be honest with themselves or others. Quite frankly, I was just arriving at honesty after thinking I’d been there for years. I’ve said things like “I’m okay,” “traffic,” “I have a conflict,” “It didn’t happen,” “I don’t have the energy to lie,” “this career is fulfilling,” “I’m broke.” All dishonest. Sometimes being yourself gets you in trouble......but.....authenticity is hella effective for inner peace — and magnetism.
See fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need. And I just retired from the fantasy part ~ LBoog
I said no to people who sought pity for problems they could not solve and to those that like to constantly speak badly about other people. I said no to those that tried to control my opinions about topics, and others that pointed out all the flaws in my behavior. I don't entertain those that want company in judging others or challenge me every time we cross paths. Every interaction with them is emotionally draining. The biggest gift I've given myself is avoiding them.
It took practice. My advice is to start small. Say no to a friend rather than your boss for your first try. Fight the urge to explain yourself. The relief you feel will far outweigh the moment of discomfort.
You can also do a little exercise that involves Purge Emotional Writing (PEW-12)
In a quiet place, light a candle and set a timer for 12 minutes. With pen in hand, begin to write about any resentments you're holding onto because you've said yes to things you really wanted to say no to. Let the emotions move you. At the end of 12 minutes, stop. Don’t read what you’ve written! You’ve purged this negative energy and don’t want to take it back into your consciousness. Crunch the paper up and burn it. Fire is transformative and cleansing because it changes the chemical composition of things. Twelve minutes symbolizes balance as there are 12 hours of day and night in each 24-hour period. There are also 12 months in a year, symbolizing the end of a cycle and renewal. Burn baby burn!!!