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Yes or No?

Greetings from the other side of the summer solstice! Even though we just had the longest day of the year, I'm going to continue to enjoy many more light-filled evenings. It's only a few minutes less each day and I'd rather focus on the longer-than-winter days. Every season has its "flavor", in a way. Summer is sunshine and brightness -- a time to soak up the rays. Enjoy it, fill up on it. It will serve you well when winter arrives.

Speaking of enjoyment, are you savoring saying "yes" or "no" lately?

YES can accept many a delightful invitation, but do you ever find yourself saying "yes" when you'd rather not? I remember when my kids were little. It never felt like there were enough hours in a day. Whenever I talked with other mothers (usually while we were involved in some school activity) we would often mention how many things we said "yes" to, when we really wanted to say "no". Now, many years later, not much has changed. How often have you heard a friend say she wished she didn't have to [fill in the blank]...? Why do we keep saying "yes" when we desperately want, even need, to say "no"?

This week's Seed might shed some light:

"Often (usually) our first word is 'no' which is met with opposition while at the same time we are labeled the 'terrible twos'. Is it any wonder that we think we're only supposed to say 'yes'?!?"

When we're two or three we enter an important developmental stage. We start to become ourselves, with our own thoughts and opinions. It's essential that we start to separate from our parents in order to become functional individuals. As a parent it's hard to take that in, especially when it seems like our children are going against us on everything for no good reason. While a toddler is trying to explore their new sense of autonomy and independence we, as adults, are making them wrong for it. This isn't about blaming parents -- we do enough self-blame without adding this to it. And, it's not our fault. I don't know about you, but I never received the instruction manual for being a perfect parent. My point is that it might explain why we find it difficult to say "no" later on in life. Now that we are fully formed adults it's time to reconsider the "no". When we say "yes", and really don't want to, we can't help but feel a certain amount of resentment. Add a loss of integrity and self-respect and whatever we were afraid would be triggered by our honest "no" is gone. I think if we start saying "no", we might actually make it easier for others to start doing the same. There are many good reasons for not doing something: there's a time conflict, it's not within our area of ability, we physically can't because of illness or injury, there's a financial cost that isn't in our budget, etc. If we start saying "no" because it's the best response for us, it will be good for others, too. There are times for a "yes" and times for a "no". Honor your inner toddler and independence -- this is what I wish for you. Are you struggling with your health, aging, anxiety ...? There are ways to feel better about all of that. Contact me -- I've helped others. I'd love to help you.

Sparkles and Love,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

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