I know, I’m supposed to be positive and always come from a place of yes. And most times I do. But some life circumstances warrant a no.

Honestly, life actually got better when I learned to say no!

I learned to say no to other people’s judgments of me. I even learned to say no to their limitations for my life. Because often times when people find out that I’m a single mother, they place their preconceived notions about single parenting on me.

Assuming I must be broke, stressed and tired. And when I don’t live up to their ridiculous assumptions, they then begin to treat me a different type of way.

But I decided to say no to all of those things. You will not place me in a box. You will not place your limitations on my life.

On the other hand, there are internal conflicts I had to deny as well.

“Guilt” being the biggest culprit.

While being the best mother I can, often times I have to make sacrifices in one way or the other. Sometimes with those sacrifices, guilt begins to come in. Because while I’m being amazing in one area, another might be suffering. Then I begin to feel guilty about the failing area. But guess what? I decided against that feeling too.

I decided to say no to all of those things. And the moment I did, my life changed.

Everything changed.

I was able to protect my peace better.

Because I was no longer worried about what people had to say about me, what people thought I should be doing, or the people that suspected that I should be doing something for them.

After eliminating all that stress I got my peace back.
I was no longer concerned with people viewing me from a certain perspective.

I was done trying to make other people happy!

And when I decided to say no, I took my peace back.

I began to have a peace that I could not explain.

It was like I had no “cares” to give. But really I was just done taking on other people’s problems; like what they thought of me.

And really all of that foolishness MEANT NOTHING.

It was hindering me and my progression.

Then in order for me to progress, I had to own my truth.

Now when I became a single parent for the second time I was so ashamed.

I didn’t want people judging my mistakes.

And so I began to make decisions based on that. I didn’t want people to think this, so I did that.

I started making decisions based on the shame. But once I decided to say no to that, I was able to rest in my truth.

Because now I understand that I didn’t have to endure the shame for this was only a page in my story. And this chapter of my life is necessary to get to the next.

It’s no longer about pleasing people. Or giving people this perception of who I am. I live my truth. And people can take it or leave it. I’m okay with either.

And I can say that with confidence in who I am, outside of my circumstances. Because of that I live in peace and own my truth.

The good thing is that getting over all that allows me to live a life that I actually love.
You know why?

Because I have the things that I want to have. I’m doing the things I want to do. I’m peaceful. I have joy every day. My kids are happy. I’m happy because I’m appreciative and I’m grateful for where I am right now.

And I know now that IT’S ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY.

It’s about looking back and saying “Man it used to be rough, but now things are better.” Having experiences that can help someone else in their bad times.

And things are getting better. I am in a place where I’m grateful. I’m grateful and I’m appreciative for where I am because things used to be worse. There was a time that I was praying for the things that I have right now.

All of this has taught me to rest in a place of gratitude.

Doing so has allowed me to be very clear and confident on my position in life. I am no longer moved by every opinion and facetious comment. I no longer allow people to place limitations on my life, put me in a box or place their barely mediocre standards on me.

This is how I came to love myself all over again. Because I realize, I deserve this and I’m worth it. I deserve to say no when I want to.

So I got to a place where I realized it’s about loving myself more.

Loving myself wholly. Loving my well-being. Loving my audacity to say no.

That’s when I began to grow. Loving myself more allows me to love my children so much more. I give so much more love to the people around me. Because I’m no longer stressed by the noise. I’m completely happy with where I am in life.

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  • AnnMarie John

    I learned to say no the hard way after getting burned one too many times, from family. It was the best thing I ever did for myself.