The power of-no!

My good friend and boss, Mary Graham let me in on a powerful truth, “No, is a complete sentence.” I always thought it needed to be fleshed out a little. “No, I can’t look after your Aunt Margaret’s sick parrot because much though I love them I am allergic to sick parrots.” Or, “No, I can’t fly in to sing at your Uncle William’s funeral who is not dead yet but should go any day, as I’m also on a list to donate a kidney to anyone who might need it in the next two weeks.”

If you own your, “no”, it should be enough.

Here’s the other surprise that I uncovered for myself over the last two months. Every, “no”, makes way for a, “yes”!

I decided about eight weeks ago that I was tired of doing the crazy-woman-running-around-her-closet-looking-for-something-that-fits dance. So I said no to sugar, empty carbs, (those are the yummy ones) white flour etc. It was hard for the first week, then it became easier. The surprising, yes, came last week as I was packing for my final Christmas event of 2009. I knew the people who had booked the event had gone to a lot of trouble to make it a special evening and I thought to myself, ” Where are the ball-gowns that I wore to herald Noah off the Ark?” I knew that the pink and gold one would be too small and I hadn’t a haggis’s chance of making it out of a Burn’s Supper alive (Ask a Scottish friend) of getting into the black one-but the red, perhaps. Well, the red was way too big as was the pink and gold and the black…very nice thank you!

So, let your “no” be “no” and own it-it will also open the door to a whole new world of “Yes’s!”


~ by SHEILA WALSH on December 17, 2009.

22 Responses to “The power of-no!”

  1. Love this Sheila! “Yes” and “No” clear opportunities to retain our dignity and grow in grace. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Reflecting on my closet. I think I need to start saying “no” more often.

  3. Great advice that I needed to hear.

  4. Congrats on the weight loss!

  5. Amen! I’m eating sensibly too, and it’s wonderful to approach Christmas being able to fit into my black dress slacks!

  6. Learning to say “No” is one of life’s great lessons; it’s a gift to yourself to learn it well & adopt it early.
    It should be brief and delivered with a lil sugar, “They sounds wonnnderful but you’ll have to go without me.” or “This looks deeeelish but no thank you.”
    People will oftentimes NOT keep their body language in check as they appear annoyed or rebuffed in some way, or even down-right mad. But, the secret is to let it roll off your back and resist the impulse to explain further & defend your “No.”; soon, the impulse will diminish, and in it’s place, will be a victorious feeling that you have conquered something truly difficult.

  7. Thanks for this today 🙂

  8. Shoot. I wish I’d read this BEFORE I ate the cream puffs.

  9. The word no has just become part of my vocabulary in the last six month. I didn’t know I was allowed to say it and found I was juggling more than one person should juggle due to my lack of no. Mary Graham is so right ‘No.” is definitely a complete sentence. For anyone struggling with say no in any part of their life, I highly recommend Dr. Henry Cloud’s book Boundaries. This book plus trust in a Savior who is in control of my life has made a world of a difference in my life the past six months! Thank you for your honest and vulnerable blogs Sheila!

  10. I needn’t hear this today. Thank you for sharing.

  11. So are you saying that if I needed a kidney tomorrow you wouldn’t rush right here???? 😉

    In all seriousness, I hear ya on this one. Many times I have said yes to things out of a false sense of duty or out of an attempt to “win a friend” or some other crazy reason and the results of those times have often left me feeling tired or worn out. When I take on too many things I can’t give them my all/my best. When I say yes to only the things I should be doing and no to the things I shouldn’t, I feel better and do a better job as well.
    Sometimes I hear God saying no to something that I want to hear a yes to. When I don’t listen to His voice I get myself in trouble but when I do listen things always work out.
    Lord please give us all Your wisdom to know when to say yes and Your strength when we need it, to say no.
    Hugs to you.

    PS I need to sign off here now and go put your phone number on speed dial so it will be all set for when the hospital calls. I can’t wait. I bet I’ll be able to run faster with your kid-knees. 😉

  12. I’m thinking we can all use a modified lesson from 2 year olds, don’t you? Of course our hearts may be a little more well intentioned than those 2 year olds but why waste the time we practiced that useful word lo, so many years ago.

  13. i love it when i see people get the results they were expecting. i think this is so great sheila and you are going to have a blast in your half marathon!

  14. Hi Sheila ~ I just loved reading this ~ good stuff!
    And you looked BEAUTIFUL in that black ball gown when you came to do our event! Thank you so very much for blessing us all with such an inspirational and Holy evening!

    I’ve been writing and sending thank-you’s to all the helpers and have yet to get my note out to you! (could that qualify as one of those no/yes dilemmas?) 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful time with your hubby and son! Love to you all.

  15. I pondered this like I do most things in the middle of the night. I remembered writing about “my inner no”. It’s pretty much the polar opposite of what you said here. It’s that no that keeps you from doing what you did. It’s that defeated no. Here’s the post.

  16. This is empowering to ponder. I always say no and then explain it, defend it, justify it, or elaborate on it. I think I could learn to like short complete sentences. Thanks for the insight.

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