I’m sitting here typing out my talking points for the support group I facilitate. I remember when I first started, I was sure to really just observe initially taking the time to listen actively to the stories being shared the non-verbal expressed and the words not said. Due to my desire to help those who are hurting my first instinct was to encourage but I needed to be a student before I could help as a “teacher”. I began to create topical handouts that were created from the stories shared my hope has always been to empower them to trust again, love again, try again and believe in themselves to go Live!
I often share with my Guy my thoughts and ideas and he gives great feedback and impeccable insight so in reference to this particular handout he stated “…..it encompasses ways on self-empowerment”, my heart smiled because that’s exactly what I want it to do. Empowering yourself goes further than we realize it’s unfortunate we don’t get to see just how much we miss out on when turning a blind eye to the many positive aspects that surround us due to being consumed by the negatives or traumatic experiences. I remember the days, weeks, months, years I sat and nursed all my woes (problems, attitudes, missed opportunities) along with those who would join me and help feed the negativity or bring their own woes. I fed guilt, regret, anger, sadness and a broken heart like they were my children.
There is this one quote that states “give yourself the permission to say NO to anything that makes you unhappy and drains your energy!” It’s not difficult for me to say no to others however during that time I found it somehow difficult to say NO to myself and allowed myself to get mad and stay mad, choose to hold grudges or be angry to the point of ruining multiple days. I embraced sadness and lived in regret allowing those feelings to consume my thoughts, my actions and/or behavior. It took time, truthful self-evaluating and change to get me to a point to alter the way I think and allow into my heart & mind.
My handout for tonight’s session is simply titled “Saying NO!” I wanted to share because it’s like my Guy said self-empowering! Now typically I go through a “spill” prior to giving the handouts, then we discuss by personalizing the topic which creates an atmosphere of openness and supporting each other. So a few discussion points on encouraging you to saying NO to you or any life circumstances that may try stopping you from reaching your place of living Free and Happy!
¨ Negative Thoughts: If there is one thing I’ve learned studying God’s word, psychology and multiple counseling theories it’s that your mind is your sacred space and to lose it would be detrimental. What do you typically think about? Do you focus on how far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Do you place emphasis on your strengths or your weaknesses? Do you contemplate the best that could happen or the worst that might come to be? You can close the windows to your mind and darken your space, or you can open the windows and let light in it’s always your choice. Pay attention to your self-talk because a lot of what you say to yourself determines how you feel and conduct yourself. Say NO to negative thinking.
¨ Settling: Don’t settle for less than your worth! Being able to start or create something better in your life you have to be motivated! Moving yourself from a place of being stagnant will involve you placing distance between yourself and non-progressive relationships/situations to see things clearly. Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits or friends and finding new things/hobbies that truly inspire the maturing you! Look within and explore what gets you so excited you can’t wait to go get it, that’s what life is all about. Say NO to settling.
¨ Outside Negative Influence If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself and stick up for yourself, you become vulnerable to the manipulation, mistreatment and misuse by others. You do not have control over what others say and do; but you do have control over whether or not you will allow them to say and do these things to you by staying. You alone can deny their poisonous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. Remember, to protect and respect your sacred inner space, say NO to outside negativity.
¨ Unhealthy Relationships: This isn’t just for romantic involvement it’s any relationship you have that may be toxic! Choose your relationships wisely being alone will never cause as much loneliness or heartache as the negative relationships. Iron sharpens iron, be among those who will help to make you better, correct you when you are wrong and encourage you during weak moments. Leaving the wrong relationship has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength! Say NO to unhealthy relationships
¨ Holding on to mistakes and regret: If you're thinking at all about uncluttering your life and cleaning up your space, start with the things that are truly useless, like old regrets, shame, and unforgiveness. Let me quote Erykah Badu “Bag lady you gone hurt your back….dragging all them bags like that…I guess nobody ever told you…All you must hold onto, is YOU, so pack light!” You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading your previous one. Take the necessary steps to find ways to live through what’s happen because you owe it to yourself to be free of any shame or regret. Say NO to regret!
“Saying yes when you need to say no, you cripple the most important relationship in your life: the relationship between you and you.” ~Nea Joy
BE Strong and Live Free