Welcome to Confessions of a recovering “help-a-holic.” One of the hardest lessons I am learning during my sabbatical is how to say “NO” and not feel guilty about it.
Recently, I received a request to preach. It was an odd request because of the demographic and it was not something I’ve done in at least a decade. When the request was made, I knew what the answer would be. However, it took me five days to say the word. I went back and forth, trying to figure out how to make it work. When I finally decided to submit to the inevitability of no, it took me another few days to develop a plan of action that allowed me to gracefully decline.
Finally, the moment of truth arrived. I responded with bated breath, sweaty palms, and heart palpitations. All of that build up, only to receive an “Okay, thanks for considering”, in response. Of course, I ruminated on the subtext and tried to figure out if there was hidden animosity within those four words. But, at the end of the day, I did the necessary thing.
As I write, I’m grateful for the freedom that comes from saying NO. It isn’t easy. It isn’t always appropriate. But, recognizing your boundaries and honoring them by avoiding over commitment is a vital self-care practice.
Just say NO my friend.