Being nice is not the same as being compassionate or spiritual. The best lesson for anyone on a sacred journey to enlightenment is to learn how and when to say no.
When we say yes to please others, and hopelessly overcommit ourselves, we actually are saying no. We don’t realize that when we say yes to the frivolous, we are saying no to the real. Our dreams, our hearts, our dearest loved ones are the ones we say no to, when we say yes to busy-ness, compulsive pleasing, and inauthentic authority figures.
Saying no is scary. It had me terrified for a very long time. I had to eventually realize that I was the authority in my own life. Only I know what is best for me. Learning to say no in a firm, clear and loving way is a skill I had to learn.
I study my friends who have mastered it the way others study art or cooking. I collect examples of how to elegantly say no. A scrapbook of beautiful boundaries. I see each memory of a beautiful no as wonderful moment of ‘yes’. I know that when my friends tell me no they are saying yes to a deeper part of themselves. For that I am grateful.