Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Can't Say No

This post has nothing to do with tree-ripened apricots,
other than the fact that I can't say no to them either.
Lessons along the way

About three months ago, I was sitting in my doctor's office, and he recommended that I see a therapist.

A therapist, huh?  I looked at him, and in my mind I thought, no, I will be fine without a therapist.  And then I reconsidered. Well, maybe that's not such a bad idea.  I could at least give it a try. After three more seconds of very deep thought, I made the conclusion that I would be fine without one.

My doctor looked back at me and said in his mind... no, you really should go, I think it would help.  And in addition, the therapist is trained to handle your crying.  (I know this because I have the super power ability to read most doctors' minds.)

I silently reexamined my arguments one last time and told him out loud that I would go.  Then he said out loud that he was relieved glad.

So I went to see the therapist whose office was located in an old forgotten town in a pink building formerly known as a bordello, of all places.  I discovered rather quickly that she is, indeed, very well trained to handle crying.  She can also translate me like a book, which I think is one of her most prominent super powers.

During one session I told her that I have a hard time with expectations, and I don't like to feel as though I have let someone down.  She translated that as "people pleasing."  No, I didn't think that was it.  Her super powers must have shorted out.

Well, what would you call it? she inquired.

I just don't like to disappoint people.  Much different from people pleasing, I'm sure, I told her, with a big question mark in my voice.  She gave me an interesting look and told me to think about it for homework.   Furthermore, she gave me another assignment... to buy a non-feminist book on being assertive.  So I did.

It turns out that maybe I AM a bona fide people pleaser, and I need to make some resolutions about how I make decisions, what I make commitments to, and more importantly... why.

I had my first test a couple of days ago.  I went to a school meeting and was clear in my mind about what I could commit to and follow through with.  Later that evening, I found myself sitting in my sweet van feeling no sense of peace, as I had agreed to plan a monumental overnight outing in a very short amount of time.  Where had my resolution gone?  I didn't stop and let my sweet friend know that I would pray about it.  I didn't let her know that I would discuss it with Patrick to see if this is something I could commit to doing, knowing full well that it would affect our family.

Fail... epic fail, I told Patrick when I got home.  You know you have to say "no" to this, don't you, he kindly asked.   It is not something you are well enough to do right now.

I know.  And now I will have to un-yes my "yes," which is even harder than "no-ing" in the first place.  Sigh.

At least I am learning who I really am, and what God expects of me.  I know that His yoke is easy.  It will just take time and fails to learn new habits and gain His freedom in this area... I'm on my way.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." 
Matthew 11:29-30


{cuppakim} said...

wow. i was praying about a lot of these same exact things this morning.

prayed that same stuff - casting my burdens on to the Lord - and not worrying about the anxiety of pleasing anybody but Him.


Kassie said...

Being told to see a therapist isn't is it? I've been multiple times and its nice to talk to someone who isn't close to me...who listens...and can help figure my brain out!

Its hard to say no too. I'm a people pleaser as well, but you know what? Pleasing God is way better than pleasing any person! Something I've learned for sure...and have to learn over and over!

Cassi said...

Oh.. my heart feels for you.. I can relate on so many levels. A friend told me to stick it out with the therapist (when my husband & I started going) at first you will love the therapist, then you will get mad, then you will hate them and then you understand and will be glad you went. My friend was right. Good luck and many prayers

Susan said...

I'm catching up a little bit on your proud of you. Stick to it. I have a hard time saying no sometimes too - I will try harder if you do!

CoachZ said...

Your therapist is the best! Gifted. I'm glad the doc told you to go to her.

I'm so glad you were open and humble enough to listen to what God had for you! It's a privilege to walk with you on this journey babe. God will sustain you through all that is still ahead!

I love you!

ChristyB said...

I know all too well what it's like to not be able to say no. Take care!

granger said...

Fail? Sounds like an epic victory to me! :)

hannah singer said...

oh, linda. on this very same journey with you!!
praying and sending you hugs.

xo happy weekend!

Tamera Beardsley said...

Linda, as always such an enjoyable and well written post.... I can certainly relate.... Thank you so much for sharing your soul!

Heather said...

"Un-yesing" is definitely harder than saying no in the first place. I struggle with acknowledging my limits. I usually say yes, knowing that I should say no. But so often I am asked to help serve another person in various capacities and really, truly I want to serve others- even when I am overwhelmed with other things.

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