I hate the word no. Or rather, dislike it.
No is not a bad word. We need it to set our personal boundaries, to express our needs and wants, to establish and maintain balance in our lives.
No is powerful. It tells others and ourselves when something is wrong, when we or someone else is harming another, when we truly need to stop.
Yet, no has this funny side.
There are days when it seems all I say is no!
My young children are fighting over something and about to actually hurt each other. They want something they don’t need or shouldn’t have. A frequent refrain is “Can we go to Target to look?” (With look translated into parent speak as – buy a new toy?)
Then there are also the no’s that are unnecessary.
The no that come from exhaustion, distraction and simply, a lack of imagination.
I have attempted to banish this last category of no from my vocabulary.
No is powerful. It can limit our lives and the lives of our children.
No doesn’t just mean ‘stop’, but also ‘you’re wrong’, ‘you’re not worth my time’, and ‘you’re in the way.’
I fully embrace my children experimenting with no in order to explore and name who they are, yet as with everything, they learn by example.
God of No and Yes, help us understand how such little words shape, define and name who we are. Help us to pause and be deliberate, using the words You have gifted to us as tools to live our Your Will. Amen.
This post was inspired by All she does is screech and say no, no, no! Please take the time to read it!
See also: Creating Healthy Personal Boundaries with Others – A child’s perspective.
In the Twin Cities Metro area? Don’t miss: Finding Purpose and Balance Spiritual Retreat on May 4th.