Over the years, I have come to learn that I do not have to apologize to people for asking them to treat me and mine with respect. Because apologizing ratifies the negative behavior, and basically says that it’s okay. That beats the purpose.
I have come to realize that many times, I have been the victim, not necessarily because the other person was a practicing bully, but because I did not observe my own boundaries.
My gadgets have been broken because I feared that saying no would make the other person feel bad. My time has been wasted because I feared that if I didn’t entertain the other person, they’d feel bad and have a certain opinion about me. My heart has been broken many times because I feared that if I didn’t avail it in a certain way, someone would feel bad and perhaps reject me. I have anyway been rejected, and my time inadequately compensated.
Then I began saying no, and my gadgets started lasting longer. I began saying no and found more time for meaningful, satisfying, fulfilling, productive and even profitable things, not to mention peace of mind – away from all the idle chatter and entertaining, away from all the big deals for small fees, away from all the emotionally draining engagements.
I have experienced a certain refreshment saying no and doing the right thing, the good thing for me and mine, sometimes just for me, because anyway, even with all the sacrifices, I still didn’t get the acceptance I so deeply coveted.
So I accepted me. I accepted that I was enough and did not need external validation. I accepted God’s version of me and His blessings on me. I accepted all my wonderful abilities and stopped dimming my light for fear of making others feel bad when I shine. I let go of the negative company, and no longer begged for anyone’s friendship or company. If you want to stay, stay; if you want to go, go; but just so you know, I’m not a contortionist. I let go of the stinging mask that said that being number 2 was comfortable.
I received the liberty that comes with breathing free, sitting settled, shining a little, and influencing a little. I may be a little light that can be hidden under a bushel, small, but if I refuse the bushel business, I can enjoy my light more, and together with others as well. I might be a small grain of salt, but if I give up and lose my taste, I won’t be even one bit effective in anything, in any way, to any one.
So here’s to being salt and light, it’s way better than apologizing and receiving a sorry pat on the back.