From a young age, I remember being taught that my most consistent words as a child were “No, Nunca, y Nada” and how my constant use of those words would eventually be detrimental to my well being as I got older. Of course, I didn’t understand why that was, but who was I to disagree with my elders *insert shrug emoji here lolol.* So against my better judgment, the older and older I got, I became more and more of a “yes man”. It wasn’t until I entered this new phase of adulthood that I realized that my papi was right, “Está Bien Decir ‘NO'” / “It’s okay to say ‘No.”
As women, we’re basically conditioned to put our own wants, needs, goals, peace, etc. to the back burner in order to protect the needs/wants of those close to us or that we care for as if ours are not EQUALLY important. **Disclaimer, I’m not talking about sacrifice as a matter of needing to get things done and handling your business — that’s a completely different thing, don’t mix the two.** Moreover, I’ve watched my mother, grandmother, great aunts, etc (family full of matriarchs) essentially take part and subconsciously promote this ideology to the fullest until the end up succumbing to some major illness or inconvenience that for some, claimed their life, mobility, or quality of life. Falling down that rabbit hole of forgetting who are you and what you want can be a dangerous game.
At some point, we as women, especially black and brown women, have to learn when to say “No More.” For me, it was turning 22 ( 26 August 2018) — don’t ask me why it took so long for something to click, just know that it did and when it did, I was reminded of who I truly was. I remembered that I was the girl who’s favorite 3 words are “No, Nunca, y Nada” and that was okay. It is absolutely more than okay to protect your self and your energy by saying “No” because you should never have to compromise yourself, your peace, or your energy for someone else sake.
I understand now that loving yourself means having and knowing when to say “No.”
- No, you don’t need to spend that money
- No, you don’t need to deal with this person’s ignorance or stupidity
- No, you don’t have time for these games or nonsense
- No, you especially don’t need to take or deal with anything less than the utmost respect that you deserve
Love yourself enough to protect yourself, peace, and energy by saying “No” even sometimes if you’re saying “No” to yourself. Everyone who loves and cares about your will ultimately be okay with it and will be much happier because you’re happier. Try it!
Keep living, loving, and laughing.