I had to have a couple of conversations recently I wasn’t looking forward to. They had nothing to do with each other, but they had one thing in common: me disappointing someone.
See, I like saying “yes.” Yes, I can make this possible. Yes, I’ll help. Yes, I’m in. “Yes” is more fun than “no.” It’s more interesting. It’s more likeable. It lets me make people happy.
“No” is dull. Even “I’m not sure” is. And worse, it’s scary. I suppose, if I come down to the bare bones of it… I worry that if I disappoint someone, I might become unimportant. I might not matter if I’m not useful.
Sometimes “no” is necessary. I understand this… but grudgingly. I mean, who doesn’t want to throw themselves headfirst at every opportunity to be happy and excited? I want everything to fit.
But because I hate figuring out when I can’t just say an easy “yes” – because it’s both scary and frustrating – I think I handle the decision process badly. When I realize there’s a problem, I turn inside. I think and think and overthink. If my thoughts were a piece of paper, they’d be wrinkled and torn and crumpled.
I don’t think that tortuous process makes me make better decisions. Maybe it does, sometimes. But it’s exhausting. It hurts. Even if it does help, I don’t think it’s the best way.
Which is all to explain why this Instagram below made me cry. Because I forgot this. Again. I always forget this. And it’s the only thing that ever works: Giving it up.
Not giving up on your problem. Not giving away your problem. Not giving it to whoever’s convenient.
Admitting that I need help from the right place. Giving up hiding from how broken I am and just acknowledging it. Giving up thinking I can handle it and admitting I need help. Giving up overthinking and just doing what needs doing.
Much as I might pretend otherwise, I always know the right place I need to admit my brokenness. Deep down, I always do. There are two. First is God. Second is the person who matters most to that issue.
That’s why it’s so hard and scary. Because who wants to do THAT?
I’m not a hoarder of possessions. Entirely the opposite, actually. But I hoard my problems. I’m ashamed of them. And I really, really have to stop. My whole life, there’s only been one way to feel better… telling the truth. I don’t think I’m good at it. I’m often terrible at it. But I have a feeling that it’s the only way that works in the end.
I was reminded today of three little words that have served me so well this past year: Give it up. When things feel too big to handle, when you’re overwhelmed to the point of paralysis, when you’re tricked by your stories into believing you are powerless… Give. It. Up. Give it up to God or the Universe or a Power bigger than yourself. “This is too big. I can’t do this by myself. Help.” And then have faith that they will, because they always do, in the exact way that you need, whether you realize it at the time or not. I draw great comfort from this simple act. Give it up to @byron.katie’s The Work. How do you know things are supposed to be this way? BECAUSE THEY ARE, and to believe anything different would be to argue with reality, and arguing with reality (the “shouldn’t” and “if only” and “I wish”) is what leaves you powerless, not the situation itself. Do The Work. This has changed my life. Give it up to a friend or family member, because dragging something out of the dark and into the light by saying it out loud automatically restores your power. “This is happening. I’m struggling. Help.” I do this when I realize that I’ve closed myself off to those I love because I’m trying to play the tough girl who can handle everything by myself. I can’t. I shouldn’t have to. Give it up because you recognize you’ve got 99 problems and 97 of them are made-up scenarios that aren’t even real, and you REALLY don’t need to carry those around any more. I give myself permission to give those up because they do not serve me, and I like myself more than this. This won’t make your problems go away, but THAT IS NOT THE POINT. What’s happening is reality. How you handle it is EVERYTHING. And counter-intuitively, the way you take back your power is simply to give it up. #melissarants #giveitup #thework