Put Yourself First

Dear Someone,

This letter is for you, you that’s saying YES too quickly and not saying NO soon enough because you don’t want to let someone down. You that’s going broke, stuck in a constant circle and wearing yourself out trying to please everyone. You that’s beating yourself up thinking you are not doing your best. You that’s going after dreams that’s not about you and you that’s going after someone who doesn’t want you.

I want you to know that you exist for yourself and your happiness. You are not obligated to be anyone’s cure because obligations can be soul-destroying. You didn’t come this far to only come this far. You’re allowed to make yourself happy. You’re allowed to say NO to others and say YES to yourself. Do not allow anyone to emotionally manipulate you. You are allowed to have opinions and express them. You are allowed to say NO to people and things that doesn’t make you happy without feeling guilty. You’re allowed to look after yourself.

You that has lost yourself trying to please everyone else I encourage you to believe in yourself but don’t overwhelm yourself. If you need to say NO to anyone say so without explaining yourself. Saying NO is not closing the door on someone’s face or being self-righteous, it’s an opportunity for you to do something for yourself. It’s an opportunity for you to do something that makes you happy. It’s an opportunity for you to refrain from doing something against your will.

You that’s going insane trying to please those around you, be comfortable saying NO to others without feeling guilty because you deserve to make your happiness and well being a priority. You don’t need to be a part of everything going on around you. Life can be more peaceful that way! Learn to say NO without explaining yourself. It might be extremely hard but it’s just as necessary because your interests are VALID and if you are too sweet, they will eat you.

You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say NO to people. It doesn’t make you weak, less of a man or woman. When in an awkward situation, respect yourself and use your right to say NO to anything that you are not comfortable with. You owe no man an explanation of your choices. You have to take care of yourself, and if that means saying NO, it’s more than okay. It’s okay to say NO, if you don’t want to do it. It’s okay to say NO, if you don’t like the people. It’s okay to say NO, if you would rather relax. It’s okay to say NO, if you’re already over scheduled. It’s okay to say NO, if you don’t have the time. It’s okay to say NO, if it doesn’t fit your values. It’s okay to say NO, if you feel forced to say “YES”. It’s okay to say NO to anything and anyone that causes you pain or makes you uncomfortable. It’s okay to say NO, if it doesn’t make you happy. It’s okay to say NO to someone you love. It’s okay to say NO to a friend. It’s okay to say NO to a parent or child. It’s okay to say NO to a job or relationship. It’s okay to say NO to sexual advances. And it’s okay to say NO to a person who’s romantically interested in you even if it hurts their feelings.

There’s nothing wrong with saying NO . It’s not a curse word — “NO” is a complete sentence. Just learn to say NO and do so without justification or explanation. And it doesn’t matter who is blackmailing you, judging you, trying to ostracize you, verbally abusing you, putting you down or trying to take advantage of your kindness, say NO if you don’t feel something is right. Say NO if your spouse or partner is pushing you to do things you do not want to do. Say NO if anyone is blaming you for their problems and mess. Say NO if someone is pushing you to do what’s not right in the sight of God. Say NO if you have no energy to go somewhere or to do something. You do not have to explain yourself. All you have to do is say NO even if they make you feel that they deserve an explanation when they don’t. You don’t ever have to settle for something or someone that doesn’t feel right. And you definitely don’t have to compromise yourself for the sake of making other people happy.

You that found this letter of hope, I know it’s hard and a true struggle for you to say NO, but always remember that you are allowed to put yourself first. Your NO might make them angry but it will make you free. Your freedom is more important than their anger. Protect your peace and get rid of their toxicity. Don’t say you wish it was that easy and don’t find yourself saying it’s easier said than done. Everything you need to break unhealthy cycles is within you. Don’t say it’s impossible and don’t say it’s by design — putting yourself first is not selfish. Stop saying it’s so hard for you — nothing is too hard for a child of God. Stop saying you are trying — times may be tough, but you are tougher. Stop saying people have an easier time pressuring you — slow progress is still progress. Stop saying it’s a lesson you are still learning — you already have the ability in you. Stop saying “YES” for fear of disappointing or hurting someone else.

Until tomorrow, know who you are and what you want — if you want to say NO, say NO without looking back. Say how you feel and always! It doesn’t matter who’s asking you, if it makes you uncomfortable to any capacity, simply say NO. Know what you deserve and don’t settle for less. Be you, and be okay with it! You are not selfish for saying NO. You are not a bad person for wanting your own time, money, belongings, personal space and boundaries. You’re allowed to put yourself first. You’re allowed to set limits and boundaries. So walk away from that drama and nurture your own happiness for once.

In Him,
~Ali Papa.

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