Dear Younger Me,
It is okay to say no. You’re such a “yes” girl. You and your sisters will joke about what your life would be in one word…they said yours would be “yes.” I know you hate letting people down. I know you want to please and impress. But I wish you would ask yourself why. I think deep down, more than wanting someone to be pleased with you or impressed by you, I think you really worry that if you say no to someone, they’ll love you less. I wish it didn’t take till the end of college for you to hear this, but you’ll hear a graduate say her employer actually appreciated it when she said she had enough on her plate. She was simply honest with herself and her employer. I wish you knew it is okay to do the same at work and in your relationships.
You don’t need to bend over backwards for people to love you. Younger me, they love you so much already. In fact, it hurts them to see you so burned out. Eventually, they’ll start to ask you if they should take things off your plate for you. Ironically, this is when you’ll say no, because you feel like you have to carry everything and if you let something go, you won’t be loved as much.
I wish you would just see that all the things you do don’t make someone love you more. I wish you would see that saying no doesn’t make someone love you less. Remember what you’ve always been told – the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Don’t make yourself too busy pleasing people you can’t give time to the people and relationships that truly matter to you, including yourself. And goodness gracious, spend some time with God. You let yourself get so busy running around for other people that you forget Him. He’s the One whose pleasure in you really matters.