This is why I need to serve others.
This last point easily follows from the previous: Learning to say “No!”
Gosh! It’s not easy…or it wasn’t for a very long time.
If I was in a relationship, I was so engrossed, so sold out, that I couldn’t say no. I had no room for me.
If I was in a friendship, I was so caught up in keeping that friend that I lost myself.
If I was in a career situation, I would work myself to exhaustion, because “a job worth doing is a job well done!” Thanks Mum! Not one of her wiser sayings.
As a recovering codependent leaning to say “no” is likely the hardest part of recovery. Just like any addict! Yes! I see codependency as an addiction. It can be overcome like any other addiction. But it takes saying, “no” to that which can destroy me and “yes” to that which will enrich my JOY journey.
In the last few years I have chosen to let people slip out of my life. I have also chosen to force people out of my life. These people are chronic boundary busters, and energy vampires. These people are people, who said they loved me but couldn’t respect when I said “no”. I generally give people a couple of chances to kick the ball. Some say that I’m too generous with this. And perhaps I am. But that’s the boundary I have chosen. And it works for me.
I also like to see and help grow the Light energy in people and not focus on their Shadow energy. This is a real learning place for me. But I’m getting better at it. I will only allow so much. Then I have to stop it. I am learning to communicate clearly my needs and boundaries from the start; not halfway down the path of any type of relationship. In this way I am creating JOYFUL relationships based in mutual respect, self-care, solid boundaries and real love.
This is why I’m learning to say “no”.
Lastly, combining all of the above points, I’m learning to pick projects, relationships, jobs, contracts, ceremonies, clients, hobbies, and more that really speak to me, that speak from me!
I am learning that we all must do the mundane tasks, of course! The house still needs cleaning; the dishes put away. We all have those tasks in our careers that must be done (and dare I add…done well).
This year I made a conscious choice with my wedding ceremonies. I decided to upgrade my wardrobe! It was daring for me. I had been used to a black outfit with a bit of a colorful shirt and tie. I felt I should blend in! This year I purchased two new jackets to wear. And more are coming. They are fun and flashy. I don’t aim to outshine the bride and groom. But I do aim to have fun! It has actually allowed me to have more fun doing ceremonies. I laugh at my mistakes. I tell funny stories and even ‘act out’, like the ceremony I was to include the opening words to the ceremony in The Princess Bride,
Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togever today.
Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wifin a dream…
And wuv, twue wuv, will fowwow you foweva…
So tweasure your wuv—
What the two gentlemen standing in front of me didn’t expect was that I would do this with the same speech impediment as the actor who portrayed it. What fun! The included politicians and civil servants and friends and family. I was nervous! When I started, “Mawwiage. Mawwiage … the couple and guests fell apart with laughter. The tension was broken. Joy was more than just present! Joy was in control.
Love as if you’ll die tomorrow,
Dream as if you’ll live forever,
Dance as if nobody’s watching.
…This is Celebrating Life’s Journey!
…This is Celebrating Life’s Journey on YOUR TERMS
…This is Creating Ceremonies Your Way!
To this end I have a new mantra:
I only do what I love; I love what I do!
This IS my JOY Philosophy!