The Unexpected Gift of Saying No

The Unexpected Gift of Saying No

This week’s inspiration comes from my sweet sissy, Rachel. We chat, or at least Snapchat, every day.

During one of our recent catchup calls, I was lamenting the fact that I had declined an invitation. It was a last-minute offer, but I know I would have LOVED both the event and meeting the people who were attending.

“I really, really wanted to go,” I sighed. “But, I decided against it.”

“Well, Sissy,” she began. ”Just remember, saying no to one thing means you are saying yes to something else.”

Her words hung in the air, then settled in deep, cutting through to the heart of the matter.

When did my sister become so wise?

As I thought about it, saying no to that invitation meant I was saying yes to taking care of my health. My paralyzed parts have been giving me trouble for several weeks now. As a T-8 paraplegic, the body below my waist has a mind of its own. I jokingly call her my “2-year-old” since she’s hard to predict, control, or count on for consistent good behavior.

Joking aside, life is hard when she is misbehaving. I often don’t feel well and don’t know exactly why. Leg spasms can mean anything from a urinary tract infection to a bowel blockage to a kidney stone to a hangnail on my big toe. I get grumpy and impatient with myself and others, especially when I have to cancel or alter my plans.

(Shocker, right? Dad’s “What’s planned is possible” mantra–permanently etched in my mind–mostly helps, but sometimes haunts!)

Anyway, these last few weeks my 2-year-old has not minded me. (And, my crazy schedule didn’t help.) Perhaps it was time to give her my undivided attention.

Rachel’s approach grounded me, allowing me to shift my perspective. When I focused on the yes part of my decision, instead of the no, it brought not only relief from disappointing my friend, but also squelched the nagging FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that so often torments me. More importantly, though, I could embrace the positive benefits of tending to my health.

So thanks, Sissy, for sharing your wisdom with me. From now on, I’ll consider my full answer, focusing on what I’m saying yes to when I say no.

How about you? Is it hard for you to say no? Does looking for the yes in your answer help? Tell me about it, I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Looking forward to representing Dad’s book and mine in Philadelphia today and tomorrow at an Authors’ Reception with his publisher. So honored! More info below.


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