I see it all over social media these days. Making November a month to make it acceptable to say NO to more things. And I wonder why we need a month to do that? Why are we so incredibly bad at taking care of ourselves?
I know why we are. As a species, we over work, over go, over do, over spend, over commit, over analyze. We, for the most part, over do pretty much anything we do.
I know that my over doing and over spending and over whatever the fuck I am over using at the moment has to do with innate feelings of lack. Feeling less than. Feeling not good enough has caused me to say that I will do things that are absolutely repugnant to me, repeatedly.
I find it sad that we have now co-opted an entire month to reinforce, no actually to grant permission to ourselves to say no instead of yes...and yet here we are. Desperately in need of the reinforcement NOvember grants us.
There has been a shift for me in the past couple of years, a movement from the thinking:
“Well they asked, so I better...”
“It is a honor to be included...”
“Of course! I would LOVE to do ________ with you or for you.”
All of that people pleasing shit has begun to fall away. To slip out of my consciousness and move to somewhere else that I do not have ready access to...
What has supplanted the above are thoughts like these:
“Wow, no I would not like to do that...like ever.”
“Please stop inviting me to shit like this...”
“If I say yes to you, then I will have to give up all the plans that I have for myself...(which are none - I just plan to spend the day otherwise)”
It is clear that my feelings and responses are moving much more in an antisocial fashion...but after a life time of not being able to say no, or set appropriate boundaries, of launching myself headlong into a great deal of shit that I didn’t want to do...it seems like the natural counterbalance to my life as I have lived it thus far.
I said a few blogs ago that you would be seeing less of me in 2024 and I meant it. I feel this almost desperate need to pull back and do less, stay home more, do things that are life affirming for me: hike, write, read, sit idly on my porch staring off at nothing. All of these things have now taken on a vitality for me that seems almost desperate.
So I support the general undercurrent of NOvember. Say NO. Hell, say FUCK NO to stuff you don’t want to do and to people you don’t want to do it with...it is your life after all.
For me, though, I must always counterbalance this withdrawal with some spiritual balance. I isolate, I pull back and out of the human race sometimes. And that is not only not completely healthy, in my case it can be deadly. I have this addictive selfishness that wants to separate me from the herd...to pull me back and away from the stream of life...and that can be a very dangerous thing when not managed properly.
I do not want my activities to liken back to a time when I was so selfish and lost and alone. I need people. And they need me. I just want to spend my life doing things that matter to me, instead of running myself ragged trying to make you think I am a worthwhile concern. And this has taken a lifetime of work, acceptance and uncovering, discovering and discarding.
And for me on this 3rd of NOvember, I am pretty happy with my life as it is today. I do not want your approval anymore, well that isn’t completely true...a more true statement would be that I am no longer willing to do the bullshit I used to do to try to garner your favor.
I am content sitting outside the proverbial circle. I like it here. I always have and I have finally given myself permission to just be ok with who I am, with all my flaws, unhealed parts and the like. If overdoing would have been a sufficient method to prove I was worthy to all of you, it would have worked a long fucking time ago.
So for me, I am using NOvember to act as a reinforcement to something I already decided...that I want to be happy first. Content and at peace with myself and then go about the task of spreading that to you, regardless of whether you think I am worthy of your attention or not. I don’t want to care anymore what you think, and in so doing, free myself from my old stand in behaviors of doing shit out of obligation and a feeling of trying to prove that I am worthy of your attention, affection or whatever.
I have grown tired of all of that. So I have stopped and if you are not privy to the intimacies of my life anymore (other than what I share here) then you know all too well that I have made the adjustment, the change up, the I am not caring about that anymore.
There are so many worthwhile things in this life to love and care for...and I made the decision that my life, my thoughts and feelings and worth should be at the very top of that list. And then I began acting that way. Truth be told. I lost a lot of people along the path. But that is ok. They are ok, and so am I. Better to shed those that do not get you, than to continue to capitulate until you don’t even know who the fuck you are anymore...
So let NOvember be a mantra for you, allow the month to provide you time to reflect on your own worthiness, your own development, your own timetables and needs. And if they are in conflict with those about you, start asking those hard questions...again, still.