Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Why I Hate It When People Say, "You Need to Learn to Say NO!" and other stories

Once upon a time, there was a lioness who was very active.  She worked all day, and was involved in lots of different lion activities.  There was the meat ripping group that she led - because some of the other lionesses didn't know how.  She loved teaching the cubs how to roar.  She taught a hunting class, and often went out to watch the giraffes with her lion friends.  She was busy, but she was happy.

Part of the reason the lioness was so busy was because there was once a time in her life when she couldn't be!  Her pride had a sickness and she needed to take care of the others, and just didn't have anything left to give to the cubs or the other lionesses.  She stayed close to home, protecting those she loved most.  But when the sickness was gone, oh how she rejoiced!  She was so thankful for the support from her pride and the others around her that she gave back to them, all the love and caring she could.  Giving made her big lion heart so full!

There were many opportunities she even passed up!  She really didn't want to take the cubs on field trips to chase the antelope, and she had no desire to host the annual bone eating contest!  She said no to these opportunities with a swat of her paw and a liony roar - "No thanks!  I'm happy where I am!"

Soon, though, she recognized that she wanted to be involved in much more than she had time for!  She started being even MORE selective about her activities, even turning down the things that she most wanted to do!  It was at this point that there was some dissension in the pride.  Other lionesses would come to her and tell her that she simply "didn't know how to say no."  They would lecture her on how it was alright to tell people "NO," even if it was difficult. 

"ROAR!" she would respond!  "These lionesses don't understand!  I say NO every day!  I am an excellent 'NO-Sayer!'  ROAR!!!" 

The poor lioness was frustrated.  No one seemed to understand that she was quite able to turn down those things she didn't want to do.  Her struggle was simply deciding what, of the things she wanted to do, she had to not do.

Eventually, after much prayer (and not a little "ROAR!"ing), the lioness was able to discern which activities she should stop doing.  The other lionesses would still look at her as if to say, "I told you so!" but she learned that what they thought really wasn't important.  She may be frustrated when they didn't understand her, but she knew her own lion heart.  Saying "NO" wasn't the difficult thing for her.  Not being involved in all the fun?  That's where the rub was!


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