"When I say NO to you, I'm saying YES to me."
Before recovery, I wasn't very good at setting personal boundaries and when people asked me to do things, I almost always said yes - despite the emotional, physical or financial costs to me. For years I blamed and resented people for taking advantage of me, and it took me a long time in recovery to believe that saying no was not only my right, but my responsibility to myself as well.
It's still hard for me to say no to people, however. Even though I'm much better at it and do it much more frequently, I still feel like I'm letting someone down and often feel guilty for quite a while. When I heard today's quote, I finally understood why.
Saying no to you means that I'm saying yes to myself, and that concept is still foreign to me. Having been raised to disregard my needs and wants, the idea of honoring and respecting them is something that still takes contrary action for me to reinforce. The good news today is that the more I do it the better I feel, and I know that each time I do my self-esteem gets a little stronger.
Today it's a little easier to say no to you because it feels better when I say yes to myself.