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Why Saying No Is Sometimes the Best Gift

When I first came to work in a township in South Africa I wanted to do everything - solve every problem and remove all the pain. As you probably know if you read my blog I ended up helping to raise a pair of twins and, later, their baby brother when he entered the world, as their family need a helping hand.


When I first came to work in a township in South Africa I wanted to do everything - solve every problem and remove all the pain. As you probably know if you read my blog I ended up helping to raise a pair of twins and, later, their baby brother when he entered the world, as their family need a helping hand. The kids spend most nights at my place. On the odd occasion they want to spend a night with their family, but for the most part they choose to stay with me. So when I say I am going out at night and ask them to sleep at their family's place they sulk and I feel terrible.

If I don't go out, or say I need time alone once a week to relax and nourish my soul, I fall apart though. I need me time. I need time to see my friends. I need time to work. I need space. Otherwise I turn into grumpy mom and no one will enjoy themselves.

Sometimes when I'm out playing with the other kids I mentor, or simply saying hello to kids in the streets, they will ask me if they can't stay with me? Some are joking, but some look like broken hearted urchins and it's like someone punches me in my stomach. It hurts. It hurts to say no to them.

To some of these kids I'm special, like the kids I mentor, but to others I'm just a chance at love. They've heard about me, maybe seen me around, but I could be anyone. They don't need me, they need love. And seeing their raw need for love pulls my heart strings. They deserve someone who pays attention to them.

The issue is, I'm not superhuman. I can't look after everyone. If I said yes to everyone I would end up feeling a lot worse than when saying no, because I would have a mountain on my hands - a mountain that I would collapse under. I wouldn't help the kids because there wouldn't be enough of me to do so. Instead I'd feel guilty for letting them down. Just like I feel guilty if I get grumpy with the twins because I haven't taken time out to look after myself.

To say no is vital for my wellbeing. To let go when I say no and not walk around with someone else's heartbreak is vital for my wellbeing too. You cannot be swept up by the very problems you're trying to solve. Nor can you take responsibility for more than you can handle.

If you find it hard to say no, remember that you should only say yes if you can do so without hurting your own wellbeing. Because if not, you'll accidentally hurt others too. Not unlike a ship bringing on too much cargo you'll either greatly reduce the speed of the ship, or sink it.

This blog was first published on EverydayKnow

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In today’s world, depression has become a word that carries enormous weight; either for people who have it or for people who hear about it. It could also be described as a modern day taboo, with people often wanting to avoid the whole thing.

However, what is clear is that depression is not something that can be ignored. It is a very real challenge in today’s world. And this is just one aspect of what are often described as ‘mental health’ problems.

This is not something that can be cited as having one cause, as there are often said to be numerous causes. These can be: genetics, diet, repression, chemical imbalance, abuse, illness, the environment and other factors.

And as we are all so different, it’s not a case of one cause being the same for everyone. So as this is such a complex area and not something that can be put into one box; I will cover one of the above aspects that can cause depression.


On the Google home page, it is described as the following - 

1.Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. 

2. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.

So here, one feels at a low ebb and is unable to feel any positive emotions. Their energy is gone and the will to live doesn’t exist either.


While depression is often treated as a taboo, emotions are not too far behind in this respect. They are generally ignored and this is partly due to a lack of understanding in how to deal with them. One is not simply born with emotionally intelligence; this is something that has to be learnt.

And when it comes to how one responds and perceives their emotions, the childhood years are typically the most important time. This time will often define what kind of relationship one will have with their emotions.

This relationship can be just like a relationship that one has with other human beings; it can be positive and empowering or it can be negative and distempering. So emotions can be seen as problems and as something that one needs to avoid or as feedback and as something that one needs to listen to.

The Education System

One of the reasons this time is so important, is that one doesn’t usually learn about their emotions during their years of being in education. Certain areas are seen as vital, but emotional intelligence is a new thing.

This means that the early relationship that was formed with their emotions will generally be carried into their adult years. And it won’t matter if this relationship is healthy or unhealthy.

The Relationship

So coming back to this early relationship, there can be two ways that one can develop in order to cope with their emotions. And this will generally depend on how their caregivers responded to ones emotions as a child and to their own emotions.

Emotional Regulation

Here, a child will develop the ability to regulate their emotions; this means that they will rarely act on them or deny that they exist and repress them. They will be able to just be with them, without getting too caught up in them. And if they become too overwhelming, the child will learn that it is safe to seek assistance in others.

Emotional Dysregulation

In this case, the child will not develop the ability to regulate their emotions. This means that the child will have to either act on them or to deny and repress them. They won’t be able to just be with them and will end up being caught up in them. And during times of being overwhelmed, they are unlikely to feel safe asking for assistance.

Empathic and Unempathic

The first example will relate to a caregiver that is empathic and the second example is for a caregiver that is unempathic. An empathic caregiver is emotionally available and will generally mirror, match, hold and sooth their child during emotional distress.

And an unempathic caregiver will is likely to be emotional unviable. So this means that they generally won’t mirror, match, hold or sooth their child during emotional distress.

These are just general guidelines, as there is likely to be moments where it won’t be this black and white. However, this creates an idea about what it is like.


As a result of the above taking place, it is likely to lead to completely different consequences. If as a child, one learned to regulate their emotions through having an empathic caregiver; it is likely to mean that one will have a tendency to either regulate their emotions or to seek support in other people.

And if as a child, one didn’t learn how to regulate their emotions through having an unempathic caregiver; it is likely to mean that they will have a tendency of either repressing their emotions or of acting on them.


So the first child is rarely going to have to repress their emotions and this means that when this child grows into an adult, there shouldn’t be the need to repress them either.

But the second child, who has to repress their emotions, will likely grow into an adult that continues to repress their emotions. And this is inevitably gong to lead to an emotional build up in the body.

These emotions will have accumulated from when one was a child and all of the emotions that one has experienced as an adult, but denied and ignored.

Different Types Of Repression

For some people, this will involve certain moments as a child where they were abandoned, ignored, rejected, humiliated, felt hopeless, helpless, suicidal, guilty and ashamed for instance.

These can relate to the odd occasion or perhaps when one experienced these things on a daily or consistent basis. This can also include traumatic moments where one was: physically, emotionally or intellectually abused as a child.

And due to these moments taking place many years ago, they are generally blocked from the mind. But the body remembers these feelings and will not be silenced until they are recognised. This creates a heavy burden on the body and can result in a loss of energy.

Emotionally Trapped

In the beginning these may have only been emotions or feelings, but as time has gone on, they have become emotional states and have completely taken over. A bit like how one weed appears and soon after, the whole patch is covered in weeds.

So the fact that there were only one or two weeds to begin with is hard to comprehend and finding the original weeds or weeds can then be extremely difficult. Here one no longer feels one or two emotions, but has become emotionally trapped. And no longer experiences one or two emotions, but a general feeling of being overwhelmed or – depressed.

Two Scenarios

It could be that one has felt this way their whole life or that one felt this way after a certain experience. This could be the result of some kind of loss or traumatic occurrence that triggered emotions that have been trapped and frozen in the body for so long.

For the first person it may be experienced as normal and how life is, simply because they have never felt any different. And for the other person, it might not feel normal. This could be due to the fact that these feelings have been repressed for so many years and this has caused a disconnection to occur.


Perhaps one has recognised the connection between how they felt as a child and how they feel as adult or just that they need to be assisted emotionally. And this can be done through the help of a healer or a therapist that will allow one to feel and therefore release their emotions

This doesn’t mean that one will be forever caught up in them. If it is done right, it means that one will be able to let go of the emotions that have built up. 

Author -

You were born a powerful creator, and NOTHING has changed. You have always had the ability to create your life at will, to be loved, successful and happy. You have always had the ability to be free and to express your freedom in ways that enrich your life – and the lives of others. Such is the life of the conscious creator. Unfortunately, very few of you have managed to create your lives with conscious intent and experience the joy your creative ability affords you. Instead, you’ve allowed the wounds you’ve experienced (and the feelings associated with them) to run your show. You’ve allowed your thoughts and feelings, assumptions, judgments and fear to dominate your life and hijack your creative control. This unconscious surrender to your egoic agenda (or “hairy bullshit”, as I call it) has eroded your faith in yourself and has weakened your connection to Divinity, to Source, to the Creative Flow. It’s stripped away your awareness of your creative ability, and in doing so, it’s convinced you that life is something that happens to you, something controlled by external sources, something “fated”. Because you haven’t learned how to harness your creative ability, you’ve managed to miss out on much of the joy, fun, success, and love that life has to offer. In fact, there’s a good chance that your belief that external forces have control of your life, and your continued focus on your pain, worries, and fear, have not only cost you your connection to your creative ability, they have also manifested pain, suffering, illness, loneliness, and anger in your life.

In reality, you are creating ALL of the time. Your creative ability is nothing short of astounding. Every aspect of your life… I’ll repeat that… EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE is something you created. Every good thing you have in your life is something you’ve created. Every moment of connection, every achievement, every aspect of your success, was all a direct result of your creative ability (whether you employed it consciously or not). Likewise, every bad relationship, every failure you’ve ever experienced, your physical pain or illness, all came as a direct result of your creative ability (whether you employed it consciously or not). Many people question that statement, preferring instead to blame outside sources for their misfortune. I know that’s true: I used to be one of them!!! I believed that if it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. I believed that my addiction to drugs and alcohol, my codependent relationships, my back issues and poor health, my poverty, my weight issues, my house burning down, all the times I was robbed or beaten, my trouble with the law (and all the other crap I was experiencing) were part of some cosmic joke that was being played upon me. I justified my anger, the chip on my shoulder, my lashing out at others, and my general self-neglect as by-products of my shitty life. In short… I played the victim, and I played it quite convincingly.

What turned it around for me, was the realization that the Law of Attraction actually DOES exist. The idea that our subconscious mind is a fertile garden, and that everything we plant in it (good or bad) grows; the idea that thoughts and feelings have the power to influence what we plant in that garden; and the idea that – without much effort at all – everything we plant in our subconscious will become our reality, helped me see my life in a different way. Unfortunately, I (like a lot of other people) used this information to create tons of doubt and fear in my life. I mean, if all that is true, then why can’t I just create a million dollars, or become the President of the United States? Or worse yet, if all that’s true, what’s to keep me from causing some catastrophe just because I imagined it? The answer (simple as it is) took me out of my fear and encouraged me to use my creative abilities consciously… The answer is EMOTION.

The reason we create so much shit in our lives is because we marinate in the emotions around that shit. We spend countless hours worrying about how things will play out. We run every possible worst-case scenario so that we can be prepared for what might come. We wring our hands and tell our friends about everything that’s NOT working in our lives. We tell ourselves stories about what we should be doing, why we don’t deserve to be happy, or why conventional wisdom is more trustworthy than the whisperings of our heart. We fill our subconscious with every negative emotion we can, and then we blame the Universe for our misery.

If you never hear another thing in your whole life, hear this:

Your emotions are the power source for your creations.

If you’re using fear to power your creations, you’re creating by-products of fear (pain, suffering, disconnection, illness etc.). If you’re using love to power your creations, you’re creating by-products of love (joy, well-being, connectedness, health etc.). Your emotions drive your creations, and that’s why most of us create so much useless crap for ourselves; because we don’t take the time to understand and guide our emotions. We don’t take the time to learn SELF MASTERY.

By cultivating self-mastery in our lives, we ensure that most (if not all) of the things we plant in our subconscious mind are things that serve us: thoughts of hope, gratitude, and faith. Thoughts of infinite possibilities. Thoughts of a world that thrives in harmony and balance. When we practice self-mastery, we use the Law of Attraction not only to create amazing things for ourselves, but for the people around us, and the world as a whole. We connect with our true nature and highest purpose, and we respect the power that comes with being the predominant creative force in our lives.

Through the practice of self-mastery, we learn to create our lives with conscious intent, and thus not only harness but optimize our creative ability. Self-mastery allows us to conquer our fear and create a life we can embrace and enjoy. In the absence of the thoughts and emotions that corrupt our creations, we are free to harness all of the energy we waste on those emotions – and put them to better use.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably very BUSY. The requirements of daily living continue to mount and the time to do everything that needs doing is in short supply. You’ve got a laundry list of things that have to get done, and you feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to complete it all. Likewise, just when you start making headway on your list, a whole slew of new things that need doing seems to materialize out of nowhere… You feel worn out, stretched too far, and a bit defeated (at best); and exhausted, beat-down and hopeless (at worst). Welcome to the egoic agenda we call BUSY.

Busy has become an entity in our world. It’s a palpable presence in our lives, and one we can all relate to. So much so, that when someone plays the busy card, we don’t question it… Why? Because we can relate to the feeling… We can relate to the presence of ‘Busy’ in our lives and can commiserate with others about its presence in theirs. Busy is also everyone’s favorite excuse. “I can’t make the time to see you because the new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu…” “I’d really like to spend the day with my son, but I have a project deadline…” “I’d love to Skype with a couple of my friends, but I don’t have the time… I’m just too busy.”

Busy is your ego’s way of telling people what it wants them to believe about you. It tells people that you’re successful. It tells them that you have people who depend on you. It tells them that you have responsibilities and that you’re a serious person. It tells them that you’re busy because you’re important and in demand. Perhaps it tells them that you have poor time management skills, that you’re overwhelmed, suffering, or in need of some empathy. Either way, saying you’re busy sends a very clear message. The message it sends me is that you’re not consciously creating your life.

Busy people’s lives control them, and Conscious Creators control their lives. Conscious Creators are NEVER too busy. They are engaged in their lives. They too have responsibilities, success, people who depend on them, and so on, but they never use that as an excuse to not do something they would love to do. They CONSCIOUSLY create their lives. They are aware of their egoic agendas and don’t play into them. When we create our lives from a conscious perspective we see possibilities where others see obstacles. We CREATE the time to do the things that we would enjoy doing. When we create our lives consciously, we live lives that feel balanced and rich. Conscious Creators get that. They may feel challenged by their workload, their deadlines, their responsibilities, but they feel challenged in a healthy and dynamic way. Conscious Creators have faith in their creative abilities and as a result, they always make the time to do the things most people put off doing. They don’t just cram life into a few weeks of vacation time either. They create a life that allows them the time to enjoy the present. A truly Conscious Creator will NEVER use “I’m too busy” as an excuse because they know that ANY excuse is just permission to fail.

So, the next time you hear yourself saying “I’m SO busy” or “I just don’t have the time”, stop and ask yourself WHY that’s true. Chances are you’ll see that you’ve given your personal power away to a concept that primes you for failure. Your ego has given some external force the power to control your life. Once you see that clearly, you can begin the steps necessary to regain control of your busy life and start living the benefits of a life built by conscious design.

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