Minister’s Musings – Your Sacred Yes

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and then do that thing. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman

We all do it, say yes to multiple projects, and then realize we’ve taken on too much. We may say yes out of duty/responsibility, guilt, and even excitement. Whatever fuels our yes, at the time we say it, we typically mean it. However, sometimes in saying yes, we have left out an important step, the step of discernment.

Discernment is important to having a yes that is sacred. When you discern a decision, you are taking the time to answer some important questions. First and most important, do I really want to do this or do I feel obligated to do it? There are times in our lives where sometimes obligation is needed, however, most of the time it is hard to sustain. If it is out of obligation, then we can also give ourselves permission to put boundaries around what we are able to do. You are not doing anybody any good if you try to take on something you are unable to sustain.

Second, do I have time in my schedule to give it the priority it needs? Evaluating all your other obligations are important. Maybe your passion for one thing has waned and therefore, this new task is possible. Or you just do not have the ability to fit it in at the moment. If you are passionate about it, then trust the opportunity will present itself again. In giving your answer, let the person know who is asking, you want to be asked in the future.

Third, make sure you understand what you are saying yes to and ask questions to clarify. Take the time to truly understand what you are being asked to do and keep asking questions until you feel comfortable with the answers. If answers are too vague or do not inspire you, then it is okay to say no.

Finally, if you have said yes and you realize you can no longer sustain the task or you are no longer excited/passionate about it, then it is okay to turn your yes into a no. Continuing to say yes when you are no longer passionate leads to resentment, burnout, and shame. It is okay to say no and trust someone else will step up. It may not be immediate and it may not be done in the way you want, but it will get done.

Peace & Grace,

Rev. Laura

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