Do not think you have to be tougher. You have to be softer. Have soft edges, not rough edges.
You may think you have been too easy in life, too quick to do what others want, too quick to be walked on, and now you bend over backwards to be unbending to others. You take pride in saying No. You take pride in putting yourself first, as if there is pride in saying No to others, as if a No is virtuous, preferred, strong, and that a Yes is foolish, shoddy, and weak. Why and where did you get this idea? Well, maybe not you, but maybe you sometimes. Maybe not you at all, but someone.
It is fine to say Yes to others. If someone asks for a ride somewhere, what is so wonderful about saying No?
You do not have to be a marshmallow and always go out of your way, nor do you need to be a hard candy who insists on being ungiving as if ungivingness were a noble choice. Do you have to bite down so hard on defending yourself?
It does not behoove you to deny your own heart. I understand that you are set on setting boundaries. I understand that you have been taken advantage of in the past. You don't have to be a melting bar of soap, yet nor do you have to be an abrasive pumice stone. Can you not take each situation one by one as it arises on its own merits?
Beloved, why not have pleasure in helping someone out, whether it's essential or not? Maybe the person who asks you needs a little kindness from you. Maybe you can do a favor and not feel your account of giving has been overdrawn.
Sometimes you well cannot do a service for another. That is understood. Yet sometimes you can, so why not? Why not be a prince rather than a tough guy? Why not be a princess rather than a proud naysayer? Why not be gracious rather than ungracious? It is not wonderful to be ungracious. It is nothing to be proud of.
It is not that you owe someone. You owe yourself to treat others as you would like to be treated. Maybe it wasn't so much a ride that someone wanted as much as they wanted a few more minutes with you. Is that so hard to give?
I am not talking so much about surface manners as I am talking about your heart. You can achieve a balance without becoming hard-hearted. You don't have to be soft-hearted nor hard-hearted. Just be hearted, beloveds. Be glad to do a kind act for another. Be glad you can.
It is not for you to be harsh. It is not for you to religiously say No any more than it is for you to religiously say Yes. But what does it cost you to say Yes? What does it cost you to say No? Which has the greater cost, My beloved?
As you say No more than you say Yes, the Universe gets confused. The Universe may want to grant you favors, and doesn't know how. If you want to be happy, say Yes more than you say No.
Beloved, open your heart rather than close it. Let your motive in saying Yes be not to please others but to please yourself. Don't be a hard cookie. Make life easy. No one is out to take advantage of you. But I ask you to take advantage of the goodness of your beautiful heart. Do not contract your heart as if that were the smart thing to do.
If you think of yourself as someone who is always being taken advantage of, then you are taking advantage of yourself. You are doing yourself a disservice.
I understand that you have been asking yourself, "What about me?" Now, My most dear beloved, I ask, "What about you? And what about Me?"
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