It’s not always easy when you’re learning,
when the birthing of your own worthiness
is still so fresh with pain.
You have to keep saying no loud enough until you hear yourself.
I am learning to stand by my no’s, by what nourishes my own soul—
by the NO that has my back, knows best what is for me and what is not.
I am learning it’s okay to be quiet when there is nothing more to say,
when I have already spoken,
when I have paid careful attention, said what I mean
and mean what I say.
Because another discounts my no,
does not mean that I don’t count.
Both of us in the same classroom as I learn to stand by what I have said
and they learn to hear my no.
And just a single no can stand on its own—
just a simple thank you, but no—or because I said so.
I am learning it’s quite okay to have momentary confusion or
temptation to say yes without actually doing so.
It’s okay to sit with it for however long it takes until the thing is done.
Even though it hurts for a while, even though those old feelings rise up,
I know everyone is hurt
when I say yes but mean no.