1. Say no to people/relationships that make more withdrawals than deposits.
If a relationship – whether platonic or romantic – is taking more from your spiritual bank account than it’s putting in, then it may be time to close the account. When they’re not around, you feel like a tug of war between them and your soul. For example, it’s that guy or girl who plays mind games and/or manipulates and builds you up into thinking you’re in love, but only so that later down the road they can break you down and break your heart. However, a solid relationship should never make you feel hopeless or empty on the inside. Think of it as balancing a checkbook or your online account. When it comes to any friendship/relationship, always make sure there’s a healthy balance of withdrawals and deposits on both sides.
2. Say no to the people who say no to you.If you pay close attention, even when people aren’t speaking, you can tell when they’re saying “no” to you whether friends or lovers (i.e., ignore your calls or text messages, stop calling, spend less time together, etc.). Whether communicated directly or indirectly, take heed and don’t ignore the signs. You don’t have to always break your back trying to be there for someone who’s never there for you. Although the realization can hurt emotionally, it can help provide a clearer perspective of where the relationship stands.
3. Say no to those who repeatedly hurt or mistreat you.
Many of us can admit there are times when we’ve allowed certain people to stay around longer than necessary or we allow them to take advantage of us more often than not. Instead of happiness there was hurt. Instead of laughter there were tears. However, comfort and convenience aren’t adequate replacements for true love and simply put, healthy relationships yield healthy results. It’s one thing to go through rough times, but there shouldn’t be more bad than good. There shouldn’t be more pain than pleasure. People hide behind words, but they can’t hide behind actions. If it’s bad to you, then it’s bad for you. So, let their actions speak louder than their words; and if or when they’re actions aren’t enough, be bold enough to take action and move on.
4. Say no to activities and/or places that are harmful to your health or spiritual wellness.
The saying goes, “I can’t do it like I used to,” but quite honestly there are some things I don’t want to do like I used to because I’m older and wiser now. For instance, as a married woman there are certain places that I won’t go to and/or activities I won’t partake in not only because I’m a married woman, but because I know it will likely bring more harm than good. There comes a point in our lives when we have to cut out and/or cut off certain habits (and people) that are detrimental to our spiritual growth.
5. Say no to negativity and hello to positivity.
Do you know someone who drains the life out of you because they’re always negative (i.e., “Debbie Downer” or “Negative Nancy”) or they’re constantly talking about their self-induced drama? Or maybe you know someone who isn’t always open to share, support or celebrate with you because there’s a cloud of jealousy hanging over their sunshine. Sometimes it’s so bad that you find yourself deliberately limiting the amount of interactions with them because it’s so negative. While it’s not always easy to completely remove certain people from our lives for whatever the reason, we can distance ourselves.
Furthermore, it’s not just about negative people. My Pastor reminded me at church one day about the simple input/output theory as he talked about the renewing of our minds: “If all you’re putting in your mind is negative, then you’ll put out negative. What you put in your mind will pour out in your actions.” So, we must ask ourselves, “What is my input/output? Am I mindful of what I allow into my head space as it relates to people, social media, TV and even music?” Furthermore, if you’re surrounded by nothing but mostly negativity, re-position and surround yourself with other like-minded, positive people.
Rejecting negativity allows for more for positivity to enter our lives. In turn, the good stuff ends up ruling our hearts and minds and controlling our actions so much so that we’re open to helping and serving others more.