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Our most important decisions are discovered, not made.  We can make the unimportant ones, but the major ones require us to wait with the discovery.  ———Anne Wilson Schaef

We often push ourselves to decisions that have not ripened and are not ready to be made.  We castigate ourselves for being indecisive, and others share this opinion of us.  We believe that if we were just wise enough, intelligent enough, or clear enough we would know what we want.  We do not respect that maybe the reason we can’t make a decision is because we don’t know yet.

For many generations, women have felt that we had to say yes to everything.  Then we learned that it is OK to say no, so we have practiced saying no.  Unfortunately, however, it is still exceedingly difficult for us to say “I don’t know” and to feel comfortable staying with our not knowing, until we do know.  

   The QUALITY of my decisions is directly proportionate to my patience with my not knowing.

(Taken from the book:  Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaef)



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • I read this today and it really struck home with me.  I am for one very impatient.  It’s something I have to work on daily.  If I want something done...I want it done yesterday.  I will have to say I have gotten better about it but it’s still a trait I have to work on.  

      With that said.....I also had to learn to say “no“.  That was probably the hardest thing for me to learn to do.  I was always wanting to help everybody and their brother..and in all reality...it’s not possible.  

      Now that I have learned to say “no“..and I will say I do that quite well in my older age....I still have trouble saying “I don’t know“.  But hey...I think I will concentrate on it and hopefully soon it will be just as easy.  

      The older I get the more I want to be on the “need to know” basis.   What are your thoughts and do you struggle with any of this on a daily basis?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • I don’t really struggle with not knowing. I’m a mull it over type of person and it sometimes takes me a long time to make a decision. But, when I do, the process has been so long that it generally sticks. Historically when I make snap decision, they have turned out badly for me so I’m pretty cautious.

      That being said, that drives my husband nuts. He cannot understand why when he asks me a question I don’t always have a quick answer for him. He’s very behavorial and results oriented and I’m cognitive and need to ponder so I get the right results.

      Thank you, Mary. This was a really good post this morning.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • WOW! Mary this is something I need to see today thank you for sharing it, this will help me to know its ok to say NO!, as well as work on my patience even the more in waiting on God for his instruction.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Mary,

      That is a very incisive post –  my mother told me at 21 that the greatest gift she could give me was showing me how to say no and I'll come back to you in my time .......
      If she hadn't I would have been the woman who ran round pleasing all and sundry but myself.
      I read a post on Fab 40 which I cut and pasted and sent to all my friends which was "to busy to have a fabulous life" and I have several who have miserable lives because they can't say NO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • I also think for me......I had so many things I truly wanted to do, but at some point you do have to say “no“.  I got asked a lot to do things but guess what...they knew I wouldn’t say “no“.  And for that I paid dear price of becoming very depressed and ill in the end.  So going forward as part of my recovery...I had to say “no” and I had to learn to pick one to two projects and leave it at that.  

      Now...before I give a “yes or no” answer I ask myself...do I really want to give it up my free time or do I really have “time” to take it on?  And....do I  really want to do all that work?  Believe me...it doesn’t take too long for me to make that decision.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Great thought-provoking post, Mary.  I’ve noticed that i’m more inclined to say no these days and it’s strange because my children don’t demand so much of my time now, i thought i’d take on MORE outside responsibilities.

      My children still make demands on my time and attention but i’ve begun to let them go.  I resisted for so long but when my oldest’s behavior made it abundantly clear that it was going to happen, i accepted it and have been a better mother to all three of my children as a result.

      As far as being in control of a situation or not, it’s important to remember that, while you may not be in control of a situation, you are most definitely in control of how you handle the situation.  Acceptance once again comes into play.  Resistance is a trouble-maker, acceptance plays well with others!

      The quality of MY decisions is directly proportionate to my level of acceptance of the situation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Maria68 wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • I learn something new @ Fab40 everyday!!  

      Thank you Maryclark. Your post was truly an “AH HA” moment for me. I am going to let go of controlling everything in my life and focus more on my faith and patience.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • I have arrived and I must say I love the freedom  that I have discovered with the words, "No" and "I don't know."

      It frees me up to do what I really want to do.



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