Time with yourself is also a commitment
I find it interesting that it is acceptable to decline a social invitation if we have other social commitments already scheduled. However, declining these invitations because we have scheduled time to ourselves can be seen as less of a justifiable reason.
Somehow, the norm is to be social and engaged. I do enjoy being social, in moderation, and do believe it is vitally important to keep a community and social network as we age.
These days, I am more interested in keeping members of my tribe in my life. People with whom I resonate more, understand more quickly with sometimes fewer words, who feel cut of similar cloth and speak a similar language, even if a different dialect of it.
I find it interesting to notice in myself a twinge of guilt and embarrassment if I choose to decline an invitation with no really “good excuse” as defined by those, perhaps, who may be more extroverted than I. And I am working on this.
I am working on this because I want to live more and more authentically by what I believe and feel is true for me.
What is true for me is that periods of time that I have scheduled as alone time (perhaps time to write or paint, but sometimes simply to be) are vital. Vital for my tranquility. Vital for my sanity. Vital for my soul. And I don’t want to have to make up what I think may be perceived as an acceptable reason to say no. Time that I have made a date with myself is reason enough.
Have you heard the saying “No is a complete sentence.” I have tried playing with this, feeling the urge within me to justify why I may be saying no to something. I must admit that this does not come easily to me, and I continue to work on it. Of course I can let folks know more about what may be some of the reasons that I am saying no. But the truth is, I don’t have to. “No” can stand by itself. I am reason enough. No other excuses needed.
I find relief in solitude. Although others may not understand this, it’s ok. I can let them know and answer more questions about this if they are interested in knowing more about me and. I try to also offer the same to others who may feel differently, who need to have the company of another or others more frequently for their own just as valid reasons. We can learn to try to hear one another and perhaps come together when we can in the space where we can both meet as ourselves.
The bottom line, though, is that if I am saying no to you, it may be simply because I need to say yes to me right now. I have a date …with me. I have a prior commitment….to myself. So when I say yes, know that I will be able to be more truly with you, more present to who you are. Because I have taken care of me, I will have more open and welcome space for you.
But, first, I have to be present for me. Because I am reason enough.