Are you loving this book? Is every chapter revealing something new to you about how you’ve been setting boundaries in the wrong places?
Well, it certainly has for me.
And Chapter 8 on Considering the Trade nearly knocked me over with its insight. You see, I’m a life hoarder. I’m very sentimental and keep things that have “meaning” even if it means we have an attic of boxes of memories. I hate to miss out on opportunities so instead of checking to make sure everyone that wants a chance to speak or lead or manage or teach gets it, I accept the offers. There’s more clutter in my life than just in my attic. That’s when Lysa says this:
How do we discern what to call clutter and what to keep? I want to cover that tension of feeling like I’ll regret missing out on an opportunity if I release it to make room for another. I don’t always want to let that opportunity or that thing go. I wrongly think I can just add more and more and not get overloaded. That fear of release keeps me in a place of clutter and chaos. The Best Yes, Chapter 8, p. 95.
Are you still standing? Maybe your closets are lean and orderly and your attic is empty and your life reflects that mentality as well. But I would hazard a guess that I have a few friends in the clutter and chaos boat with me. And she’s right – we, especially in this particular space and time on Earth, are scared of releasing things (whether it be the little black dress we haven’t worn in three years or the invitation to a party) for fear we’ll miss out on SOMETHING. What I’m really understanding, this year and through this book, is that chasing something means we lose everything. We forego full, peaceful, and strategic living because we’ve filled our life with what isn’t really important.
One other important point here, sometimes we don’t say no to what we should say no to, but sometimes we don’t say anything. We technically don’t issue a yes but we delay the decision. And not making a decision is actually a decision. It’s the decision to stay the same. The only way to diminish our regrets is by making decisions that lead to peace. And peace requires from us some sort of release. (p. 98)
Once you are committed to cleaning out the clutter in your life and in your yeses, then you are ready to make wise decisions. But, as Chapter 9 illustrates, wisdom requires practice and it can be work. I love the verse she uses, it’s always been a favorite of mine out of Proverbs 2:
If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will…find the knowledge of the God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright…he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path. Wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
Don’t you want that? To be able to discern what is right? Wisdom and discernment will PROTECT you! It will protect you from the wrong yeses and direct you to the strategic nos.
Now it’s your turn. Share what clutter certain decisions have brought? What peace could you gain by offering up a no? And how have you become wiser in your decision choices over the years? What has helped you discern the right answer?