The Best Yes...A review.
Some women at my church started a book club last month and I'm just so happy about it I could cry. I feel like I'm constantly consuming information: books, blogs, business tips, media, etc. It's exhausting. So I am elated to have a small group of women to sit down with and actually process through some of what I'm inputting each month.
The first book was The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I really did not want to read this book. At all.
It's about saying no. And I'm TERRIBLE at saying no. Before I go on, let me explain something. I'm terrible at saying no for one reason and one reason only: I'm very worried that saying no will make people not like me. I hear all these people saying,
"I'm just such a people-pleaser," or
"I'm just a do-gooder. You know me!" or
"I'm a serial altruist."
And I just want to be very clear that I don't fall into those camps. I "people-please" for personal gain (and you probably do too even if you don't admit it). Because I'm terrified that they won't like me if I say no. It's 100% for my benefit. And when you give of yourself from that place, it is rarely healthy.
So. I knew this book would be a tough pill to swallow. And it waaaaaaaas. I whined in my head the entire time I read it. For one thing, I'm not great at making decisions. For another, I struggle deeply with insecurity. I don't trust my abilities enough to step out in faith. I am constantly questioning if my friendships are in a good place. I attach far too much significance to single interactions or other people's words, and then I'm positive their thoughts are an accurate reflection of myself. I second-guess every choice I make for at least a week after making it. (Unless it's food. I'm like, REALLY good at ordering the perfect meal at a restaurant.)
The point is, I've filled my life with a lot of appointments because I don't trust myself. I don't trust myself to be happy without a wide net of people around me. I don't trust myself to get over it when, inevitably, I learn that someone doesn't like me (for the record, this has happened more than once - and I'm still not over it). And I don't trust God to be enough for me when people let me down.
And I'm sick of appointments! I've missed so many opportunities to love deeper and better and fuller because I felt guilty about saying no. If there is anything this book has taught me, it's that my Best Yes is to relationships, not favors and appointments. I know that relationships come along with those two things and that's OK, it just can't be what they're built on.
Oh wait, this was supposed to be a book review...
The book is good. It's relevant. Great material and definitely timely for me. It reads a bit like a blog, but who doesn't like blogs? Did it address a deep, soul issue within me? Yes. Do I think this book will un-do 27 years of this habit? No. But I do think it's a good start.
Who is this book for?
Your brother: Probably not. This one is pretty lady-centric.
Your grumpy friend: Yes! She is probably grumpy from saying "yes" to everything!
Someone with little empathy: No. This won't help them be kinder to people.
Most women in the church: Yep.
What does this book say?
In this great day when most women have banners of authenticity about our pasts, we crouch back from honesty about our presents. We'll tell you all about our broken places of yesterday but don't dare admit the limitations of our today.
My attitude of love must be fiercely guarded when considering adding activities. My attitude of love must not be sacrificed on the altar of activity.
You won't ever be able to keep up with unrealistic. Unrealistic demands lead to undercurrents of failure. So don't allow the unrealistic demands of others to march freely into your life.