Friday Feature: Roslyn LaNear
Who am I when everything is YES?
As a child, the word "NO" was frowned upon. It meant that I didn't care. I didn't want to share. For example: Someone in my family would ask me for something of mine. I would say NO, they would get mad and they would express how they felt about me saying no. Even though I was visually upset, I would eventually say YES because I felt like I HURT them. It became a thing that if anyone asks of me for anything....I would say YES. I didn't know to how to communicate my feelings or myself so YES became my muzzle.
As a teenager, the word YES created a sense of curiosity. I would say YES to partake in all types of typical teenage stuff. Back in the 90's, that would include house parties, cutting class, cigarettes, etc. You may think that "HEY! We all have done that" but because I knew to say NO to 90% of that, I didn't know how to express it so my YES also became rebellion. I hated to hear my guardians (grandparents, parents and uncles) say NO to me because that meant they didn't care about me so I would lie so I can enjoy my YES!
As young adult, the word YES became my foundation to build on. I developed friendships by being their "YESMAN". I didn't know much about myself however I knew that I could be someone to somebody. So I would say NO to me for the sake of others. The friends I had never heard Rosalyn say NO or even get upset because my YES became my HAPPY FACE. As long as I can make people smile, feel comfortable and not feel hurt, I was with it. My identity was lost because of YES.
I have allowed people I have been saying yes to dictate my life path. I thought attaching myself to their path would get me where I need to go.
As an adult, YES became a people pleasing mechanism. Honest to God, I would say or do YES to almost anything even while it was hurting me. My dating/relationship life was emotionally abusive because I agreed and accepted things just to keep the guy happy. Never knowing what I wanted. I was still saying NO to me.
My work life, I just stayed in the position I was in. I wasn’t capable of climbing the ladder of success.
Even in Ministry, I was a jack of all trades, master of none. As it was done “IN SERVICE TO GOD”, how could I NOT say YES. I drained and abused myself.
When I was by myself, I would just internalize…I would just “BE”. I would blame myself for EVERYTHING…stayed in a depressive stage. No one knew.
YES was just as NEGATIVE as the word NO was in my life.
It wasn’t until 2011 when God started to reintroduce me to CHOICE. He has given me a whole new understanding of the words YES and NO. He showed me who I was and told me who I am. He taught me Integrity and perspective. He let me know that there were consequences (Good or Bad) to saying YES or NO to situations and/or people. He taught me to use wisdom when making decisions; even to consider ME in the process (crazy right?).
Through years of pruning and purging, I can happily say that YES and NO can heathly co-exist within my life. I have learned not to beat myself up for making bad decisions but to re-evaluate and learn from them. I have learned to think it through before reacting. I have learned to stick by my decisions and apologize for any wrong doing. Most importantly, I finally have said YES to ME and very comfortable in being ME!