I Say Yes to Myself

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L_Sars

I work in a bakery so I hear a lot of, “Oh I just want it ALL, but I can’t …” or “I really shouldn’t …” Or “What has the least sugar?”

I don’t mind so much, but I often want to remind these grown adult humans that they WALKED INTO A BAKERY. The treats here are tasty and they are loaded with sugar, but you made the choice to walk in the door.

Last week I must have been having a similar conversation with Marilyn, a kind woman who always takes her macchiato in a paper cup to go. I think she asked me how I resist the temptation to eat all these treats or some such nonsense. To which I replied, “I try to say yes to myself. I don’t always walk in here and want cake for breakfast, but when I do, I say yes.”

I looked up just in time to see her face burst into a grin.

“I like that. That is wisdom right there.”

I chuckled. I didn’t expect to be handing out wise words with espresso at 8am on a Thursday.

A week later Marilyn was in again. Armed, as usual, with exact change and a smile.

When she made it to my end of the bar for her macchiato she reminded me of our previous conversation. “You changed my life the other week,” she told me.

I must have looked startled.

She nodded her head a bit and her grey curls bounced. “You told me you try to say yes to yourself. And those words really impacted me. You might not even remember, but I sure do.”

“I remember.” And I did. But I didn’t think I had offered something special. Only something true.

“I have been trying to say yes to myself too,” she announced. “And I have been sharing that wisdom with all of my female friends. Your words are making their way around the world. You are really making an impact,” she said.

I could hardly believe what a beautiful moment we were having. Me standing there with my apron pockets full of coffee grounds and her small frame growing larger with sheer enthusiasm and her bright eyes getting brighter by the minute.

It was the highlight of my week. It might stand as the highlight of this year.

This year I am saying yes to myself. I have already spent too much time on no. Time following strict rules connected to a faith where all I can find is talk of freedom and love. Time spent saying no to self-care and self-love.

Now I say yes to myself. Yes to outlandish dreams, but also yes to small ideas. Yes to living healthy and also yes to cake for breakfast. Yes to staying in bed on my day off and yes to going out to a party alone. Yes to writing the hard stuff and yes to letting my snark and swear words fly. Yes to kissing strangers and yes to my instincts to cut them loose. Yes to silly haircuts and yes to comfy shoes. Yes yes yes.

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Sarah Joslyn
I’m more likely to answer to Sars than Sarah. That’s because years ago my brothers started calling me Sars and, as the name implies, it was infectious. I’m a self-proclaimed writer-photographer-Jesuslover-painter-adventurer-foodie. I have a near obsession with ending injustice and I’m a sucker for a good cause. I blog about life and building a tiny house at sometimesscreaminghelps.com.
Sarah Joslyn
Sarah Joslyn

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Sarah Joslyn
  • Such brilliant writing – love the details and wit as well as the wisdom in saying yes to yourself. Cake for breakfast – yes! Come on over and I’ll make sure there are two big slices!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      ❤️❤️❤️

      Thank you, Kelley.

  • I absolutely love this! We are programmed to say no-it shows discipline, strength, self control(supposedly) What many fail to learn is that the yes requires the same commitment-perhaps more because fear must be denied for the important yes. Fear is a great supporter of the no because it means many incredible things we are called to do never get done. A yes-even one like having cake for breakfast (mmmmm)-has the power to defeat fear and allow a world of great things to happen!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      This. Exactly this. The courage to say yes is not for the faint of heart.

  • Absolutely love this Sarah! Can totally see why this would have been the highlight of your year – what a brilliant moment (and storytelling of it).

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Thanks, Naomi. It was a great moment. 🙂

  • Sandy Hay

    Oh Sarah. Our worlds are so much bigger than we think they are. Our words, simple words, like yes, leave an impact that most of the time we never realize. You would never have known if your customer with the grey curls had not told you. How blessed you both are….and me too 🙂

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Sandy, I am so glad she came back to tell me how much it meant to her. It was really fantastic.

  • HeleneBurns

    Yes to cake and comfy shoes! You’re awesome xo

    • Sarah Joslyn

      ❤️

  • And this is what you do here all the time: offering “something special” as well as “something true.”
    Thanks for today and for all the other times, as well.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      This made me smile. Thank you, Michele.

  • Katie Bergman

    Beautiful and brilliant. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Sarah. You speak to that tough tension between opposites – “Yes to living healthy and also yes to cake for breakfast.” (I love it!) Thanks for reminding me that it’s all about balance, and about saying “yes” to myself when it’s easier to say “no”!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Exactly! It’s funny how programmed we get for “no” when so much is good in the world.

  • Bethany Olsen

    FABULOUS.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      ❤️

  • pastordt

    LOVE this!!!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Thanks, Diana!

  • I love how you stand strong in yourself … that preaches!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      ❤️❤️❤️

  • I love this too, Sarah. The more I’ve learned to say yes and listen to my body and heart, the more I’ve realized they’re good guides–not telling me to mash my face in icing, but to savor, savor, savor EVERYTHING.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Yes yes yes.

  • Joy McEwen

    This reminds me of a story a friend told me last week, about a pastor who did a seminar on “God’s Will” after church one Sunday. As that topic always seems to be a draw, the room was packed. He came in, said, “write down four things you really want to do in life.” So everybody scribbled down their hopes and dreams. After the pause, he looked up said, “okay, now go do them!” and walked out of the room. Seminar over.

    Thank you for this lovely post that reminds us that God’s will is sometimes less about purpose and more times about permission- freeing ourselves to see a world that is not black and white, but a thousand colors. Beautiful! And you are so right- when we start saying “yes”- it’s contagious!

    In the last year, I have started saying “yes” and it has made such a difference. Be blessed!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      That sounds like a fantastic seminar! Yay to YES!!

  • Stefanie

    I LOVE THIS.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      <3

  • Laura Beth Martin

    I love this so very much. (see how I said yes to all the adverbs:) I have spent the majority of my thirty-eight years saying no to myself. No you may not sleep late, no you may not wear that, no you may not be that, no you may not rest, no God cannot be calling you to that. No, no, no. It has inadvertently and without my permission become my internal feedback loop. I think I’ll try that yes on for awhile. Thank you Sarah.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Time to put YES in the feedback loop. xoxo

      • Laura Beth Martin

        <3

  • this is great! really needed this encouragement and perspective today. thank you!

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