Do you remember when that slogan came out many years ago? It was a slogan against drugs. Just Say No to Drugs! I believe they were on the right track. If you say no from the beginning, you are not going to get hooked. It may have worked for some, but not for everyone.
I believe this needs to go one step further. We have to ask why do people want to say yes in the first place?
Initially you probably want to fit in. You don’t want to look like a nerd (do they still say that?), you want to fit in with your friends. You’re feeling the peer pressure. Or maybe you are feeling the stress of life and need a way to run away emotionally.
Are we putting too much pressure on our kids? Are we helping them to see their self-worth? I know many people, including myself, struggle with confidence, being able to speak their mind and practice self-love.
When going through my training for hypnosis, we were taught that the top emotional issues people have are:
Feeling they aren’t enough (good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough)
They don’t think they fit in (at school, at work, with friends or family), they feel different
They think that what they want isn’t available to them
How can we instill in our family, friends and ourselves that we are enough? It’s ok to be different and that we can have what we want. How do we help them see they are worthy?
Is it our job to do that? Why should we care? Because…
It could save a life
Life for everyone would be less stressful
Life for everyone could be happier
Imagine a world of confident, happy people everywhere. Imagine great ideas being brought into fruition because they had confidence that it could really happen. Imagine families getting together without the stress of someone making a scene because they were under the influence of one substance or another. Imagine confident people raising confident children.
You may be asking what it is that you CAN do. There are plenty things you can do. It all starts with having the confidence in yourself to set a good example. Then start with small gestures.
When you tell someone you love them, add a little more about what it is that you love about them (their strengths, beautiful eyes, their hugs)
Give complements on something they did or even on what they are wearing (stranger or not)
Point out that if everyone was the same, the world would be a pretty boring place to live
Celebrate small accomplishments or even attempts
Provide a few positive affirmations or mantras they can read over and over (I am amazing, I am…)
Teach them a skill (build something, sewing, cooking, gardening)
Give them your full attention (set down your phone)
At the end of the day ask "What was your favorite part of today?"
Start when they are very young
Don’t give up; they are worth it and so are you
One thing we have to remember is that we are all on our own path. There are lessons to be learned from the people in our lives. I believe we chose to be here in this life time, with these specific people. We have free will to make the choices we want to in this lifetime, but there are consequences to those choices, good or bad.
As far as drugs go, I believe it’s a supply and demand product. If we can reduce the demand, the supply should diminish. This is my dream. I also remember coming home from school when I was probably around 5th grade. I told my mom we learned that alcohol was a drug. She was shocked they were teaching that. Alcohol is socially acceptable so how can it be called a drug? Hummm!
I realize addiction is real. It's a struggle every day for the individual as well as their family and loved ones. But this post is one step. One blog. One line at a time, just like it's one day at a time for them. It's a process. Nothing changes over night (unless it's the death of your loved one) but we can take one step forward.
There is another version of Just Say No. It’s about self-love again, but in the sense that we are setting boundaries. It’s about saying no to something you really don’t want to do, or that you know you don’t have the capacity to do.
Years ago, I worked in a department that had been bought out and we were all losing our jobs. For the last day in the office, we had all made t-shirts with various sayings. On mine, I wrote “No!” on the front and “That felt great” on the back. I recognized that I was constantly saying “yes” to whatever was asked of me but where did it get me? I still lost my job right along side my co-workers.
Where are you saying “yes” when it would be in your best interest to say “no”?
Can you see yourself giving an extra long hug in the future, and extending that “I love you” to “I love your big heart”?
My goal today was to just plant a seed. I wanted to give you something to think about, not to make anyone feel guilty or add more pressure to someone’s life. We all do the best we can, until we can do something better. Keep learning and loving life!
If you have comments, you can contact me on my website