Friday, April 27, 2007

Learning to Say No

Last week started out fine, but slowly I felt an erosion of my energy. It must be the heat, I told myself. I experienced migraine attacks for a couple of days. Or it must be the overload of activities that I suddenly found on my lap.

I remembered Fr. Geoffrey had warned me last year that I had to watch out for myself, for no one else would. People tend to believe I'm fine when I say that I am. I cannot hope that they would look beyond my standard response and see the tiredness in my eyes or hear the hoarseness in my voice. That was what I get for not saying No enough, especially to people who mattered to me.

So I ran to the Lord, admitting I overbooked myself and asking Him to fix everything. I was in over my head in one project; in another involvement I was suffering from the consequences of change. I accepted a project in the country's premiere legal research company. I withdrew my application from a leading Catholic magazine as I realized I did not have the time required to manage it. I failed to attend a meeting for trainers in a pastoral training institute and wondered if I had missed out my chance. I had several other roles and found my tasks accumulating in my head, hence, the headaches.

As I gazed at the Risen Lord at mass, I asked Him how I could let go of my burdens, for I knew that I was not doing things right because I was getting tired all the time. I realized I was letting other people's comments get to me again. It was a call for me to fix my eyes on Jesus alone, and desire nothing but to please Him, my Audience of One.

During the weekend, I recognized my limitations and took time off with my family. I served during the morning charismatic Mass and then went with my mom to my brother's house, where my nephews were waiting for me to swim with them at their small, garage-size inflatable pool. Then we all had halo-halo for merienda, before surprise-fetching my father from his MCLE (for lawyers) seminar at the QC Sports Club. Various people called and texted me throughout the day, but I was able to monitor the commitments I got myself into and to protect my schedule.

Monday came and there was a lot of time to work on them. Because I was recharged, I was better able to write contracts and type minutes. Then I went to my women's group meeting where I was able to ask for prayers, especially for my never-ending career decisions and my overlapping service assignments.

I don't feel so burdened now, for the Lord and His messengers of love are with me.

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