I’ve been thinking recently a lot about American culture and the frequent usage of the phrase, “I don’t have time.” In particular, I have been seeing it when a person is reneging on their commitment - whether it be a commitment to do a certain job or to be a friend when someone needs them. They just don’t “have time” to do the things they committed to.
I know that the things I observe in the world are reflections of my thoughts. When I see something arise again and again, I take time to look at how I demonstrate those things in my life and what can I learn from the experience. What I observed was that if I didn’t want to do something, rather than just saying “No,” I felt the need to give an explanation as to why I “couldn’t” do the thing as a means of excusing myself and so that I wouldn’t feel guilty and thought the other person wouldn’t notice the lame excuse I was making.
Yet, we are Spirit and as such, we are of One mind. We can lie and hide and excuse things, but the other person will know that something is not right. Maybe they won’t know exactly, but our mis-truths always catch up with us. The honest thing is that it wasn’t a priority to me to follow through on my commitment or to prioritize the other person’s wants in my life. Maybe that sounds cold but if your best friend was in the hospital and critically ill, would you now have the “time” to see them? Well of course you would! You would make the time because it was more important to you than the other activities of your week.
Similarly, we make decisions each day as to where and how we allocate our energy and time. I don’t have to work. I could live in a homeless shelter but I don’t want to. So I choose to work, but I don’t have to work. It’s where I choose to put my time so I can have an apartment while I’m living in San Francisco. I choose to take a shower in the morning. I don’t have to. I could go months without washing though others might stop associating with me, that would still be a choice of how I allocate my morning time.
So, I challenge you to be honest. Either tell the person you are saying “No,” to either just simply “no” and let it be or be honest. You don’t have to explain everything. You don’t have to make excuses. “No.” is a complete sentence. You can say it kindly, you can encourage the person to enjoy whatever it was that they wanted to do and you can just say “no” without concocting a story or belief that you don’t have time when you have the same 24 hours we all do.
It’s an experience at times to look at the excuses I make and why I make them. This is one that has become really prominent in my consciousness. Maybe there is something else you hear people say a lot that bothers you. Take the time, listen and then look within to see where you can heal that within yourself. Have a great week!