What Happened When I Said “No” To Pride and “Yes” To Relationships
“Mommy, we are done sleeping!”
I hear these words coming from the top of the stairs. After slow movements and a long stretch, I wake up and groggily shuffle into the kitchen to turn the kettle on. It’s always too early, so I beg the kids to stay upstairs until I open the blinds to let the light in and take a few deep breaths before the day begins. There’s something about exposed, dewy window panes that keeps my eyes open to take in the morning.
The kids come barreling down the stairs as soon as the toaster pops, and I quickly grab the hot waffles with one hand while pouring the almond milk with the other.
“Good morning! Mommy has to get some work done, but let me know if you need anything! Here’s your breakfast!”
From the moment we all settle in for the day, I get to work. 40+ hours a week from home is both a gift and an obstacle. It’s good to feel financially comfortable and be able to watch my children grow, but there’s always a catch.
The catch happened to be my relationships. Though my business was soaring, opportunities were knocking on my door, and I felt valued and accomplished, my couch was left empty and there was only ever one teacup in the sink at the end of the day.
I was lonely.
I remember sitting with a client during a life coaching session, and she said something that stuck with me.
“Being someone who loves both relationships and being an achiever, I have to keep using this mantra: people over projects.“
People over projects.
It sounds like common sense, but when your schedule doesn’t even allow room for getting dressed some days, making time for people is not high up on your list of priorities.
But I could only dishonor my value of connection for so long before it was time for a change. The extroverted, lover-of-people in me was clawing its way out and dying to be recognized. But pride kept shoving that part of me back down and asking for it to keep quiet. Pride didn’t want relationships to get in the way of the positive forward-movement in my career. I can honestly say you don’t know you struggle with pride until you stand face to face with the emotion that so often goes “undercover.”
A month ago, God had me sit with all my responsibilities and jobs in front of me and asked me to let parts go so that I could put PEOPLE over PROJECTS. And, gosh, it was hard! Yes, I love people, but how do I let projects go that are so dear to my heart? How do I cut back work hours and still pay my bills? And what if I say “no” to projects and then it turns out to be a mistake?
The questions were like chains holding me as a slave to pride. But something had to drop so I could tend to my relationships and nurture what mattered…my people.
Surprisingly, ever since I said “no” to projects and “yes” to people, the rewards have been pouring into my life. My door is swinging open, and the kettle is on now more than ever. I’m looking into the eyes of those I love and hearing their stories face to face instead of through my social media newsfeed. You see, these types of interactions give me more than any project could. They give me hope, encouragement, and connection. They fill me up on a soul-level and end up making my projects overflow with a value that could never be created on my own.
And it feels good, and right, and lovely.