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The Road to Yes
February 1, 2017
The other day I was at a workshop and we were given an exercise to practice requesting things we feel vulnerable asking for. It’s easy to ask someone if they’d like a cup of tea because I’m not personally invested in the answer. It’s just information about someone’s preferences, their likes or dislikes. It’s definitely more challenging to ask someone to spend time with me, to join in a business venture or anything that I feel passionate about. To ask is to risk rejection. While I may feel safer not asking, it leaves me in the contracted state of holding back. It’s living small. Why would my life open to “Yes” if I’m already saying “No’? Do I trust that if someone says “No” to me it’s simply life guiding me to the people who will say “Yes”?
Another thing became apparent during the workshop. I wasn’t always clear about my yes or no. Haven’t we all done this; said “yes” to a date with someone we have no interest in, helped someone when we’d rather be out dancing, listened to a friend’s troubles when we are desperately craving silence? Granted, there are times we do things we’d rather not because it’s the currency of intimacy. How do we balance the actions of relating to others with relating to our own deepest needs and desires? How do we truly honor our “Yes”?
Conversely, how do we find the truth of our “No”? Sometimes I say “No” because it’s so viscerally clear that it’s my truth. Yet, there are times I say “No” because I’m caught in a net of limiting beliefs. I’m saying “No” because saying "Yes" would be too frightening, it would challenge what I believe about myself, the world and others. Saying “No” becomes a door locked by the repetition of my story. It’s a slow and steady death. “No”, when it’s my truth, is the exercise of good boundaries, knowing my limits and comfort. Saying ”No” to what I don’t want is clearing the way for what I do want. It’s life affirming.
We live in a society that trains us to lie from a very early age. We tell little boys that “boys don’t cry”, overtly and subliminally telling them to subvert and submerge their emotions if they want to be men. Little girls are told they’re “bossy” if they assert their opinions, it’s more important to be agreeable than to speak the truth. This lying for acceptance is one of the most damaging aspects of societal and family norms. It’s a construct built on a deceptive yet pervasive stability. When we dare to step out of this framework of lies that mask as truth we open to a more sacred order. Trusting and speaking our truth aligns us with Higher Truth, allowing us to become conduits for the Divine. What Holy Yes’s and No’s are you longing for?