No. Yes.

Two simple words, No and Yes, carry so much power in our lives. No is important, especially to women, who are traditionally taught from infancy to be good little pleasers. We need to know when to use a good strong Holy No when we know from somewhere deep down that it will serve us best. No can be life saving. It can also be stubborn. Underused, we allow ourselves to be trampled by the needs and wants of others. Overused, we can become blind and deaf to those closest to us.

Yes is just as tricky. It isn't a mere absence of No, but an active agreement to whatever is being asked. Yes is an absolute "allower" that often requires setting our Selves aside, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Both Yes and No need to be used with care and thought and feeling. Before ever using either of these simplest of words, there should be a pause, a count to 10, an internal checkpoint, a deep breath. Used hastily or incorrectly, these tiny giants can cause astonishing trouble. There can be no ambivalence when using Yes and No, No and Yes. The facts must be gathered and analyzed, questions must be asked, and all sides of the question must be as clearly understood as possible. Sometimes this takes only an instant. Sometimes much longer...

Recent experience has shown me, with much love and pain, that a stubborn No is really self-defeating. Most often, except in cases of real self-preservation, it's best to use Yes. Yes does not automatically make us into selfless, vapid pleasers. Used with intention, it makes us powerful and fills us with the openness of the Universe. Yes opens us to all that's possible, and gives us the power to bestow what we find on others. No is important, but Yes will take us much further.

No is a wall. Yes is a door.


Comments

Anonymous said…
Yes, Kim, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Stating boundaries is important; keeping one's agreements is important. Executives I have worked with have also said, "let me think about that, and I'll get back to you". It was a good example to not be pressured into a quick decision and to consider the big picture. Norine
Anonymous said…
Good words. Suzie
m.e. said…
My mother used to say "I'll think about it"
As a child ,I knew this meant she probably would say no!
But, I have made it my personal rule to "think about it " before saying a definite yes or no .
A very thoughtful post ! thank you !
m.e. :)