How many times have we been told “no?” I would imagine thousands of times in a life time. Now that I think about it, it would be safe to say thousands of times during childhood and adolescence alone. It’s so funny to recall this very familiar scenario—Me: Moma, can I…, Moma: NO!!! Me: Why?? Moma: ‘Cuz I saaaaaiiiiiiid so!!! LOLOL She had no clue as to what I was going to ask but before I could finish the question her response was NO!!! I think I have hated the sound and the feeling of “no” since the day I was born..but I am still thankful for it. The feeling of no developed a sense of yes to doing everything in my power to give help to anyone who asked of me. Whatever it was had to be “sane” and realistic though. 🙂 By definition “no” expresses a negative of an alternative or possibility. To tell someone no (family, friend or colleague, etc.) would ordinarily imply a form of rejection, disinterest, or lack of compassion. This is not always true. In fact, my personal definition of no is the exact opposite–-no, is really a positive.
No, in my thinking and intention means, “what you’re asking doesn’t work for me at this time, or if I can do it, I will and if I can’t, I can’t–no love loss.” It is not an act of selfishness–it is an act of love. Repetitious aid does not help but ultimately hurts for some. It builds a crutch and creates co-dependence. People will have needs until the day Jesus comes back (emotional needs, financial needs and the like). Jesus said, the poor you have with you ALWAYS. Everyday, every hour someone NEEDS something from us and it is literally impossible to become savior to all. Trying to do so depletes all of our energy and vigor. Consequently, we’re carrying excessive baggage and have low work performances for our assignments at best. Tough love is necessary for growth and is intertwined with the power of no. Someone preached a message and said “Jesus already died for everybody..so you don’t have to!!! “Yes” can be a crippling and paralyzing word if not careful. It can invite the foolishness and chaos created by others into our world…and that my friend, is a heavy and burdensome life to live. At some point everyone has to be responsible for their own decisions and choices–realizing no one owes them anything. I’ve done counseling from time to time over the years and have literally spent hours upon hours listening and offering suggestions on various subject matters…only to find that people will do whatever they choose to do at the end of the day. And that is ok if that’s what they chose. However it isn’t ok when they try to pull others into their madness through guilt trips and emotionalism. That is definitely something and someone to say no to. I sincerely suggest using “YES-es” wisely and “NO-s” much more wisely.
There are so many wonderful lessons attached to the word “no.” Cherish your response to any question of aid, support, or help for in it lies the gateway to your heart and energy. There is a major difference between having compassion and nurturing authentic drama. I believe we all know the difference between the two in our hearts. Allow people room to grow through the power of “no”—even if it means loving them from a distance. It is good to develop your own voice and standard for what is permissible in your life and what is not. All in all, permission and access on any level is signified by two words: YES or NO, ACCESS GRANTED OR DENIED. Some times saying no to them is in turn saying yes to their development and yes to your freedom as well. No is not a bad word at all. It really is for the good!!
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