Someone said to me a long time ago that you can’t have a true “yes” until you have claimed your “no.” This makes so much sense to me now but at the time I can’t say that I fully understood it. In my childhood I was definitely a pleaser and always looked for ways not to rock the boat. I really didn’t have an example of how to just say “no,” who did? It seems to me that no one I knew actually felt entitled to say no so if they did have the courage to put it out there it always had an edge like it needed to be explained or defended in some way.
What about that force that exists in each of us that either pulls us toward or repels us away that is so natural? All living beings have it and it’s so simple and pure. We are drawn toward or repelled away from situations, objects, foods, choices and it can go on and on. You can easily that see that babies and young children always do this quite naturally. They instinctively sense what is just arising within them and follow it without worrying so much about how it’s received by the world around them.
I see this playing out so naturally in my cats for example. They move through the life as they wish without the external pressure of having to be a certain way. We accept them on their own terms and it’s one of the things that all cat owners know and love about their furry friends. They cannot be controlled nor would a real cat person ever even try. We love them for who they are and all the while we are learning how to put our expectations, attachments and agendas aside.
Unlike the natural world we are often taught to override our inherent internal navigation system and do the “right” thing. As a result our pure impulses can be subtle to non existent and burried deep within. They never completely disappear and we can learn to strengthen those neglected muscles. Our instinctive and intuitive knowing comes forward most easily when we are done looking to the outer world for our direction and we are left with no other option other than to go within. Our innate power and wisdom is constantly calling to us and it is there for us when we are ready.
Saying “yes” when you really feel a “no” is no way to live a life and yet so many of us are engaged in life in this way. Feeling “no” about the work we do, “no” about our social obligations, “no” about what we require of ourselves on a daily basis. Once we begin to observe our real feelings it can seem like we are so far outside ourselves that it’s an impossible journey back to our truth. The thing that I love about the truth is that is has a resonance not only in you but in the world as well. Even a hard truth that rings true can be easily and seamlessly received by others. When you are true to yourself you are being authentic and you give whose around you the opportunity to really know you, the real you. You no longer have to hold up the perfect lovable projected image of yourself that is exhausting. You also give others permission to just be themselves. Other people feel where you’re coming from and are just more comfortable and relaxed around you knowing that you will tell it like it is.
So go ahead and give yourself the opportunity to just be yourself try saying “no” when you feel “no” and see how it goes. I’m not promising that some people won’t resist this change in you but I guarantee you will breathe a sigh of relief, have renewed energy and invigorate your true “yes.” The perfect gift to yourself this holiday is to just feel more comfortable in your own skin.