The Divine Dance of the Yes-No Partnership.
One of the areas that generates a huge amount of emotional conflict and causes profound confusion for many people is this area of saying Yes and saying No; particularly of saying No.
Our spiritual teachings really embrace how important it is to give, and quite rightly so. Giving to others and making our very best contribution to the world, with grace and gratitude are all aspects of love. But sometimes when we listen to these teachings, we can misinterpret saying No as something that is negative and unhealthy, and as if this makes us an ungiving or an uncaring person. Actually this is far from the truth.
Saying Yes, AND saying No, are both aspects of love.
When we say a big healthy Yes to something that feels great, with passion, respect and integrity, we are opening a doorway for potential and opportunity. When we find ourselves having to say No to something, even though on the surface it may appear as though we are creating a block, this isn't actually the case. If we look a little deeper, we can see that by recognizing and acknowledging that something isn't alright, we are actually creating an opening for change.
So both Yes and No, delivered with compassion, respect and integrity, sit side by side in creating possibility, opportunity and an invitation for potential growth.
Sometimes the most valuable gift that we can offer someone is to say No. No is a boundary. When we say a big healthy No to a child; No... you can't have all of those sweets, or No... you can't stay up late, you're tired and need sleep. Even if they don't want to hear our No; we are actually showing them love, and that we care, and that we are interested in their well-being. And we're demonstrating where and when and how to invest in healthy limits and healthy choices.
When we say a big healthy No to any form of abusive or damaging behavior we are creating an opening for potential change. We do no favors to anyone when we turn a blind eye, or allow or condone something that actually isn't okay.
Sometimes, in extreme circumstances, the only way to say No is to walk away, and however challenging this may be, in doing so we are making a statement about our core values and our own integrity. Even through adversity, we can stand up and choose to live differently. When we demonstrate through our very being how it is to live well, we demonstrate possibility and we demonstrate that change and growth are not only possible, but that they hold the key to a healthy and flourishing life.
When we say No to something unhealthy we are saying Yes to life.
Sometimes the greatest gift that we can give to ourselves is to say No. An inability to say a healthy No to ourselves is always present in the complexities in any form of addictive or compulsive behavior. This profoundly valuable relationship between Yes and No is an integral part of our capacity to engage fully in self-care, and in our ability to make healthy choices in our lives, choices that enable us to thrive and to flourish.
Yes and No are part of our relational field, and they are a dynamic relationship.
The relational exchange of the yes and no partnership, will define the structure and the shape and the quality of the energetic field around us. This intimate dance between yes and no will define the energetic quality of the core empathic space within which we sit, and from which we engage and journey throughout our lives.
When we say an unhealthy Yes to something that is not okay, this is almost always done through fear, obligation or guilt. These emotional currencies then occupy the energetic field around us, whereas a big healthy No, voiced with respect and concern and dignity, creates an emotional currency of love and compassion.
The relational exchange of the Yes and No partnership is a dynamic relationship; it isn't fixed. There is a continual interchange between them. If we are unable to say No from a position of health, then we will also be unable to say Yes from a position of health. There is a relativity of health within this balance. We need both. When we are able to embrace this dynamic fully, we can begin to navigate our lives from a position of deep internal knowing and deep internal truth.
We cannot be responsible for change and growth in others, but we can be responsible for who we are, and with deep compassion and a desire to create love and growth in the world, we can say both Yes and No from a position of healthy living and vitality.
Jenny Florence is dedicated to promoting emotional health, emotional education and emotional well-being. She is the author of Emotional Health, the Voice of Our Soul, and the creator and author of the a-z-of-emotionalhealth.com online Audio Library.