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when no can be a yes

Tea with the Hatter
she feels overwhelmed by the demands and feelings of others and doesn’t know how to say no

“Whenever we feel bad when saying no to someone, we unknowingly doubt that life has a greater plan in store for them. Allow any response of ‘no’ to convey the same loving openness as yes, so all who are finding their way throughout the unfolding of every circumstance may be embraced at every turn.” ~Matt Kahn

My inability to say no has plagued me much of my life. I feel the other person’s sadness or disappointment and want to fix it. I have worn myself out doing the little “happy dance” to fix things up so that nobody will be displeased with me. This, of course, comes from childhood trauma–from severe punishment given when I wasn’t acquiescing or doing what I was told.

It also comes from threats or other mistreatment I’ve received as an adult when I said no to someone who had (I thought) some sort of authority over me.

It also comes from my own need for love and acceptance which I’ve written about quite a lot this past year. As I’ve been growing stronger and more focused on my own healing recently, I’ve been seeing how easy it can be to say no to someone when I’m not all wrapped up in their story but just staying focused on my own truth. I have lovingly told a couple of men NO over the past month. I see them kick up a strong emotional response and I hold steady with my own truth with love in my heart. It’s like a miracle to me to have found a way to say no without feeling a hurricane inside of me. I have openly said these things (which I realize are probably easy for some people but are historically very hard for me):

“I’m not interested in you that way.”
“I am only interested in being your friend.”
“I am busy. That doesn’t work for me.”
“No, I don’t have a desire or need to talk to you about that.”
“I see that you are upset. I also know that those are your feelings. I don’t feel responsible for them.”

I have focused on other people’s feelings to the exclusion of my own much of my life. Now that I’m not doing that as much, I see that I was also secretly wanting them to attend to my feelings. I didn’t like hearing no either. I would act out and be bratty when I didn’t get my way. Choosing a different response has shown me how beautiful and loving it can be to just say NO and trust that everyone will get what they truly need.

When said with love, NO really can be a YES. It can be a YES to the Divine Unfolding, a YES to authenticity and ultimately, a YES to Love.

Gigi in Wonderland
having learned to say NO, she can say YES to herself and own her own power

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