Hi! :) Are you a "YES" Person? I used to be!
Maybe being a "YES" Person is part of being a female raised in the rural south. Or maybe it was just part of my families dynamics. But I did not know how to say no. There was so much risk and fear wrapped up in saying no. Disappointment, Rejection, Retaliation, Isolation, Loneliness, just to name a few.
Then I went through a very traumatic experience that is now one of the greatest gifts that I ever received.
I was in college and dating a man that got stationed in South Korea one week after 9/11. We spoke every other day and emailed when he had internet access at an internet cafe. I sent him love letters everyday and care packages often. About 5 months in, he cheated on me. One of his friends girlfriends accidentally came across an email where he was "bragging" about it and she let me know and forwarded me the email. I was devastated. I was devastated to the point that almost all of my plants died.
Unfortunately but fortunately I was speaking with one of my classmates about it. I think she was also the "President" or some other office of this Nutrition club we were in. (Eye roll) As I was balling my eyes out to her, she asked me to head up a fundraiser. Well I can not stand fundraising period! Especially not when I am going through a break up. Between my gasp of air while crying I said "yes". Simply because I did not know how to say no. Well, that is the last time I ever said yes unless it is something that I 100%, without a doubt, want to say yes to!
The overwhelm of school, the breakup, and now the god awful fundraiser led me to a mental breakdown.
Every since, if I am not 100% without a doubt sure, even if I am 99% sure, I say "let me think about it", "Give me a couple days to think about it.", "I will let you know in a couple days." or if I know I don't want to say yes, I say "No." If someone has a problem with that response or is impatient, that is their problem. That is their personal growth to bare. The weight of saying No and risking the disappointment, rejection, retaliation, isolation, loneliness is nothing compared to the weight of being overwhelmed, having health issues or a mental breakdown, and letting yourself down.
Since, I have helped other people to say no by telling them this story. It also helps to know that the person who you are telling no to is probably more receptive to it than you let yourself realize. Perhaps even appreciative and respectful of your boundaries. It is helpful for everyone's growth. Here is an example... you ask your roommate to help you plant a garden and they don't want to. Would you rather them say "No, I don't want to." so you can get on with it yourself or find someone else to help you? Or would you rather them say "Yes" when they have no intention, string you along, you feel left hanging, and then it is too late to plant a garden?
Since I have received this gift of saying no I have also learned discernment, more and better boundaries and self love. Energy work, Meditation, Hypnosis, Deep Breathing have all helped me be in touch with all of the different parts of myself and love myself. One of the best ways I love myself is discerning who I let into my life and having boundaries. There are so many ways for us to love ourselves but for me, in this incarnation, this is one of the best ways for me.
If you are a "YES" person, I hope this helped you. If you are not a "YES" person, I hope you found this story entertaining.
Even though I have received messages not to give in to the news, numbers, conspiracy theories I still have residual, neurotic needs to know. When I was sick 3 times between the beginning of December to the beginning of February, did I have the coronavirus? The answer came to me that it doesn't matter, I don't need to know. Perhaps I need to be more present?
If I do come down with the coronavirus in the future? Why? There has to be a deeper meaning. The answer is personal and spiritual growth and to work on my ego. After all, we are on this planet, this earthly plane, in these weird human space suits for spiritual growth. But most of us forget that.
The gift of the coronavirus is presence. More than ever we don't know what tomorrow will bring much less a month from now, or a few months from now, or a year from now, or a few years from now. So we have no other choice than to be present which is how we should be anyway.
My ears have been bothering me for months. Why? Well, they are not bothering me in this moment, so it doesn't matter. Maybe if my physical body does bother me, I just need to bring presence into which ever body part is bothering me at that moment.
There are a few classes I want to take, well I can't take them today so it doesn't matter. How freeing to not be making plans for the fall or 2021. So many institutions that have bound us, put us in a violent, suppressive, oppressive, repressive, depressive boxes are going to fall. How freeing. How freeing to simply be present. How freeing to simply be.
When we are not being present we are also putting others around us in a box. We all have the ability to change. Do you want someone elses lack of presence keeping you in a box? Do you want your lack of presence keeping someone around you from changing for the highest good?
We don't know where the coronavirus came from. Did it come from a bat or is it man made? Regardless of where it came from is it political? Is it being used to manipulate us? It doesn't matter. Trump, Republicans, Democrats, The CIA, The New World Order, and The Wizard of Oz are only so powerful. Who is powerful is The Universe, God(s), Angels, Mother Earth, Love. They are whats true and authentic and powerful and what will take care of us so we can be present and love.
The economy may suffer but look at this shift with an open mind. How can I be more resourceful? More creative? More Compassionate? It is ok to make money during this time and not feel survivors guilt because you can be kind, caring, loving, discerning, compassionate, and generous. Perhaps the greatest gratitude for our gifts is generosity. Looting may take place but is it possible that we can stop it before it starts? By checking on those we love to make sure they have enough food to eat. Or if we don't have enough food to eat, dissolving shame and reaching out and saying "Hey, I don't have enough food to eat, can you help me or do you know someone who can?" If there is anyone who is reading this that can not afford to eat right now. Please let someone know. Maybe they can help you, if not, maybe they know someone who can. We are all one.
Recently I watched Dave Chappelle receive the Mark Twain award. It was a very inspiring program with a couple of inspiring quotes. Dave Chappelle spoke of how sensitive he is and his mom told him something like "Be a Lion so you can be the Lamb that you are."
Also Lorne Michael mentioned the quote " This is precisely the time when artist go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal." by Toni Morrison. The awards program was in the fall but that quote seems even more appropriate today. Some sources say the opposite of fear is love.
I loved that Toni Morrison quote so much that I looked up more of her quotes and came across this one as well, "We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That maybe the measure of our lives."
In my readings this week I also came across another quote from Rumi. "Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Inspirational quotes have gotten me through some of the hardest moments in my life. I remember there was this one moment that was especially hard and pivotal. I moved by myself from the east coast to Los Angeles and didn't know anyone, had very little savings, and no job to go to. I had a collection of magnets with inspirational quotes on them. I read them over and over and over again, just to get through. Here are some of the quotes. In no particular order.
"Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them" Orison Sweet Marden
"Risk more than others this is safe, care more than others think is wise, dream more than others this is practical, expect more than others think is possible." Cadet Maxim
"If you're going through hell, keep going." Winston Churchill
"Be yourself. Everbody else is already taken." Oscar Wilde
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." unknown
"Everything thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." Leo Tolstoy
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Benjamin Franklin
"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Niebuhr
"Never never never give up." Winston Churchill
I hope you enjoyed this. Please let me know if you would like to read more of my writing.