…and Moses, when he was come of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter…
For the most part of my adult life, I’ve been learning to say no. Only a few tasks in the whole wide world could prove more difficult than saying no. I could give up a huge chunk of my life savings just to evade the unpleasantness of turning down a request. *The things people say when they have little or nothing in their savings…*
Each day, we make new decisions and review old ones – choosing to live, to love, to laugh, to be free, to hit the mark… So that, when we have to say no, once may not be enough. Rejecting the things that don’t align with one’s purpose takes more than verbalizing fancy zingers. We ought to live practically by design.
Saying No is in three stages:
Thoughts, desires, and interactions make up the ‘Saying stage’. We say no first by mental assent, and then by communicating. Sometimes with a smile, at other times we just blurt out the word coldly. NO! When saying No, clarity and firmness are not less important than being polite. Whether it be a case of one walking away from a toxic relationship or, rejecting a deal that negates what they stand for, a polite but unclear No is in the vicinity of a Yes. This is not surprising, given that in most real life situations, our options are usually binary:
Yes or No
True or False
To Love Aloud or to Hold back
To Live or to Merely Exist
To Invite the Future or to Wallow in Regrets
If there be any middle ground or shades of gray, they are real only to the degree to which one embodies indifference as a virtue. No one should be in doubt when you say No.
Interestingly, ‘Saying’ doesn’t always suffice.
Question: I am free from the thoughts of my awful past, but I still find myself in similar situations now.
Answer: You’re still at the first stage. Move on to the next.
Actions take us to the ‘Doing stage’. I learnt not long ago, that we do not always do what we think or desire to do. That’s why a person can be kind and yet not good. One may entertain noble thoughts all day on a Friday, and yet hang out with the wrong company at night, while still having mental flashes of puritan endeavours in the same gathering. It takes great effort to align actions with thoughts, and this is simply due to behaviour inertia. In fact, when we do not go through on our word, it’s not necessarily because a situation became daunting in the course of time. It just takes more effort to do than to say.
‘Doing’ involves smartly dissociating one’s self from the people, places and things which conspire, though discreetly, to Yes the No. It involves giving up the privileges and benefits we’d enjoy if we had said Yes. One of the ‘privileges’ of wallowing in regrets is that we get to compare what we are now to what we could have been had we not messed things up so badly. A person who has chosen to say No to the past, has to give up that ‘privilege’. In ‘Doing’, we bear the opportunity cost of ‘Saying’, and sometimes this cost could be so high that we wonder if we’re not overreacting by ‘Saying No’.
Question: This is getting kinda dogmatic with methods and steps, dos and don’ts. I just want to live my life, be me, and be real. How?
Answer: Actually we should have started from stage III
Underlying this whole Yes/No rant of mine is a rhetorical question that almost every adult individual asks: Why Can’t I Just Be Me?? Thankfully, it’s rhetorical, so I’m not obligated to provide an answer. *Of course I wouldn’t even know where to start the answer from…*
There isn’t a standard checklist of what and what one needs to do to ensure their No remains No. By ‘Being’, we are simply Unavailable to the things that distract us. This is not some fancy theory.
We are what we are by Nature and by how we are Nurtured. By Nature, there are things we can’t do. But each of us yet has a responsibility to defiantly unlearn even our most natural failings.
It is possible to live like the past is gone forever
; like no one has ever hurt you
; to choose not to be an emotional burden to one’s partner
; to walk the path of truth and honour daily.
We get to this point by ‘Being’. At this stage, ‘Saying’ and ‘Doing’ follow almost naturally.
Here, we do not just say No, we affirm our position. Yes, I said No!
Yes, I said No.
No! Yea I say it again.
Though for saying so,
I yet have nothing to show.
Yes, I said no.
And seasons go.
But I’m not worried about tomorrow.
Yes, I said No.
Lofty heights, sunken depths.
Wherever I go.
I shall never lose hope.
Yes, I said No.
Though I still need You.
But if No costs me You,
Then I’ll walk alone.
© August 2016 clickpresh’s blog