The Art of Yes & No

I think it’s time you turn some heads.

You need to realize the kind of freedom that comes with just saying “no“.

In the sweetest, nicest way possible, I’ve been learning how to say no.

It’s a two letter word and a double edged sword. It’s the word you sometimes hate to hear and a word you so often wish you could say. I used to know the taste of that little word so well. He and I used to have coffee dates and journal writing sessions together. I knew No like the back of my tiny hand.

But through the years, we lost touch. I found myself cozying up to Yes. Yes, seemed so polite, so delicate, inviting and loved.

I found that holding hands with No sometimes meant fights, tears, headaches and heartbreak. I got tired of picking up his pieces, so tired of explaining his harsh reputation; so I left him all together.

Yes always felt right at first. Yes fit in all the right places, Yes was never rejected or unwelcome. Yes never caused me problems; he was peaceful and pleasant. Yes was always invited to the party.

But I found myself with a twinge of sadness one day, missing No. No and I had conquered some hard times together, No had led me to some places of freedom, of deep sighs of relief.

No let me come down from walking on my tiptoes.

I shouldn’t have abandoned No.

I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him or written him vows, but I should have kept him around. Because No isn’t all bad, No isn’t a dirty word.

But I just can’t leave Yes either.

Because Yes can take you on some grand adventures, Yes can open your heart to the sweetest kinds of love.

I think all three of us need to walk hand in hand.

I need to clasp one hand with No and the other with Yes.

I’ve been holding onto Yes with both hands so tightly. My knuckles are white and my hands are numb. I think it’s time I let one hand go.  I want No to come back. Others may never welcome him, invite him, sit next to him… but I will.

Because there are some days, some moments, when No just needs to be said and No needs to be heard.

No, I won’t stop being who I am.

No, I won’t be held back.

No, You can’t take advantage of me.

No, I won’t give faith to my fears.

No became my enemy, but only using Yes led me to my apathy. I felt so worthless when I chose to agree with everything. Yes turned into indifference.

Because you can only say YES so long before it is just a word and does not produce action.

All the things you’ve promised and committed to by just using that one “simple” word, will be the things that breed bitterness and exhaustion.

It’s okay to welcome them and use them both. It’s perfectly acceptable and incredible to know which one belongs where and to learn the art of dancing with two of the most important words in the English language.

Those little words will open doors, shut doors and they will show the world what you’re made of.

So if you’ve left one of them behind, whether from fear or from frustration, I think it’s time you give that old friend a call and invite him back. Whether it be No or Yes, you need them both. You’ll never be happy if you only have space for one. You need to learn how to use them both, mean them both and love them both.

It really is an art, if you ask me; the art of learning how to paint those words in such a way that they’re beautiful in their proper place.

When your knees are bleeding from digging into the concrete where you’ve been down begging for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Stand up. Walk away. With all the love you’ve got in your heart… tell them No. I’m not begging for one more solitary second. I am better than that & so are you.

When your hands are trembling and you’re trying something new, steady your shaking limbs and say Yes, I can. I must. And I will.  And crash into that adventure, hands in the air, heart wide-open, causing the kind of scene that you were born to make.

You and I were made for a life of lines in the sand. Lines that create freedom and that bleed from wisdom. And we were born in a world where we’ll have to erase those and re-draw them…time and time again.

But when you know who you are, what you deserve, what you don’t, and finally stop being afraid to ask for them or walk away from them; you’ll have found the beauty in those two old friends Yes & No.

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