It is said that we can never fully say ‘Yes’, until we are able to say ‘No’. I’m not the world’s best at saying no. I worry that I won’t be liked: I could glamorise that, or say that I worry that I will hurt or offend the person who is asking, but let’s face this bald fact head on. It’s all about me! Or my ego to be exact!
My ability to utter that single word has improved over the past 10 days. I have an on-going commitment to the gym: whether I like it or not, I got at least 2, and normally 3, times a week. Last week, I said, ‘No’. I choose to stop going for 10 days and to not feel guilty about that decision.
This may not sound earth-shattering, but I was an overweight child, teen and young adult, so the gym is my ‘slim-person’ lifeline. Choosing not to go is a major step forward, because it was a moment when I released control, when I showed my body care and attention. I had been feeling exhausted and physically over-stretched; my body needed a break and I needed to put the time into meditation to redress the balance.
It was Susannah who pointed out not exercising is as important as exercising. Being able to say no at the point where you need to pause is what gives you the ability to continue saying yes in the long term. Suddenly not exercising became a part of the exercise: what lazy person wouldn’t love that?!
But it got me thinking, ‘What would happen if I put more care and attention into the word ‘No’’? I might move beyond my ego’s desire to please everyone …. and even I know that’s impossible, even if my ego flatters itself that it can somehow achieve this by saying ‘yes’ all the time! I may even have more time for the things I want to say ‘yes’ to… And that ‘yes’ may be worth more because it is said with 100% honesty.