Yes means No
There is a song called 'Shoulda wouda coulda', which features a line that has always stuck with me "and so for every little thing you hold onto, you gotta let something else go." That always strikes a tangible note of pain in me when I think of it. It reminds me of the things I can't seem to let go of. They consume me and eat away at me, stealing my hope for renewal and fresh beginnings. How many times have I came back to that place where I've had to admit that I can't get past that same old thing? Why do let these same negative thoughts and habits get a hold of me? How can you trip over the same stumbling block again, and again- and again?? And more worryingly- what am I keeping myself from? Because the old analogy is true:
You hands can only hold so much, and when they get full they are no longer able to grasp a hold of something else. You can't have it all- "somethings got to give".
So if we really want something in life then we have to not have our hands already full of the things that are bad for that thing that we want. Let go of the old love to gain the new.
It was brought home to me in a whole new way yesterday when someone was telling me that saying yes meant saying no. If I say "yes" to this, then I have said "no" to that. If I have said "yes" to spending my only £10 on a dvd then I have said "no" to spending it on a t-shirt. It's not that I actively chose not to buy the t-shirt, but I actively removed the choice by spending my decision resource on the dvd.
It really got me, this reasoning, because I have been so upset over this issue so many times. I think "why don't I have closure on this, I want to have a happy and satisfied life." But do I? I know that I can change my habits because this truth works in reverse. If I say yes to putting my decision resource (energy in this case) to trying to move on then I have no choice but to say "no" to this bad thing that is consuming my energies- and me with them! It's not necessarily that I have chosen to give up the bad thing (though I have to empty my hands of it to be free to grasp the good thing/ the better life), but by investing my resources in the good thing I am consquently saying "no" to the bad thing because I don't have the resources for both.
It's not always so black and white, and indeed, it does happen in stages of yes/no. I can't expect my attitude to be changed over night- but I can begin to say "yes" to the right things and subsequently that will mean "no" to the wring things. Over time this dripping of hundreds and thousands of small decisions forms a river hope in the changed attitude. Bit by bit life begins to look like the swamp land of holding onto bad decisions, thoughts and habits. Saying Yes to the drops of goodness makes a clear pure and rejuvinating river which all the while is saying "no" to the stagnant waters of the graveyard of bad decision past.
Saying "yes" to hope is saying "no" to anything that can stand in the way of joy.
But this HAS to be a decision.
It will never be a default.
Practicing active positive "yessing" is the only way to do this.
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