This post is a chapter from my book, At the Core of Every Heart: Reflections, Insights, and Practices for Waking Up and Living Free.
This little book is perfect to pick up for a burst of inspiration whenever you need it. It includes 52 short essays, each with a practice to help the content of the chapter come alive to you in your own experience.
The book is available to purchase on Amazon. Maybe it will be the perfect gift for you or someone you love. ❤️
Living the Yes! to Life
I’ve spent a lot of time investigating how to not suffer, and here’s what I’ve discovered. We can’t control what thoughts appear, and we don’t have much to say about the events that happen in our lives.
But we do have control over how we relate to what arises. We can resist, blame others, ignore and avoid. We can put our heads in the sand or get passive and give up. We can hate what’s happening.
Or we can say, “Yes!” Yes, this is what’s happening. This is the reality of right now, and how am I going to move forward from here? How can I relate to this precious moment with ease, grace, and intelligence? Can I meet my emotions about whatever is happening with love and understanding?
I recently corresponded with a friend who was reeling after her partner ended their relationship. She told me how much she had invested in their time together and went on about his fears of intimacy. She was in a great deal of emotional pain, wanting desperately for the situation to be different.
She was being very nice about it, but still she blamed him for not dealing with his fears and allowing the relationship to be all she thought it could be. And she was stuck in heartache, not wanting to accept the facts of the situation.
I suggested that she begin to take in what he said at face value—that he didn’t want the relationship to continue. Yes, it’s painful, but that is what is true.
And once she says, “Yes!” to the truth, her healing truly begins. The blame stops and she can turn toward her own experience, welcome in her feelings of sadness and loss, and reflect on how and why she wasn’t always honest with herself. Yes! is the path to getting unstuck, the path to freedom from suffering, and the way to allow what happens to break through our attachments.
Saying “no” to our experience feeds the anxious, ruminating mind and shuts us down to life. We sleepwalk through on automatic with our heads in a fog, endlessly chewing on ideas about what is wrong with things as they are and how they should be different.
Saying “no” leaves us feeling alone and separate, wondering if this is the best that life can offer.
Instead, consider migrating into the land of Yes. With our hearts wide open, we say a full-bodied, unapologetic, thoroughly honest “Yes!” to things just as they are. We might have to meet challenge and difficulty, but it’s the only way to find relief from suffering.
Then we get to live! We feel the juiciness of the human experience and at the same time know that we are free. No longer resisting the facts, we’re finally open to flowing with the timeless natural unfolding of life.
Become an expert in how and when you say “No” to life. What do you resist? How does it feel in your body? What are the effects of resisting?
Now tiptoe into the land of Yes. With all blinders off, say, “Yes!” to the situation as it is. Meet your direct experience with the most loving heart. Use the truth of things as they are right now as your starting point for moving forward.
What About You?
How do you say “no” and “Yes!” to life? I’d love to hear…