Staying with that metaphor of an icy incline, I didn’t like being stranded in the lowlands, and I thought that the only way to the top of the hill would be to get rid of the ice by changing what had rocked my world. In my case, it was Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases, but it could be any life altering circumstance, actually. First, I’ll get rid of the illnesses, I thought, and then I can get on with my life. Thing is, over the years it became clear that this would take much longer than I thought – maybe even forever. There I stood, at the bottom end of an icy hill. Forever seemed like a really long time to wait.
It finally dawned on me, in a very deep way, that life was going on, Lyme or no Lyme. That icy path wasn’t going away any time soon and I was going to have to find another way up.
The other way up came in the form of a tiny, three letter word. Y-E-S.
When an invitation came to meet friends at an event in New York City, my list of why I couldn’t was very long, but the top three reasons were
- I could never drive that far,
- I could never afford the two day stay, plus meals,
- What if I got all the way there and didn’t feel well?
In the midst of all the Nos surrounding me, there was a quiet and unassuming little YES standing straight and tall with its head above the fray. That little YES looked kind of familiar, too.I had seen it before. In fact, every time I found myself in a room full of Nos, there it was, standing quietly. But this time I noticed something else about it - its arms were wide open.
I pushed my way through the crowded room full of Nos, which tried to engage me with elbows to the ribs, but there was Yes – standing with wide open arms and I threw caution to the wind and walked right into them.
Yes. I went with "Yes."
As a result, every item on the list of why I couldn’t go to NYC was rendered irrelevant.
- The event was happening right after Easter, and we happened to be in Yonkers on Easter, which is so very close.
- My husband graciously drove me from Yonkers into the city early on Monday and left me there, at the hotel, where I was surrounded by luxury. He came back late the next day, which gave me two full days.
- Turns out, Compromise is one of Yes’s very best friends. With their help I decided I could stay for one night, not two. I found a way to borrow the money and pay it back with zero interest. I also decided to look at this as the simple cost of spreading my wings.
Once I developed the habit of embracing Yes, I didn’t spend nearly as much time with No. As a result, I have done a lot of things that seemed out of reach before. No can be pretty tempting, but more than a little confining. We still do the waltz every now and then, but there isn’t much room to spin and twirl on the that dancefloor. Yes, on the other hand, offers open arms – and endless possibilities.
I thought No kept me safe, but really it mostly served to keep me from my creative and joyful self most of the time. Sure, No is a good word when it comes to drinking and driving, or that second piece of pie when I'm already full... but as a rule, it's a real killjoy.
I'm not at the bottom of that icy slope, anymore. I found a new way up, and the view is much better than before.
The next time you find yourself at the bottom of a slippery slope, feel free to borrow this little power-up I use, over and over again. In fact, keep it. I have more.
No is nothing but elbows.
The artwork is mine - One of the things "NO" has kept me from, over a lifetime.
What is "No" keeping you from?