For many of us, myself included (although I’m actively working to change this), our automatic response to someone offering us anything is to say, “No, thank you.” It is out of our mouths before we even have a moment to process if we would actually like what is being offered or not.
Whether it is food, help, money, or even a compliment, we are quick to push it away.
“Oh, I couldn’t take your money, don’t even think of it.”
“That looks really good, but you eat it and enjoy!”
“No thanks, I can get it.”
“I can do it myself, but thanks for offering.”
“I could have done a better job, but thanks anyway.”
Any of this sound familiar? There are a million and one ways that we deny our good, push away offered help, and claim our self-sufficiency. There are lots of reasons why we do that – and I’m not so interested in them. What I am interested in – is how to stop doing that! How to learn to be a receiver as well as a giver. After all, givers need receivers – and we all need community. Independence is over-rated – interdependence is where we all shine and live our best lives. Being a receiver as well as a giver helps to create community and uplift everyone. So, I want to start saying, “YES!” – at least when that is what I want to say – not allowing myself to be constrained by ill-conceived notions of politeness and independence. If I want it and something will benefit my life, I want to say, “Yes, thank you!”
One thing that can help me is to remember to pause. That’s a habit that I’ve been working on. Give myself a moment to check in if I’d like what is being offered – if I need, want, desire, or see that it would be beneficial to my life. I don’t know how I came to feel so rushed all of the time – as though I need to offer an immediate answer to everything – but even just to take a moment to breathe would be helpful. Even better, would be to develop the habit of saying something like, “Let me check in” or “Let me think about it a moment and get back to you.” Give myself some space to decide – to actually decide, rather than responding via auto-pilot (which often doesn’t reflect what I’d actually like).
Another thing I plan to start practicing immediately is saying yes to certain things automatically. I can always use money. Yes, thank you. People who are used to me saying, “Oh, you don’t need to do that,” be forewarned. I no longer intend to say no when the Universe is trying to bless me through you. So, don’t offer if you don’t actually mean it or want to give me what you’re offering. I no longer intend to allow myself to feel embarrassed to receive. Or, if I still feel embarrassed, I’m going to push past that and allow myself to receive anyway, to accept money (or anything good) coming my way – whether it’s for something I’ve done or just as a gift. “Yes! Yes, thank you!”
I can always use help carrying things. I’m getting older and even though I can still probably do (most) things by myself – why? Why do that? Why deny help when it is offered? From now on, it’s, “Yes, thank you!” without hesitation. That is my practice (and it takes practice – this is a new neural pathway for me).
I’ve spent most of my life (until now) trying to be “low-maintenance” and helpful to others. I didn’t want to be “more trouble than I was worth” (a little phrase my Dad, who loved us immensely, used jokingly – but it unfortunately fused into my identity). Previously, in relationships, I gave all I had, but didn’t really expect anything in return. Hoped for things, but also sabotaged myself by saying that I didn’t need anything like flowers or chocolates or gifts – or even to be taken out. I was ridiculously grateful even for a little time and attention. I would like flowers and chocolates and tokens of affection – and to be taken out! Those things would delight me! I’ve longed for romance my whole life! Why would I pretend (even to myself) that those things didn’t matter at all to me? It was like telling myself that I didn’t matter – and that was reflected to me over and over again in how I was treated in relationships. I don’t want to do that to myself anymore!
From now on, I want to own my desires! I want to open up to having all of my wants, needs, and desires met and fulfilled! I want to say a happy “Yes!” to everything that delights me, everything that prospers me, everything that brings me pleasure, every wish come true. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! I’m singing the YES! song in my head all day long. Of course, gratitude partners with yes. I am grateful! Yes, I am so grateful!
I want to recapture that feeling I had as a little kid before I learned to be embarrassed to accept things. I can still remember tearing through packages on Christmas mornings, jumping and laughing and celebrating my joy at receiving. That’s the vibe I want to carry forward with me now. Celebrating. Accepting. Jumping for joy. Reveling in the happiness of the moment. Letting it all in.
And, you know, as a little kid, it didn’t occur to me to have to pay my parents (or anyone) back for the gifts I received. Somewhere along the line, I picked up the belief/attitude that if anyone gave me anything, I’d “owe” them and have to give them something back of equal or greater value. That also made me hesitant to receive – because what would I then be obligated to give them? I’m breaking that pattern. We don’t have to “pay back” anything. We can give from joy and receive in joy – and not be burdened with tally sheets and worry. Sometimes, we cannot possibly return the favor or pay someone back for the kindnesses offered. Whether or not we have the ability to “pay someone back” – that doesn’t need to be our focus.
We can just accept our good graciously and allow ourselves to feel gratitude and delight and celebration. Our joy is a gift to others too! Joyfully receiving is a gift in itself. I’m not saying to not give back ever – there is joy in spreading around the good in life. But can we just allow ourselves to revel in the happiness of receiving sometimes – without worrying about somehow balancing it out? Be in the moment. Receive. Allow. Celebrate. Share our delight.
Yes to this beautiful day. And yes to the opportunities that come my way. And yes to love. And yes to affection. And yes to prosperity and abundance in all of the varied ways they come to me. And yes to kindness. And yes to laughter. And yes to everything that makes my heart sing. Yes, yes, yes! Yes to having money. Yes to having my needs met. Yes to a beautiful new home. Yes to all of the ways that the Universe is ready to bless me now! YES!!! This is my new practice. To say YES to me and my life! YES!!!
Join me in saying “YES!”?