Frustrated, feeling small, annoyed before the conversation even starts, Claire is filled to the brim with the noise of her crying baby, the task of dinner and the weariness built up from a day of isolated motherhood. She yells to her husband upstairs “If I don’t get some help down here, I’m going to lose my mind!” This is the first he’s heard about her need for help, but he feels guilty, a failure, nonetheless. Another argument ensues.
When we become accustomed to not getting what we want, we begin asking from a place of “no.” Learned over a lifetime of being rejected, put down, or dismissed, this place of no becomes a way of seeing the world that is not a choice, but a fact of life. We are angry for not getting what we want before we’ve even put our request out there, and inadvertently lessen our chances of getting what we want through our ineffective asking style. We ask with frustrated tones that trigger defensiveness in those around us, confirming our assumption that people don’t actually care about us, and the world is a place of scarcity.
In order to move out of this place of no, and in to our Yes Mind, we have to take a look at what the assumption of rejection is protecting in us. Sometimes we avoid asking openly, clearly, and effectively for what we want because deep down we doubt that we deserve it. Maybe I don’t ask for that promotion assertively because I imagine the new role would expose me for the charlatan I am; I’m lucky to have gotten this far without being found out. We may also believe that the disappointment we brace for is somehow more manageable than disappointment that comes after our best effort is put forth with an open and hopeful heart. Regardless of the reason, in order to find our yes, we have to heal the wounds of no. We heal by acknowledging and accepting. In order to get yes from the world, I have to say yes to myself in my entirety. I see those places that need kindness in myself and offer love and acceptance to those places so that the world can follow suit.
If I recognize my fears and see how they manifest in the way I put my wants and needs out in to the world, I can then decide to take the risk of really transforming. Asking for change or for more becomes an exercise in abundance. I feel my value as a truth that goes deeper than my experience as a woman who is never taken seriously, a person of color who is denied access due to perceived dangerousness, a “poor” person who isn’t classy enough to belong. All of my experiences of no have within them the seeds of yes.
We can certainly learn skills for making effective requests, but if we don’t work with our no wounds, the success we get back will be limited—a mirror constantly pointed toward the space that needs nurturance. The path to your fullness, your success begins with healing the no and embracing your yes. I am a whole person, yes. I am an asset with a full purpose, yes. I am more than any no I have received, yes. What yes is waiting to be fully realized through your healing?