The power of “No”

After breaking up, my high-school sweetheart and I remained on good terms, so much so, that at some point, we agreed that, come the age of 30 and we are still unmarried, we were going to marry each other, because we already knew what flaws we’d have to put up with in our partner. When you are 20, 10 years ahead seems like a long time to gain experience, learn, find your significant other, and settle down.
Now, with less than half a year to go before I turn 30, I have never been further from willing to make any compromise to my soulmate journey. I have learned to accept that romantic relationships don’t always work out, and that’s fine. We just need to pick ourselves up and know that every ending is a blessing in disguise, for it clears the path to something better, something more real, something more in tune with who we are and what we need.
Couple of days ago, I got the clear understanding that my biggest fear in life is disappointing people and turning them down. The thought that someone is dissatisfied or unhappy with my level of contribution or involvement is something that, for a long time, I simply couldn’t live with. Nevertheless, along comes the lesson, for what would the world be, if there were no cures for fear?

The past week has offered me a true masterclass in diplomacy, for I had to learn to say “no”. After loads of stress and avoidance, obviously. Moreover, in situations where I was concerned about the ways in which my refusal would affect the quality of the interaction. What’s more, I, for some reason, thought I had to once more jump in, and save a man I deeply cared for from wasting his potential, his youth, his talents – by being stuck in a place of confusion, laziness, mindless indulgence and instant gratification.
So here’s what I learned: we alone are responsible for our freedom from karmic relationships. We decide when to stop paying karmic debts, by simply understanding that we are not responsible for other’s people’s happiness and wellbeing. We alone know our boundaries, how far we can stretch and bend in order to remain comfortable with how much we’ve given, without being drained. Our duty stops at not harming anyone, and, when possible, doing good by those surrounding us.
Bending over backwards and acting against our own interest for the sake of someone else’s comfort, compromising on personal principles to accommodate people’s whims is a waste of energy and grace on our side, rather than a successful manifestation of our “Knight in shiny armour” syndrome.
We can’t save people who can’t save themselves and we certainly can’t drag someone out of their stuck energy, we can’t force someone into a vibe of gratitude and abundance, when they focus on the glass half-empty, on their misfortune and unhappiness, on utopian situations and places where they’d rather be, far from living and cherishing the present moment.
Sometimes, when we care for someone, we have the impression that being there for them, even when they hurt us, is a duty towards the history we have together, a way of paying back for what they have brought to our lives: a comfortable childhood, a chance to have a job, amazing orgasms, children. I humbly dare say that life has shown me that nothing good comes from doing “what’s right”, when our actions generate frustration and hard feelings within our hearts. We should offer a gift wholeheartedly, especially when what we offer is ourselves: our energy and our time.
It is therefore the time to say a loud and clear “no” to making others happy at the expense of our own happiness. Time to take responsibility only for the things we have consented to being responsible for. Time to practice some self-love, time to take some time away to reflect about our own wants and needs. Time to cherish the precious little present moment that the Universe is offering. Time to stop thinking about time and live a little. Time to be in the Here-Now. As we do so, our mind is creating memories to learn from, while our heart is creating wishes to manifest for the future.
Two years ago today, my Facebook feed was reading “Be present. Make love. Make tea. Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation. Buy a plant, water it. Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed. Have a smart mouth, a quick wit. Run. Make art. Create. Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain. Take chances. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn. Know your worth. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy. Grow”.
I still believe this is very sound advice for the weekend ahead, so be uncompromisingly happy, free and in love this weekend. Take the present moment: smell it, taste it, touch it, watch it, hold it. Don’t hold on to it. Allow it to flow. It will pay off in the long run, in an overall state of freedom, gratitude, peace and profound self-worth. And that, my fellow friend, is the recipe to love.


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