I love the movie Yes, Man with Jim Carrey, and not just because they use Journey music at pivotal spots (although that doesn’t hurt). I think it has more to do with relating to it in that I’ve been saying no to a lot of my life for a very long time.
It didn’t occur to me until yesterday that I wasn’t simply saying no… I wasn’t saying yes.
A lot of people face life with some level of no at some point in their day. You get aggravated at being stuck in traffic, or behind someone with a book of coupons in the grocery store. A ton of annoyances come our way and we instantly bristle to it, thinking that this is somehow normal behavior.
But that wall of resistance is just another no. It doesn’t matter if you are resistant to a traffic jam, you’re going to have to deal with it. It doesn’t matter if you’re running late at the grocery store, the line isn’t going to move any quicker than it’s going to move.
By putting up that resistance, we’re blocking off the experience… the universe… and life itself.
Like Hal was saying in the interview, we get to decide how we face our challenges and these lessons. We can either moan and groan or we can slap a smile on our face and decide to make the most of it.
We can’t change what happens to us. The only power we ever have is our reaction. Simply put, “yes” puts us in a place of power, where “no” always, always makes us a victim.
“No” implies someone is to blame for how we feel. “Yes” reclaims our responsibility.
It’s no strange coincidence that I write this blog after reading the chapter about the power of Yes in
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. It opened my eyes to this little tidbit of wisdom, and I guess I was finally ready to hear it (thanks Hal). Even if really bad things happen, like what happened when I was four, or any number of my loved ones dying – or even being called to California to live for three months and take care of people who really didn’t care about much more than what I would do for them… all that was beyond my control.
But I can still say, “Yes. This is happening. I get to decide how I learn from these lessons, which were never guaranteed to be easy or quick.”
By giving into the “woe is me” attitude, I shut off the universe sending me what it wanted to send me.
Like I said before, life will never take you where grace cannot sustain you.
And here’s the kicker… you’re not going to get out of that situation until you learn to say yes to the experience so that you can learn what it is there to teach you.
Consider the legend of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. They basically wandered around the same mountain for 40 years because they were too hardheaded to get it right the first time out. They kept saying “no”, when they should have been saying “yes”, so the loop continued until they could learn what they were supposed to learn.
Sounds painfully familiar.
The moral of the story; learn to say yes to life, no matter what it throws your direction. Be positive and be open to learn the lesson that can be taken from the experience – because there’s always a lesson.
So many times we just want to fix it and get it back to the way it was, when that’s the exact last thing that we need.
It’s not up to me to change it. It’s not up to me to fix it. It’s up to me to learn from it.
And it starts with saying, “Yes!”