THE BEAUTY OF A ‘NO’
“On the Tree of Life
there are two birds, fast friends.
One bird eats the fruit of the Tree;
the other bird, not eating,
– The Rig Veda
It is good to stay open to feedback from others, to listen to those who disagree with you. To remain open to alternative viewpoints. To try seeing things through someone else’s eyes, even if you don’t agree with their perspective or conclusion in the end.
But when they cross a line and move from intelligent disagreement and constructive feedback to attack and insult, when they belittle and shame you and remain unwilling to meet, to engage and talk things through, that is something very different indeed.
Of course, you could argue that their behaviour is ‘allowed’, since it is an expression life too. Of course it is. But at the same time, your ‘no’ is also an expression of life! Your boundaries are also completely sacred!
Standing in your power, speaking up for your truth, honouring your feelings and needs – this is also a movement of the Divine.
A clear and direct ‘no’ to abuse, to name-calling and objectification, is not weakness but the ultimate courageous act of self-love. The ‘no’ honours life deeply. It has no venom in it – it is quite compassionate in its essence. It does not shame the other but informs them. It does not attack but protects. It is fire but it does not throw stones.
To the one receiving the ‘no’, it may not feel like compassion! It may feel like rejection and abandonment. It may feel like the opposite of love. It may itself feel like abuse. But perhaps, with time and deep reflection, one day they will understand. Who knows.
We can only speak our truth Now, hopefully in as compassionate a way as possible, and move on. And trust the process. And breathe through our feelings. And remain open to the other’s tender heart, whilst protecting our precious, vulnerable human selves.
Sometimes a ‘no’ is really a great big YES to life!
– Jeff Foster
Note to self and to you-
This too shall pass darling. Sometimes it gets so dark, it feels like it will never end. And yet it does end. Light starts to trickle in and you find hope again. You are loved, never forgotten, even though it feels like you have been at times. Keep being brave, keep sharing your soul with others. Pain is universal, suffering is optional.
‘Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me,
but try waking up every morning
& loving the world
all over again.
That’s what takes a Real hero.’
-Brian Andreas, Storypeople
“The day that the child realizes all adults are imperfect, she becomes an adolescent; the day she forgives them, she becomes an adult; the day she forgives herself , she becomes wise.” -Alden Nowlan
“ITS ALL YOUR PROJECTION!” Erm.
No. It’s not always your projection.
Sometimes the other person
really IS angry, or sad, or scared,
or judging you.
Or fleeing themselves
by shaming you.
Sometimes you really CAN trust
your feeling, your gut intuition,
Sometimes it’s not a question of working on yourself more, clearing up your projections, but of simply standing in your truth, knowing yourself more deeply, validating your own vulnerable human experience.
Sometimes you’re totally projecting.
Sometimes you aren’t seeing clearly at all.
Sometimes it really is YOUR anger,
It’s your own incorrect thinking.
It’s your own unmet material
thrown onto the ‘other’
(really yourself). You must look for the truth
in each and every moment.
There’s no formula. No map.
Truth is alive!
So stay mindful, present, aware.
Don’t settle for easy answers.
Be willing to LOOK.
With humble, open eyes.
– Jeff Foster
IN TIMES OF DARKNESS, TURN YOUR LIGHT WAY UP! -Jeff Foster
When someone calls you names, reduces you to a thing,
When they offer advice you didn’t ask for,
When they blame you for their pain,
When they do not listen to you, and endlessly talk about themselves,
When they compare you with others,
When they ignore, invalidate, judge or ridicule your thoughts and feelings.
Know it’s their pain, not yours.
Know they are dreaming the only dream they can dream until they wake up.
Know that they don’t know you, only their fantasy.
Perhaps they find it hard to love themselves.
Perhaps they seek their worth externally.
Perhaps they are disconnected from their breath, their bodies, their precious aliveness, their true calling.
Perhaps they live in a dualistic world of good and bad, right and wrong, success and failure.
Perhaps they have forgotten the simple joy of being.
Perhaps you understand this.
Perhaps you have been where they have been.
Don’t try to change them now. They may never change.
Don’t try to fix them. They aren’t asking to be fixed.
The more you push, they more they’ll push back.
Don’t get entangled in their web of sorrows.
See clearly, even have compassion, but don’t push.
It’s okay that they are upset. It really is.
Give them space to be upset.
It’s okay that they are disappointed in you.
Give them space to be disappointed.
It’s okay that they judge you. Make room for their judgements too.
Make room for your own thoughts and feelings!
Allow yourself to feel sad, angry, guilty, doubtful.
Let all these precious energies wash through you.
They will not harm you, as you allow them to move.
Yes, you will meet many gatekeepers on this journey.
Walk your path anyway, and allow others to walk theirs.
You don’t need to justify your path, or defend it.
Stay close to yourself in these challenging times.
Do not fight the darkness; it has no power anyway.
Simply turn your light way up.
Having Loved Enough
Having loved enough and lost enough,
I’m no longer searching
no longer trying to make sense of pain
but trying to be a soft and sturdy home
in which real things can land.
These are the irritations
that rub into a pearl.
So we can talk for a while
but then we must listen,
the way rocks listen to the sea.
And we can churn at all that goes wrong
but then we must lay all distractions
down and water every living seed.
And yes, on nights like tonight
I too feel alone. But seldom do I
face it squarely enough
to see that it’s a door
into the endless breath
that has no breather,
into the surf that human
shells call God.
‘Let the love that dwells inside
be released in a new way.
Let it out and let it flow in each direction
of your innermost terrain.
Let it sweep and fill old pains
and empty cases—
let it spill into the storage pile
of agonizing places.
Like that moment when you
should have left, but stayed;
or the times you felt like forfeiting,
Let it run through the corridors
of your life story,
then up its stairs in search
for wistful memories.
Let it expose where all your precious grace
and healing treasures lay.
Let the love you keep inside
come out to be with you—
Susan Frybort is the author of two books: ‘Hope is a Traveler’ and ‘Open Passages’.
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”~ Thomas Merton