I have had just about enough of "no."
There's a reason "no" is among all babies' first words. "No" is useful. Critical, even. To become fully human, we need to be able to say, "No, I don't like that," "No, I don't want that," and "No, you may not treat me that way."
Yet some of us, along the way to adulthood, lost our "no." We learned that our "no" might hurt someone's feelings or disappoint them. We came to believe that other people's feelings and expectations were more important than our own. Our "no"s grew fainter, and weaker, until they almost disappeared.
That sucks. Because until you can truly, unapologetically say "no," your "yes" just might be meaningless.
My last 8 or 9 months have been very much about developing my "no" muscle. I said "no" to work, to the corporate career path that had been defined for me. At the same time, I said "no" to many of the traditional activities of a stay-at-home mom. I said "no" to what I perceived as other people's expectations for my life (and what were really, more importantly, my own preconceived notions of my life at this age).
And then, because I still wasn't quite getting it, I got sick. Along the path to greater health I found a whole host of additional "no"s: No sugar. No dairy. No gluten. No alcohol. No corn or other grasses. (The list goes on.)
The gifts from this have been immeasurable. For the first time in my life, I have experienced a direct, minute-by-minute connection between my food choices and my health. For the first time, I have felt truly in control of what I eat AND how I feel. For the first time, I have put how I feel first -- before habit, before convenience, before social niceties.
And yet ... it's been a whole lot of "no."
Now I have found something that offers, instead, to heal me through "yes." It's a protocol called NAET, and it is said to cure food and environmental allergies. Yes, I said cure. Given that traditional medicine's approach to allergies consists almost exclusively of identification and avoidance (allergy shots notwithstanding, and they can take years), this is a pretty big claim.
NAET views allergies as blocked energy. Once the energy in relation to a particular substance is freed, the body no longer perceives that substance as a threat, and the allergy is cured. In other words, it removes the "no" and replaces it with "yes."
Wouldn't that be great? If, having regained the power of "no," I could start to let my guard down a little? Start practicing my "yes"? Not a helpless, codependent "yes." Not a "yes, because everyone else is doing it" or "yes, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings" or (maybe worst of all) the unconscious, habitual "yes" -- but a conscious, welcoming, joyful "YES" to food, to the universe, to life?
I'll say more about some of the reasons it was difficult for me to choose NAET, despite (or perhaps because of) this outrageous promise, in another post. But for now, I will just quote Bernie Siegel, who writes in Love, Medicine, and Miracles: "Four faiths are crucial to recovery from serious illness: faith in oneself, one's doctor, one's treatment, and one's spiritual faith."
I'm starting there. I say "yes" to myself: "Yes" I deserve extraordinary health and whatever it takes to get there. I say "yes" to the promise of this unconventional treatment, and "yes" to the lovely, gentle doctor I've found to perform it. I say "yes" to having a little faith in the Universe and all She has done to bring me to this point.
To borrow from James Joyce's Molly, because no one has ever said it better:
yes I said yes I will yes