Yes rocks for sure. It feels open, inviting, affirming. And what about no? “No!”  How does that feel? Initially, not so great, right?Image by Salvatore Vuono We get a sense of being shut down or shut out–even rejected. The party is over. The music has stopped. Everyone go home.  Bummer!

Lately, however, I have come to appreciate no. Even hearing, “No.” I am not saying that I don’t harbor a visceral preference for “Yes,” my deeply ingrained favorite. But I finally get that no is neither good nor bad, just as yes is neither good nor bad. Both are necessary and beneficial.  

Looking at life through the spiritual lens, no is a blessing.  No is a nudge to keep us on the path.

graphic by digitalartImagine yourself in a long hallway with closed doors lining both sides.You want to enter the first door on your right because you detect the unmistakable scent of fresh bread baking on the other side and you are famished, having not eaten for 36 hours. The door is locked. First, you knock politely. Then you pound the door with your fist. Your mouth is salivating and waves of hunger pains overtake you with crazed determination. Looking both ways first, to be sure no one in the hallway is watching, you try a kung fu fly kick. It does not bring the result enjoyed by T.V. stunt doubles. Dejected, you are forced to continue onward and try to open each door you pass.

Five doors down on your left, you find an unlocked door. It swings open easily, to reveal a free buffet with your name on it, compliments of Whole Foods. In addition to every conceivable option from Ahi to Ziti, they have freshly baked buckwheat bread, which is especially fortunate since you happen to be deathly allergic to gluten. (A fact you were willing to overlook at preceding doors, deluded by symptoms of starvation.)

If we trust that everything unfolds as it should, then indeed, no is not just okay. No rocks, too.

Can you think of a time when “No” nudged you to stay on the path, and things turned out for the better? How about hearing “Sorry, we’re full,” from a gazillion different campsites on Fourth of July weekend, only to be offered a last minute cancellation opening at your first choice destination? That kind of thing happens a lot. When it does, the yes gets lots of fanfare. “Yes! We got a spot!” But let’s not forget the grace of the countless “No!”s that put us in a position to be available for the divinely inspired “Yes.” 

Imagine the Universe conspiring in our favor, ensuring that all will unfold as it should. With this kind of trust, “No” is just part of the compass directing us towards our destiny.  If Infinite Source spoke in words, I imagine it would sound something like this;  “No, this is not the romantic partner for you. Move on. Your soul-mate awaits.”  Or, “No, this house is beyond your budget. But wait’ll you see the one you’re going to get. The yard is big and flat. You wanted a space to play ball, right?” Or, “No, that job is taken. If only you knew the company is going to fold in a month…”

Still think “No” is the bad guy? I, for one, say hell to the no.

Yes, “No.” YES.