We have to learn how to both overcome our resistance, and also honor our No.
So how is this possible to achieve both if they seem to be diametrically opposed?
This seems like a paradox, but actually it’s not, because the right kind of No is useful and the wrong kind of No is not useful. The right kind of pushing through is useful and the wrong kind of pushing through is not useful. So the real issue is the issue of being capable of differentiating between a helpful decision and an unhelpful decision. Someone who stays in their house all the time and never goes outside probably really needs to go outside, and their no has become a habit. The reason it has become a habit is because, counterintuitively, they have not fully owned the No. The only way something can become a habit is if it is done unconsciously, but if that no is made conscious, then the possibility for a spontaneous answer emerges. And when that happens, the answer could potentially be different, although it could genuinely also be no. It’s easy for us to stay trapped in lower levels of operating through habit, and when that’s happening, any answer we give, whether it’s yes, no, or maybe, really can’t be trusted. Because none – nothing in the lower levels really has complete integrity.
This is why most people are so deeply confused, because every answer that they make is either a guess, habit, an estimation, a reaction, and avoidance are coming from desperation in some way. There’s a trick for learning how to quit smoking cigarettes which is very counterintuitive. That trick is to fully enjoy each cigarette with absolute maximum presence. Typically, people who are smoking are not present at all with their cigarette. It’s coming entirely from a place of habit. And so they might think that they’re enjoying the cigarette, but they’re actually thinking about other things and are focused on everything except for the cigarette, and so they don’t even get a chance to enjoy the cigarette. If they are taught to bring presence into the act of smoking and they savor every single breath and every single particle of smoke, the presence that they invoke actually will bring more awareness into what they’re actually getting or not getting out of smoking. And then they get a chance to realize what smoking has been helping them to avoid and/or accomplish.
If someone is working and they take a smoke break for 10 minutes every hour and they’re always just looking forward to their smoke break, perhaps it’s actually their system – body, mind and soul – saying no to their job. Their system is trying to make them aware: I need something changed because this job does not work for me. People tend to live in such a scarcity mindset that either they don’t believe that they’re worthy of having a job that they like, or they don’t believe, for whatever reason, that they’re capable of having a job that they like, and so they have become accustomed to overriding their natural no. And then those 10 minute smoke breaks represent 10 minutes of every hour where they get a chance to relieve the pressure that their system is placing on them to get a new job. So actually, it’s not about smoking at all. If they were in this case to bring presence into the process of smoking, they might even realize that they don’t even like cigarettes. They’ve just been looking for an excuse to check out for 10 minutes, and it might be satisfying but it’s deeply unfulfilling. And so the temporary relief fades away in seconds as they re-enter and go back to work.
Lately my eyes have been bothering me because I pushed too hard in my time with the computer. I was reading something and I wanted to finish what I was reading. My eyes were telling me that I was done with the computer. I overrode the no that my body was telling me and in doing so, the blue light from the computer took its toll and now my eyes have become extremely sensitive where I have to wear sunglasses all the time. So now I’m challenged with being able to do the things that I want to do, which is interact with people in the digital world, but I also have to do this while honoring my body and my eyes. Because of this new limitation, even with sunglasses, I have a very limited amount of time I can write or use the computer. I’m actually recording this right now using my voice so I don’t have to look at the screen.
So there is an intelligence that the body has about what to say no to. The fight flight, freeze and fawn responses are actually very good intelligent systems designed to protect the biological, mammalian body that we inhabit. Those systems are not at fault. Trying to oust those systems from our bodies completely misses the point.
Have the issue of spiritual development – the programs in our culture which have taught us that we shouldn’t be afraid of people, we shouldn’t be afraid of especially disappointing people, we should be afraid of not fitting in, we should be afraid of being different, we should be afraid of failure. All of these programs have hijacked our response system, which is highly intelligent. And so now we have people fighting over ridiculous things, believing that the fight response is actually warranted when it’s not in their best interest to be engaging in the issue whatsoever.
These insidious programs which have been passed on through generational trauma and cultural messaging utilize our response system against our own best interest. And so we have completely lost sight of what is actually in our best interest. We might be saying no to things that are good for us, and we might be saying yes to things that are bad for us. This means we have to fully reclaim our no to just about everything so that we can really trust our yes when we say yes to something – we really mean it.
So coming back to where we started, for the beginning of this piece of writing, we’re in a position where we have to both overcome our resistance by developing our will, and we also have to learn how to honor our no without forcing ourselves into situations that we’re not actually ready for. Another way to say that is: building our will is what occurs when someone is properly fathered, and honoring our no is what occurs when someone is properly mothered. So these two issues are not actually paradoxical or opposed. They’re both very important skill sets and have totally different functions. In properly fathering our system we learned that we are creators, just as consciousness itself is a creator, which is also known as Father God. In properly mothering our systems we learn that we are precious, lovable, worthy and innocent, just as all life is – all animals are – and this gives us the ability to value our desires, and this is only possible if it’s obvious to us what we do not desire, which is found in the ability to say no to opportunities, especially opportunities which are somehow attached to survival.
We are programmed by our culture to grasp for resources even when they come with unnecessary strings attached, so we might take business deals which don’t sound that great, we might take relationships because we’re afraid of losing them, we might take housing opportunities because we haven’t seen anything better appear so far. And we keep habitually dimming down all possibilities in all realms. And all of this is pointing back to our inability to say no, which is an indicator that we need to learn how to properly mother ourselves.
The purpose of understanding all of this information is not simply because understanding is important. Understanding itself doesn’t really get us anywhere, but it’s actually applying while we now understand and becoming totally conscious of our choices, which were previously unconscious. It can be very challenging, which is a really good sign because that means you’re becoming aware of the discrepancy between the reality of your intuition and your habitual answer.
It’s important to understand how removed the reality of a situation is as opposed to our interpretation of the situation. Maybe we have anxiety every time we try public speaking. Obviously the anxiety is a no, so taking this essay and interpreting that means I need to not public speak because my system says I’m a no to public speaking. The truth is, I may currently be a no to public speaking, but that’s temporary, probably because I need to find out what I am actually a no to. Nothing is inherently scary about public speaking, because it’s just the same as any other speaking, it just happens to be public. So perhaps the next layer would be I’m a no to being judged by an audience. That sounds already more specific and realistic.
So when we thought public speaking gives me anxiety, that’s not actually true. So am I a no to being judged by an audience? Well, actually people judge me all the time on an individual basis, and I don’t make that my business, so maybe it’s not actually being judged that I’m afraid of. Maybe I’m afraid that the audience is going to laugh at me and blow me off the stage, and then somebody’s going to follow me home afterward, and I feel unsafe about it – the ultimate outcome of the experience. This is actually very unlikely but it feels scary. And so maybe I’m actually saying no to feeling the fear which is associated with the outcome I’m imagining.
Now we are actually touching upon the truth: I’m not afraid of public speaking, I’m afraid of fear. I’m afraid of being afraid. This is why I say fear is the fear of fear, because it always boils down to: I have an inverted orientation to fear and so I project it onto different activities such as public speaking. The idea of public speaking gives me anxiety could therefore be replaced with: When I start speaking, I might just need to cry at the beginning of the speech in order to be right with myself, and then I’ll move on and give the speech I want to give at that point. Battling against the anxiety means battling against our no, which means battling against being properly mothered, and this behavior just exacerbates the issue because rather than seeing the possibility of changing through the experience, I’ve been simply objectifying myself as a performance tool.
As we go through life, we have to really hone our abilities to see which opportunities are showing up in our lives to help us learn being properly mothered, and in which opportunities are showing up in our lives to help us learn being properly fathered. And of course, it’s not always black and white, so it’s very possible that one opportunity can represent both of those issues as well.