7-31-22 Saying yes To Life

Saying Yes To Life

In improv acting classes, a fundamental rule of the exercises is to “agree.” Whatever is offered to you in a skit or piece of dialogue, you accept it and expand upon it. On the other hand, if you “disagree” or say no, the action stops. This can be a metaphor in life. Much of life is what happens, not necessarily what we planned. The minute you fold your arms in front of you and feel resistance to what is actually happening because this was not YOUR plan, the action stops. The energy dissipates.

In the Big Book it says, “we have ceased fighting anything or anyone.” So another benefit of saying “Yes” is that it opens your mind and reduces your prejudices. You don’t have all the answers. Maybe there’s a gray area that you hadn’t seen when you were saying “no” so readily. Now you see things from a more moderated point of view. Saying “yes” is to recognize the nuances of life. And that recognition plants you firmly in life’s bubbly stream. Not on the water’s bank, but right in the wet stuff. Say “yes” to the freedom of it, the movement of it, the flow.

“If life is to be made interesting and worth breath, we must look on ourselves as growing
children, right up to the end of our days.” —WH Davies

Notice your nos. Say yes to a few preconceived ‘no’-tions. Instead of giving a knee-jerk “I can’t,” think instead, “how might I?” Do you sometimes feel a dissatisfaction, an underlying sense of negativity that is discoloring all you see and do? Those are old negative behaviors of self-doubt that you CAN become aware of, accept, and CHOOSE not to engage in by simply raising your positive energy. Instead of living in a state of fear and resentment, we can have the courage to enjoy and appreciate our lives. Yes, we can choose to accept that we deserve and are capable of so much more. That we are worthy of happiness instead of quiet desperation.  Life is short. Say “Yes” to it, over and over.

Our true nature is not based in fear and the need to stay where we are and protect what we have. Our true nature is open and accepting to what the world holds. Life is adventure! Our true nature accepts the element of fear or uncertainty when something new arises. We may be very used to avoiding being bold, or even being seen. We can say Yes to being unsure and being willing to try. We can say Yes to making mistakes, being human and not demeaning ourselves.  Do you know ANYONE who is perfect? What is perfect? Forget perfection—there is only being. Being wonderfully human, fallible, and reveling in our mistakes and blunders as we move forward (and, actually, doing most things well). 

We can be in a discomfort zone that’s very familiar and “comfortable” because we’ve been there so long we think it’s just who we are…the way things are. This is not life truly lived; it is existing without recognizing or connecting with the spiritual essence of all life. Once we at least recognize we are in a continuous ‘discomfort lifestyle’ AND that growth is possible, THEN we can deliberately move out of our discomfort zone. We come to realize we have hidden strengths and can rely on ourselves to expand and return from what was a fearsome ledge. We find new hobbies, interests and even delights. We don’t isolate, and so we make new friends. That’s likely because we included others in our optimistic experiments and got that much closer to tender, shaky, unsure humanity in the process. New opportunities beckon further beyond the big door we just opened. And best yet for addicts, substances and behaviors that used to call to us in the past go quiet. They have been replaced with real life.

WE are responsible for the life we experience.

In the act of becoming, we are led into the pulsing heart of all things. We are led into a dynamic state of presence. We do feel the pains and the joys in life, while holding firmly to our inner being and knowing.

Awareness, becoming and presence permeate every aspect of our lives. They are the main components of what we are doing and what we are inviting others to join us in.

“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment.  Say ‘YES’ to life—and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”  –Eckhart Tolle

We can use tools to remind us of our innate stability and strengths. We can use the breath as we do in meditation, to center and calm us anytime during the day. We may have a mantra or a few words that help us return to a place of acceptance and appreciation for life and our capacities to be a full part of it. It is sooo much more useful to be thrown off for a little bit and then take the action of believing in ourselves, re-connecting to our life energy and the energy in all others which is truly who we are, and of course to have a sense of humor about it all. Actively dispel and reject any sense of dread or self-pity as it crops up. We can choose to step back into the flow of life as it’s occurring, which will bring a sense of belonging—not just trying to fit in. We must train ourselves to take positive action many times every day! 

None of this growth is possible if we hold ourselves back, restrict ourselves. We sometimes need to trust and take a large scary step, instead of standing still. We must also say yes to saying no when we were afraid to before…NO to our strangling addiction(s) and NO to others who weigh us down or want to take advantage of us. When we respect ourselves, we say Yes to the courage to say No to harmful things and people. “The only people who get upset about you setting boundaries are the ones who were benefiting from you having none.” –Anonymous

We may spend a lifetime searching for balance between spiritual and worldly things. But we are saying Yes to our search, to our lives, and to growth. If we are not searching and smiling we are probably sitting still, feeling sorry for ourselves. Say yes to never feeling sorry for yourself. Do not engineer smallness into your life. The universe does not feel sorry for you…only you do. Life is patiently going about its business, ready to welcome you if you want to step into it. 

Do you realize you do have the capacity to be happy? Simply because you are alive, you have it.

You also have the capacity to be small…a victim…negative and unhappy. What do you choose?

My addiction was restrictive, closed and judgmental. It was dark and fearful and I was moving only towards suffering and causing suffering. Our re-covery CAN encompass the whole world and ALL that is in it—if we have the courage to say YES and open to it.

When we give up useless craving and learn to live one day at a time, enjoying without restless wanting the experiences that life offers us and patiently enduring life’s challenges without fear, hatred and anger, we become happy and free. Then, and only then, do we begin to live fully. Because we are no longer obsessed with satisfying our own selfish wants, we find we have so much time to help others fulfill their wholesome needs, and to truly take care of ourselves.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” —Anais Nin

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com