I am currently reading The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst – a very good book so far. The night before I read chapter nine, I happened to read a blog about how to have a decluttered kitchen. The next day while reading chapter nine of The Best Yes, I realized that they were both saying the same thing. We are always saying yes to something and no to something.
I had heard this concept before when it came to time management – we only have 24 hours in each day and everything you say yes to inevitably means that you are saying no to some other thing that you could have done with that time. I had always understood it in that context. It even made perfect sense to me in regards to how we spend our money – a yes to the brand new car might mean a no to the freedom to go on that spur-of-the-moment trip.
This concept was very easy to understand in regards to the physical and concrete things in our lives like money and time. However, after reading that blog and chapter nine, I began to considered just how much this principal impacts our lives in EVERY area, including the less tangible ones like the emotional and spiritual areas of our lives.
Consider this, if I say no to a conversation that could potentially cause conflict, I may be saying yes to misunderstanding and resentment. If I say yes to procrastination on that project, I am saying no to peace of mind. If I say no to God’s prompting to take a leap of faith, I am saying yes to the disappointment of not knowing how God had planned to miraculously provide. If I say yes to hanging on to every item of clothing I ever buy because I might need it someday, I am saying no to the tranquility of a well-organized closet that I will use every day. There are so many, possibly millions, of applications of this principle in each day of our lives. When that realization set it, I knew that I could no longer live my life without considering it at every opportunity I could.
When I am real with myself about what each yes means and what, out of necessity, I am saying no to, I believe my life will experience a new-found level of clarity. It’s time for me to step out of the denial that I can have my cake and eat it too and own the fact that every no is also a yes. What an exciting thing to learn! I can’t wait to see how it changes me. How will it change you?
Corina Helgestad is a professional counselor who especially likes working with teen girls in such areas as self-esteem, cutting, suicide, depression, and anxiety. To learn more about Corina, or to set up an appointment click here.