When Yes Means No

1024 205 Augusta Kantra

Here’s a thought I’d like to share…

I say yes when I mean no,

and the wrinkle grows.

~Naomi Shihab Nye

Afraid to hurt, disappoint, or anger another person, we say yes. We agree to something that our heart doesn’t agree with. We give up a part of ourselves. We shrink a little bit. We do this, not because we’re selfless or caring (although that’s often the defense behind which we hide), but because we are unwilling or not yet ready to face our own discomfort.

Saying yes with our words and saying no with our heart creates a painful incongruence. And the pain of that incongruence causes imbalance — and imbalance, whether it’s in body, mind or spirit, causes injury.

That place, right between the eyes, where we furrow our brows, that’s the wrinkle that grows as we take on a “yes” that is out of alignment with our core values. We scowl, all the while saying “Sure, I’ll do that.” The energy of the scowl ripples faster and further than the energy of the yes ever can. And with that, injury eventually follows.

In Dr. Seuss’ children’s book Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton the elephant proclaims “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”  There’s no wavering, no apologizing, no tiptoeing. There’s no “no” is his “yes.”

To say a wholehearted yes, we have to know our own hearts. We have to be willing to pause, check in with ourselves and then risk allowing the other person to have their own feelings about our decision.  First, we must know what we mean – then, like Horton, we can mean what we say. Secondly, we must then be daring enough to then say what we mean. Put those together and there’s congruence, balance and a wholehearted, one hundred percent, YES.

Wishing you one hundred percent yes’s, and wholehearted no’s when necessary,



Augusta Kantra

All stories by: Augusta Kantra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Call Now Button