Saying " YES" and "NO" Appropriately

MAI's picture

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

What temerity to think that one can help another! There have been times, where I have not even been able to help myself. Now I can, so why couldn't I then..?

No answer.

Except there is no "I", and there is no "other".
There's just the helping and being helped.

Help, happening.

When help has to happen, it just does.
Not because of a me or the other.
Sometimes, inspite of me or the other.

Over the last couple of years,have deeply pondered the question of the need to help others.
This question of being "kind, compassionate, understanding".
And that attitude, literally came and bit me in the *** {.!!.}

Till I realised " Hullo! How about being all the above to yourself,first.Helping yourself first."

I had begun to be attached to my own self image of a "helper".

And I became so deeply identified with that image, able to see and feel, the other's pain and agony, so clearly, and yet totally oblivious to my own.
Much like the doctor who has become the patient.
Impossible situation..!!

Too much empathy, too much compassion ?


Just too identified with the image.

In the simple seeing of it, lay the freedom.

I can now, be a mirror,reflecting back an image, withought grasping on to the image.

Much like a crystal that reflects the red or the yellow or the green cloth as its backdrop, yet knows itself to be that pristine clear crystal.
There is not the refusal to reflect.
Just no identification with that which is reflected.


This post came to me this morning on my FB page.
It was an important milestone and turning point for me to recognise this aspect of myself.
So I am sharing this post,partially, as also my comment to it at the end.
For full content please see Jeff Foster's : Life without a centre.The post with the heading as under:


I want to talk about something that seems so very much misunderstood in the 'spiritual 'community.

If we deeply accept ourselves as we are, and we deeply accept situations exactly as they present themselves, and we deeply accept others as they are, does that mean that we always have to say "yes" to everything and everyone, even if that "yes" leads to more violence? Does it mean that we become passive, and let others "walk all over us", as they say? If "everything is okay", does that mean that we lose our powers of discrimination?

Of course not. Deep acceptance is so vast that it embraces both the "yes" and the "no" of life.

For example,....

Saying "no" to violence, abuse, or anything that in your gut doesn't feel right to you, is not the same as saying "no" to life itself. Saying "no" is not necessarily resistance to life. This is so, so important to realise.

How often do we say "yes", when we really mean "no", and vice versa? If we really mean "no", if "no" is our deeper truth, then saying "yes" is a lie, in the moment, for it dishonours the living truth of life, the life that is moving in you, through you, as you. That poor little "no" just needs a little kind attention...

Often we say "yes" because we are trying to uphold some kind of image of ourselves. We want to be seen as the kind one, the compassionate one, the one who always says yes, the positive one, the awakened one, or perhaps the one who accepts everything no matter what. We don't want to be seen as "negative" or some kind of party pooper. What a burden to have to pretend to be all this! This teaching is not about creating new images of yourself. It's about the release of all images.

If a deadly insect is eating into our skin, is it okay to take steps to remove the insect?...... It is life itself, as you are. Seen in this way, seen through universal eyes, even in removing the insect, you are actually affirming life, not resisting it. You are affirming the sacredness and the mystery of it. You are saying yes to life in all its manifestations - including the manifestation where insects are removed from human skin (in as kind a way as possible, hopefully!). Pretending that you accept the insect, pretending that you have a "yes" to being eaten alive when really a "no" is also a valid movement of life, does not seem intelligent or honest.

Of course, nobody can tell you whether a "yes" or a "no" is appropriate for you in the moment...... For the deep acceptance that you are is vast enough for a "no" or a "yes" in the moment. Both of these movements are held by the unconditional, ever-present YES that you are. That's the YES we are really seeking - the YES with no opposite.

And so it's not about trying to be a "deeply accepting person", or "someone who never says no". It's not about upholding the spiritual image. It's about remembering who you are beyond the image, beyond all images - life itself. And it's about honouring this life that you are, that we all are. And sometimes honouring life expresses itself as a firm, and loving, and intelligent, "no".

A "no", spoken in clarity and truth, without hate, without violence, without attachment to any outcome, without trying to hold up any image of yourself, is really a great big YES to life..............

My comment :
Saying yes and no- appropriately :

Thank you deeply for this. I have been holding up " an image of myself ". " the kind one, the compassionate one" for what seems now a millenium, and only a couple of years ago did I realise, what I had been doing, and dropped that burden. What a relief...!!! I was also trying to " help" another, through their pain, without addressing my own...!!! And in the bargain, literally getting bitten....where it began to be too painful to be the image. Somewhat like the snake bitting its own tail :-( Its been enough since then to just be. Not to split myself into a good and bad, just be me. :-)

Asanga's picture


Well written!

I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Tue, 11/20/2012 - 15:47
MAI's picture

Actionionless action

Thanks, Asanga.
Life, is sheer poetry, in motion...!!
This blog was a result of an incident that happened last week.
I must have said something about some experience to a casual aquaintence, a year ago when we were both taking a course in councelling. She remembered what was spoken about, and called me last week. Information was exchanged, a couple of other people also came into the picture...and I was in awe, at how life just keeps unfolding. In the most natural of ways.
There was no intention of helping, there was just a telling, a sharing....and yet, when the time to be helped comes, help happens,simply unfolds...

Life happens.
It simply unfolds.
And it just is so.
At this point .


MAI | Tue, 11/20/2012 - 16:49