Before reading a book by Bruce D. Perry, called The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, I was quick to side with the 50/50 Nature vs Nurture crowd. After learning of Perry’s poignant, yet promising encounters with traumatized children, I am now something between 10-20/90-80 Nature vs Nurture (certainty seems to be going out the window the older I get, hence the range). I am beginning to realize how important saying yes is. Yes to the things that are difficult, but better. Yes for our kids that don’t yet have the freedom or brain capacity to make the choice independently.
How often do we hear “I really need to do that…” “I really should start to..” “I would love to one day…” and I could go on with a Dickens size novel of these phrases we seem to be professionals at stating and amateurs at accomplishing. If you’re satisfied with your fitness level, than you can go ahead and say no when your brain tells you it might be a good idea to give up Game of Thrones for a night and go for a walk instead. If you’re satisfied with your position at work, then you can go ahead and say no to the extra work it requires to pursue something new, or fight for a promotion. If you’re satisfied with the number of friends you have, then you can go ahead and say no to sending that message or making that call, out of fear that there will be silence on the other end.
Yes requires more courage, more persistence, more strength. However, yes grants a heart more at peace, opens doors of opportunity, and provides friendships you one day won’t be able to imagine life without.
“Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
We can only miss an opportunity if we choose to say no rather than yes. I unexpectedly arrived in Czech Republic in the dead of winter with mostly thin fabric dresses and tank tops from my recent travels to Senegal. With only one lonely pair of jeans, I’ve decided to stay for two months. How has this all come about? Its simple, really. I said yes to one opportunity, and then yes to another, and then yes to another… and so on and so forth. Each yes has played its part in my life, whether the opportunity rendered glorious outcomes, or left me feeling like shit. Regardless, that yes directed my path to the very place I am today. Don’t be afraid. There are too many fearful hearts wandering aimlessly about. And what they need more than anything is a soul of courage to inspire them. I’ve been graciously granted encounters with souls of courage, and those encounters of light propelled me at just the right time, to say yes.