I remember that warm weekday night at our old home. There was me, back in grade 4, throwing a tantrum, because I didn’t want to join some after school enrichment program. I grew accustomed to always going home right away after school, and that really felt fun as I had a lot of time to play back at home. Who would want to spend more time at boring school?! And in a program called GEMS? ehhh?
As luck would have it, my Mom was at home then, and she argued with me, fought with me, and just forced me to say yes to that program. She put a big YES on the confirmation letter, and had me pass it.
I remember going to the first session, with the intention of not coming back again for the second session the next week. I’d just find some way to waste time, laze about, or sneak a way back home early from school.
Then I went to the second session, then the third, and so on. That first session actually got me hooked, and I ended up finishing and enjoying that program.
To say yes is to leave the comfort zone, and venture into something new and uncharted. It’s hard, but the only way to experience and grow, is to say yes to those new experiences and chances for growth. You may be forced into situations like I was, but it’s up to you whether you will say yes to stay and accept what the situation has to offer you, in whatever way, shape, or form.
There are also times when to say yes to is to say no to a lot of other things. In college, I signed up for the graduating senior’s retreat. We would spend 8 days in silence in an old hospital in the mountains, to reflect and to pray.
Again, as luck would have it, the schedule of the retreat coincided with several parties for the graduating seniors, as well as the awards night for the annual leadership awards for student leaders. I was also lucky to have been nominated for student leader of the year.
I really was torn between attending all the parties and the awards night, but in the end, I chose to say no to those events to take the 8 day silent retreat.
Thank God. Those 8 days were so powerful they still have an impact in my life to this day.
We have the power to choose to what and to whom we say yes to. And saying yes is a very powerful thing, in that it’s a giving of time, energy, resources, ultimately life. If we say yes to everything, we spread ourselves too thin, and we tend to lose focus and traction. “What is your yes worth, when you don’t say no?”
Many very successful people say no more often than yes, and choose very wisely and carefully to what and to whom they say yes to.
Saying yes is also a commitment. To prove that you are saying to something, is to say no to what would pull you away.
Then there was this girl I liked. I didn’t like her at first, though, but as we got to know each other, I found myself thinking more and more about her. She’s a firecracker, can be a bitchy, ice queen at times, and yet she never fails to encourage and inspire others to achieve and do more. Her authentic approach to everything and just-jump-into-it attitude was something I found very attractive.
So on top of a hill on an island, in front of a huge statue of Mother Mary, I asked her to be my girlfriend. I didn’t even ask her the way she wanted to be asked, and so I asked again, and she said yes.
We have to ask to get a yes. Risk it. Wayne Gretzky said you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. If we don’t ask, we don’t give others a chance to say yes to us. We will be turned away, and rejected, and it can hurt. No, it really hurts. But you’ll get used to it. Just don’t stop asking for yes in your life. If not one person, maybe another will say yes.
It’s also about trusting what you say yes to. You don’t really know what’s going to happen, but you trust that good things will happen, and hope that you live, grow, learn, and love.
You’ve got to say yes to yourself first, before anything else can. Yes.
Now, I find myself jumping, trusting, hoping, with all my heart and soul and God-help-me-nows. I guess trusting and saying yes to yourself, also moves things forward for you. I guess things just fell in place for this one. As a note to self, I must trust more.
And so, again I asked her.
To marry me.
And she said yes.