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Opposite of Yes?



Up or Down. Stop or Go. Left or Right. Right or Wrong. Light or dark. All of these are opposites and you can see them in your mind’s eye. But what if someone challenged you and said, “the opposite of yes is not no”? Where did your mind go when that questioned was asked? Perhaps, “you need to go back to kindergarten!”


So the word, yes, is a positive word. There is hope and a sense of confidence linked to this word. It is the word that I utter most times if someone asks me if I want ice cream. It is the word that is uttered (hopefully) with the words, “I do” after it. It is also the word that I hear my husband and son yelling when their team scores a touchdown. Yes!


But the word, no, on the other hand is really not the opposite of “yes”. Olivia, my favorite yoga teacher, read a short passage this morning out of a book called Five True Things. And what she read - it actually made sense. When my mind agreed with this thought, I realized I was smart and did not need to go back to kindergarten to re-learn the concept of opposites.


So what am I talking about?


“The opposite of yes is not no; it is control. Behind that controlling impulse is fear, the fear that we will have to feel something painful. Yes is acceptance, control is refusal. We can learn to accept the fact that we are sometimes helpless to stop an unwelcome change in our lives. That acceptance, paradoxically ushers in serenity. Trying to stay fully in control of what will happen to us … maintains stress. Our life is a seesaw tottering between terror and control as long as we stutter at the word yes” (Richo).


So, you can’t be indecisive. You need to shout, “yes!” Basically, you need to be able to say, “yes” to letting go of your worry, but also the “belief that [you] have control” because you really don’t. Wow, I’m sure I just inspired a lot of confidence with that statement! But that is where the acceptance comes in - by being able to acknowledge that.



So, show of hands, how many of you hippies are type A, worry wart, control freaks? I’m not ashamed to say that is something I work on all the time. I have come along way though since my first revision hip surgery 14 months ago. I do feel that I can think the word, “yes” as I also know, ‘it is what it is”. And I always think back to what my dad would say, “Que Sera Sera - whatever will be will be”.


Richo goes on to say that, “we worry because we do not trust ourselves to handle what happens to us.” So, if you are struggling with uncertainty and worry, start looking inward towards your strength so you can trust yourself as you go on your hip healing adventure.


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