Yes or No. What will it be?
Today’s group in treatment was a meditation group. We sat in a cheesy circle and listened to a cheesy meditation tape. This is a new class at the center, so, I really didn’t know what to expect at all. After hearing that first tape, I thought immediately that my time might have been better spent in a plethora of ways. But, I didn’t throw all my hopes for the class to the wind. The facilitator running the class is one of my favorites, so, I prayed that she had something better than that up her sleeve somewhere.
When she popped open the tape player, only to insert a new, different tape. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I can listen to tapes on my own, I thought. But, I closed my eyes, let the cheesy music wash over me, and suddenly, I was there. In it. Meditating. The voice on the tape guided the room. I followed, eventually tuning the stupid music out and honing in on the speakers melodic and patient voice.
The tape speaker invited us to think about Yes and No. What did each feel like in our body? How do we respond to the questions we’re asked, externally and internally, when it comes down to a flat yes or no. Is there an in between? Do we always know the true answer at our core? Is it at all flexible, this notion of opposite-ness?
I think that there are many answers two these questions. And, it really boils down to who you are asking. It’s that gut reaction. The fight or flight. The right and wrong. And, it’s different in all of us. It’s what makes the world an interesting, diverse, and conflicted place. We need that dichotomy. There is something innate about wanting the scale to fall evenly. Yes and No. Yin and Yang. War and Peace. Right and Wrong. Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Since listening to the cheesy sounding, second tape, I have been really noticing my yes’s and my no’s. And, what’s weird about it is, when I pay attention to it, I really see how often I lie to myself. How often I’ll say, “That’s a Yes!” in my head, only to ask myself again and find that the Yes! part, is only what I wanted to hear. Two out of three times, when I question myself a second time my answer is different from my initial inclination.
It’s that concept of “First Thought Wrong.” People will often say in AA meetings that, when they first got sober they just did the opposite of what their mind’s were telling them to do, because it was usually the wrong thing that their brain wanted them to do so badly. Drinking or otherwise. I don’t think that I’m in such a state of self-sabotage that I choose the opposite of what I need, or think just because I want. I think I try to lie to myself when I’m convinced it will make me feel better. I think, for me, Yes and No completely depends on my comfort level. If I’m afraid, scared, and lonely, it’s almost always a Yes. Because, in moments of fear, No seems like too much. It’s a rejection. A refusal. A denial.
I’m going to try and remember that No is also a way to advocate for yourself. If I feel it’s a No, deep down, it’s not going to hurt anyone or anything except me to keep it inside. To hang on to a No in an attempt to make it a Yes or something other than it is, only makes it fester and grow. And, then it’s so much bigger than just a question. It is it’s own entity.
Check in with yourself right now. Is it a Yes or a No?
Ask yourself again.