It’s okay to say “no”

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“It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” ~ Steve Jobs

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“NO” is the most common word to ever come out of a child’s mouth.  It’s an instinctual response to any question or suggestion for anyone under the age of three and that response is never second-guessed.  So why now, when we have the ability to reason and make an informed decision, based on what is best for us, do we find it so hard to utter that simple word and mean it?

“No” is a complete sentence.  It does not require any justification, nor does it need an explanation.  It is a succinct and pithy response that needs no further words to make its meaning understood.

For us to procure as much happiness as we can from each day we are afforded in this lifetime, we must learn to make our decisions by putting our happiness first.  We must set boundaries for ourselves and embrace and listen to the most important voice we will ever hear – our own.  It’s human instinct to want to please other people by saying yes, but how much of ourselves are we giving up by agreeing so quickly and not allowing that inner voice to offer its opinion.

If the answer in your heart is ‘no’, find a gentle way of not accepting the offer or challenge and let that three-year old voice in your head speak for both of you. That voice is giving you some sage advice. You should take it.

What did you say, Jim? I didn’t quite get that.

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Perhaps it was Sage Doyle’s latest post about Grimm and his night out on E, but something caused me to open the vault in my brain that stores the foolish behavior of my past.  Things that should remain locked and guarded have bubbled to the surface and made me recall the few times I dabbled in some mild altering drugs.  I am relatively inexperienced when it comes to drugs – I don’t even like taking over the counter meds if I can avoid it, but peer pressure is an overwhelming thing and I succumbed.

The first time I was relatively young and my friends thought it wise to do some hits of acid.  Sure, I had smoked some weed once or twice, but I gave up on it fairly quickly.  I don’t like the feeling of being high and not being able to control how quickly I get there, or get back.  At least with wine, I have more control and can switch to water if I feel like I’m reaching the breaking point.  But hey, acid makes sense, no?   Abso-fucking-lutely not.

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Real life quickly turned into That 70’s Show, but I was still in the now.  It didn’t seem to affect me at all.  I was almost disappointed until I realized how ridiculous everyone else looked.  They behaved exactly like you would expect people on acid to behave.  Hippy-speak was rampant and they all spent an obscene amount of  time watching invisible things float through the air.  Once the munchies kicked in, we all headed for the local burger joint and they filled their urges to eat their weight in french fries.  It wasn’t until I saw the purple troll streak by the picnic tables that I realized I was high.  I jumped up from the table and chased the little bastard for a good 5 minutes until I no longer had any oxygen in my lungs.  I lay on the sidewalk and made snow angels.  It was July.

I guess the acid trip had buried itself so far into the recesses of my mind that when the pressure was on to do magic mushrooms, I caved.  Once again, I seemed to be unaffected by anything more than the rank smell of these hallucinogens, so we drank some wine while we prepared some cedar-plank salmon, green beans and rice for dinner.  We had just plated dinner when the giggling started.  I thought the beans were the funniest looking things I had ever seen and once the laughter started, it didn’t stop.  The three of us were perched around the dining room table and none of us ate a bite.  I thought the salmon was trying to swim off my plate, so I built a barricade with the green beans to contain the fish and the rice was used like mortar to secure the walls.   I finally had to step away from my friends.  My ribs felt like each one of them had broken simultaneously from laughing so hard and being around them was not helping.

I took my wine out to my gazebo and lay on the wicker love seat, on my back and staring up at the tree that hung precariously above.  It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the darkness of the early evening and when I finally focused, I saw him.  I blinked a few times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things (of course I was, I was really freakin’ high) but he remained motionless – in my tree – it was Jim Morrison.  Now, for a guy that has been reportedly dead since 1971, he looked pretty good.  We chatted for about half an hour – Jim is very articulate and extremely witty for a dead guy.  And then he left me alone to pass out in my gazebo and sleep it off.

I have since learned to say a very emphatic NO when I am asked if I would like to partake in any sort of drug, besides wine.  I think we can all agree that is best.  Even Jim would agree.