I’m the sort who will take you at your word. If you say yes to me, I believe you mean yes. If I think you aren’t arriving at your yes at 100%, I might question you about it until you land comfortably in your decision. In my book, a resolute no is much more appreciated than a half-hearted yes.
I’m not interested in: I should’s, have-to’s, uh-huh’s, or nah’s. I’m interested in:
I choose to,
I wholly own my choice and the consequences,
yes, or no,
and I need to check in with myself and see if that works.
Women, in my experience, are far better at half-hearted yeses than men. Seeking to please, we extend ourselves even while resentment, frustration, and exhaustion brews. Sometimes these emotions are directed towards others, but at the core, the deep dissatisfaction lies with ourselves. We wish we had the chutzpah to say what we mean, like, “are you kidding me? There’s no WAY I will agree to that!”
Have you ever watched women who gracefully decline invitations without excuse or fanfare? It’s a beautiful thing. Instead of giving twelve detailed reasons why they can’t comply with a request, they simply say, “Thank-you for asking, but that isn’t going to work for me right now.” They then go about their lives as if the conversation didn’t happen. No guilt. No wondering how the other person took their rebuff. Just grace and ease.
These women can have this elegance of communication because their intentions are clear. They have paid the price of discovering their highest purpose in life, and they respect others enough to be kind and direct with them. Yes kind and direct, because I believe that true honesty is never cruel. Brutal honesty is an oxymoron. All real honesty has as its soul, lovingkindness, even when such honesty circumcises the receiver’s heart and reveals her mask.
Those with even the smallest modicum of personal agenda, cannot give such honesty. It must come from a place of complete other-centeredness. It must come from a place that does not hold onto an attachment to the outcome, but allows and trusts the wisdom and accountability of others to rise up.
I’ve heard it said that the best way to make another trustworthy, is to trust them. Sometimes this means trusting them, even when we know their yes is half-hearted. I’ve had many occasions to receive a 45% yes, and instead of calling their bluff, I choose to believe them. I allow them their yes, even when I know they aren’t sure. And I don’t take on the emotions of it. I used to, but I don’t anymore. I don’t because I know from personal experience, that when the pain of fractional commitment swells big enough, people begin getting honest with themselves and hence, others.
In the end, trustworthiness has little to do with trusting others, and much to do with trusting ourselves. The only way to trust ourselves is to allow our own hearts to be circumcised of fear, and to leave the mask in the dress-up box in favor of our own natural reflection.
Today I ask myself,
*In what way can I own my choices at 100%?
*What masks am I wearing because I’m afraid of people seeing the real me?
*Whom do I seek first when I want direction in life?
*Do I seek vertically, or horizontally?
*How easy or challenging is it for me
to speak the truth directly, at 100%, with lovingkindness?
*What areas of my life would I like to raise the bar of personal accountability?
*How would my body feel if I really trusted my own intuition and judgment?