Our journey of waking up and becoming conscious often leads us to a recognition that what we have believed about ourselves has only been an illusion – an illusion that was designed to cover up and distract us from an uncomfortable truth. The simple truth is that we are not who we think we are, who we have tried to make ourselves. In this moment right now, if we have any lack of peace or freedom, if we are missing any joy or love, if we are not experiencing the wonder, awe and gratitude of being alive, then we are saying “no”. This does not fit easily with who we think we are.
So many of us on the spiritual journey like to think we say “yes”. But we wouldn’t be on a spiritual journey if we were saying “yes”. We would have already arrived. So the task of becoming conscious, awakening, requires us to come to a recognition and acceptance that we are saying “no” – acceptance without judgment. We need that “no” to not be an abstract concept but we need to experience it, feel it, and see the truth of it. Otherwise we will struggle to change it to “yes”. For all that we will say “yes”, the “no” will still prevail if it is unconscious.
How do we experience that? How do we do that? We can feel the “no” in many ways. It is structured in our physical bodies as contraction, as pain and suffering, as discomfort or symptoms. We can feel that “no” in a sense of panic if we start to consider giving up control. We can feel that “no” in a sense of fear when we think about being nobody. We can feel that “no” when we are struggling to accept events in the world around us, people we know, and with our life circumstances. We can really begin to see our “no” when we are judging, complaining, and feeling like victims.
Allow yourself to experience that “no”. Can you feel it? Can you feel how you are holding on, blocking, controlling? Can you feel panic if you try to let go? We move through levels of consciousness and sometimes it seems that everything is unconscious. We are living totally in the illusion of our mental activity – we are not present to what is real in this moment. Sometimes we are intensely present and very conscious of our state.
One of the biggest blocks to releasing our “no” and changing it to “yes” is our judgment of ourselves. For as soon as we begin to experience how we are saying “no”, we find fault with it. It doesn’t fit with our idea of who we are. The conflict is too great; we feel shame or guilt. Our belief is that we should be perfect and yet we don’t believe in perfection. We believe we can never be good enough no matter how hard we try.
In this moment right now, become conscious of whether you are judging yourself or not. Do you really want to tie up your energy punishing yourself, judging yourself, and putting yourself down? Now you may feel shame about that. How do we break this cycle of always saying “no”? The challenge is to move out of this state, this conditioned state, of the addiction and obsession with the identity, to accepting and allowing this moment just as it is.
We must give up our quest to make ourselves better, which is part of the same process that judges us. The two are not separate – that is duality at work. Our experience of “no” is the opposite of giving up. You know what it feels like to relax some body part that has been tense. If you have had to hold something for a long time and you finally get to let go, you know that feeling of releasing, relaxing and sighing a breath of relief.
That is the same principle that we employ to get to “yes”. We are freed from our burdens. We are freed from our judgments and expectations. There is no judge other than own minds. There is only unconditional acceptance and love. All that effort to be good, to do the right thing, to be right, can be released now. Imagine letting go of all that. Imagine in this moment that nothing matters and no one can judge you. Let go of all that mental noise trying to figure out how you can do the right thing, how you can get it right, how you can be the right one.
In this moment there is no judge. There is no failure. There is no guilt. Let go now. Say “yes”. Say “yes” to the presence of grace, “yes” to the light and love. Say “yes” to what is truly real and what is really true about you. Let go of the “no”. Become the “yes”.