Sometimes I feel like if I say No one more time I will die, but I now know this to be a lie. It’s like we have a limited amount of No’s each day and sometimes we run out of them before the day is even close to being over. In recovery, it is important to learn to reframe what you say No to and what you say Yes to, remembering that over time if we say Yes to one thing we are saying No to another thing. It’s hard to consider at the beginning of our journey that we can wisely choose the right things and put our life on the right path consistently. We can choose against the facts of our past in the truth of our present by having a clear conscience and mind for our new life in sobriety. Recovery is a series of sprints that equals a marathon; these sprints are made of courageous Yes’s and confident No’s!
My journey to have a Courageous Yes or a Confident No!
Do you ever wonder what type of programming your brain is running in the background of your consciousness? What helps us make so many decisions each day? We say Yes sometimes to things and No to other things without ever deeply knowing why. The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our Yes’s and No’s. Everyone starting out or living in recovery has a burning and desperate need for more courageous Yes’s and confident No’s! Addiction causes us to be unaware of the intentionality of our Yes’s and No’s and often hinders our ability to exercise free will. Recovery is the power to choose with purpose infused in every choice.
Yes’s and No’s
We begin to learn the power of the word No at a very young age. It is the premier answer we hear for the first fifteen years of our life. It is a constant reminder of the perceived barriers that others had placed in our lives. Often we can choose a better perspective by seeing that those Yes’s and No’s were usually coming from those that loved us the most. In the moment, they may have seemed to be the gatekeeper on everything fun, fascinating and freeing, but once we start making our own choices we are quickly introduced to the power and consequences of those choices. Each choice we make is powerful and each one has the ability to transform our lives.
If you have ever felt like I have, then you have felt that you have said Yes to so many wrong things, things that have hurt you or discredited you. In those moments I often felt sick of saying No to the point that I finally wanted to see what some Yes’s felt like. These Yes’s brought excitement in the beginning and seemed to have influence like I had not experienced with my No’s. Other people began to gather around and accept me based on my Yes’s that also lined up with their Yes’s. I took pride in belonging to a group of common hearted people who were seeking an alternative to saying No. I had little knowledge that these Yes’s were leading to a path of slavery to substances. When I say Yes, I am choosing a path and those paths have destinations; the question should be “does this path take me where I want to end up?”
Knowing and Growing in No’s
Knowing that our Yes’s creates a life that we don’t want, when entering into recovery we switch to the No camp. The more appropriate No’s that we deploy the more our lives begin to balance. The power and purpose that comes from confident No’s in our lives makes us feel more in control and less broken. The No’s can win for many years. We can say No as a confident standard response to almost everything we used to do, but if we lose confidence we begin to risk everything we have worked for. We must choose to leave the old life behind and discipline ourselves in the way we choose. No’s to the wrong paths can help save a marriage, fix broken finances and control motivations. There is hope for every person to learn to know and grow through confident No’s!
You Guessed it. Yes’s Returned
It seems, as life gets better we can begin to think we could reintroduce the Yes’s with more responsibility and accountability. The Yes’s begin to bless us again. This time, we can implement good Yes’s with better motives and more counsel surrounding our decisions from sponsors, family and other loved ones who care about our recovery. The good choices compound to create a situation where Yes’s start adding tremendous value to you. Your life grows and prospers until you are so blessed with Yes’s that you overflow with gratitude. The appropriate Yes’s bring about prosperity, but also its own set of challenges. The key is to expect these challenges knowing that you will overcome and experience more of the life you want through sobriety and daily recovery.
The Recovery Journey is filled with Courageous Yes’s and Confident No’s!
When we learn to use our Yes’s and No’s intentionally, we eventually find ourselves at the peaceful place where our sustained Yes’s and No’s have bought us. The truth is we don’t just make our choices; our choices make us. Today is a day to be grateful to God for the privilege of free will. We just have to learn how to use it more effectively. We long to be what our heart says is possible. Today is the day to start being courageous with your Yes’s and confident of the purpose of your No’s.