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Mari Lyles Headshot

Thriving With the Gift of 'No'

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In the past, I'd often thought that falling in love was reminiscent of that extremely vulnerable, naked moment a suicide encountered right before taking that precarious leap into open space -- that space disguising the unrelenting hardness of rocks and cement on the street below.

I thought of that split second of being airborne, hurtling through the atmosphere a thousand miles an hour, your face, clothes and hair whipped, twisted and contorted into monstrous shapes, and terror, undeniable terror, settling over your mind. I knew right then and there that falling in love without understanding was like falling out of an airplane without the proper parachute. You were certain to fall, no doubt about it. But exactly into what -- you did not know.

Some relationships are like that perilous, suicidal leap, swept along by feelings, emotions and an over-riding chemistry so deep and pervasive you feel as though control has been lost over your body, heart and sanity. Waking hours are spent examining and dissecting every star-crossed moment together, with each kiss, touch and smile relived ad nauseum. Silly grins, imaginary conversations, daydreams and night sweats rule the day drawing you further and further down your own vapid rabbit hole... where it really is easy to become lost if you're not very, very careful.

We can all agree that dewy-eyed, moist skin sensuality has the ability to turn us upside down, but a chemistry-ruled relationship can turn sour remarkably fast and generally has no sustaining roots that burrow deep into the ground and provide one with stability when the going gets rough. That self-same heady chemistry that moves you and grooves you can cause serious emotional and at times physical damage if common sense is completely tossed out. Pheromones and sensuality do not a relationship make. When chemistry reigns and no thought is given to the detrimental consequences of joining two very divergent souls together with very little in common, complications can and very often do arise to an unimaginable degree. Thank goodness we have been wired with the ability to say NO to any and all relationships that cause more problems than they're worth. We have been gifted with enough tenacity to pull back and objectively look at love offerings that undermine our health, sound mind and freedom and reject them out of hand, but only when we choose to consciously review all the data surrounding them. Only when we choose to view the offerings in a holographic manner.

The gift of "no" first begins with an understanding of our worthiness -- that we are worthy of absolute love, respect and acceptance, regardless of what our family, friends or society have negatively whispered to us. Our looks, ethnicity, height, weight, financial disposition, education (or lack thereof) have no bearing in deciding our value and worth. We are spirits with incredible souls, dwelling in vehicles provided for this lifetime and regardless of any appearances to the contrary, our worthiness extends to the heavens. Because we are worthy, any relationship we enter into must also be worthy of us. Any man/woman we meet must recognize their own worthiness to the extent that we recognize ours. If not, a union with that person is unacceptable. Their lack of understanding our value and worth or their own value and worth will hinder our growth and progression. To the degree we allow ourselves to become united with that person, it should only be to serve as a guide or educator, but not as a love interest. Owning the gift of "no" prohibits us from participating in any anger and violence directed at us. We were made for happiness; we are too worthy to suffer abasement at the hands of another and need not subject ourselves to someone else's concept of who we are or what we should be.

The gift of "no" intuitively knows when sex becomes a cheap substitute for love and refuses to settle for any imitation. The gift of "no" allows us to stand firm in our right to be honored and cherished in relationships that elevate and extol, understanding sex within love connects us with our Creator, while sex absent love objectifies us.

Finally, the gift of "no" recognizes the end of times, gracefully, no matter how painfully it comes about. It recognizes the ending of a relationship just as surely as it recognized the beginning of one. It comprehends approaching storm clouds, wind and rain where once the delusion of rainbows stood and it lets go. The gift of "no" does not clutch, choke nor hold on to vapor, what is no longer there, while desperately seeking to resuscitate dead things, to breath life into something withered and dry. It gathers its wings, folds itself within itself and meditates on the good and the bad, learning whatever lesson the relationship has taught. It does not seek to settle scores, rebuke nor grieve its partner because goodbyes need not be long nor torturous, just final.