Wednesday, January 2, 2013

YES! is Not a Weapon

From Corning Museum of Glass
I have been using the word YES as my power word for years now (and here's one of my favorite older pieces about yes and the necessity of devotion). I tried other words here and there but they never felt...significant enough. Challenging enough. Or deep-dive enough.

So I've just decided to settle in with YES as a lifetime companion.

But this past weekend, I became obsessed with finding a new word. Research-y obsessed.  This is a red flag because it's about pushing and searching in a desperate way rather than allowing through attention.

I kept searching though, and then when Marcy and I went to a new church for Mass on Sunday (because I was so tired of the vacuous homilies at my old church and that makes me sad to say...), it was during a well-thought-out, thought-provoking homily that I realized my word would be "believe."

I announced it -- quite proud of myself -- to Marcy after we left Starbucks. (I owed her a treat for going to Mass with me. She is not churchy and has no need of it but she went because I was going somewhere new, thus I bribed her. ha!)

I announced it and did not immediately receive the excited response I assumed would come.

Instead Marcy said, "Isn't that the same thing as yes?"

I immediately laid out my argument for "Why She Was So Wrong."

After much thought, I realized a bunch of things, primarily that this animal with whom I live is always right and very wise and I have to keep learning that because I am stubborn and forgetful. (Shhhhh...don't tell her!)

Regarding my word choice, though, I also realized a bunch, including but not limited to:

  • The word Yes is a spiritual practice that can easily become a Weapon.


I was saying yes in the face of fear (a good thing) but I was going about it in a tight bun, scowling Schoolmarm sort of way. I was bare-knuckling. I was doing because I said I would.

  • The word yes implies and is married to underlying belief, faith, and trust.

Yes must be said from a place of openness and willingness. A place where the universe is bigger than my knowing will ever approach. A place where beauty and awe are my guides.

  • The word yes is, most of all, a statement of freedom, free will, and optimism.

The word yes is a CHOICE, not a predestination.

I have learned all of these things from that one moment of Great Wisdom, the Annunciation, where Mary is ASKED, not TOLD, and she, with all the faith, grace, and vulnerability of our greatest spiritual teachers, makes her choice for herself, based in her own heart and not grown of obedience but of willingness.

And so I recommit to this practice of Yes, but with eyes opened wider and heart a bit softer and mind a bit wiser.

Do you have a word that keeps coming back, keeps asking for more?