LIFESTYLE/SPIRITUALITY

THE POWER OF “NO”

There is a line drawn in the sand. That line is a threshold. On one side is who we are and just beyond that border is who we want to be and the life we desire. We face that line at any given time. We usually see it when there is an opportunity to grow. I recently faced it.

Do you know what I realized when I knew it was time to step across that line? Part of my hesitation was the understanding that once I was over “there” I couldn’t cross back. So, I had to come to terms with the fact that I had to leave parts of myself behind because she couldn’t survive over there. I had to shed her. I looked at that line in the sand in my mind, said goodbye to the person in me that accepted less than what I deserved and jumped over to the other side. I crossed that line and told somebody, “No.”

How do I share without putting folks on front blast? My intention in revealing this experience is to let you know that when you say no to what appears to be gold, the treasure is actually you honoring yourself. (Maybe I can explain this better if I turn off Three 6 Mafia J Ah, that’s better.)

I was invited on an international trip. It was to a place that I prayed about visiting, so when the trip came up, I thought this was my prayer answered. Remember a few blogs ago I talked about instincts? Well, my alarm was going off from the beginning. But, I ignored it because I really wanted to go. So I did what we often do – I tried to flip the red flags into something it was not. I dressed it up in pretty explanations that I felt would dance circles around that part of me that looks truth in the eye until it was hypnotized by the lie. But my higher self – that part of me that is never separated from God – wasn’t having it. You know what they say? It is what it is and it’s gon’ be what it’s gon’ be. That’s what the elders say and they’re so right.

As it got closer and closer to the week to leave, pertinent information I requested was left unanswered. You know, like where’s the hotel? Who’s paying for the meals? Who’s picking us up from the airport? Is anybody picking us up from the airport? What’s the itinerary? What’s the flight info? The reason why I asked is because every other media trip out of the country I’ve been on supplied answers to all of those questions and much more. I’d get emails every other day with welcoming notes and tidbits of info like the weather and what officials our travel party would meet once we arrived. I never wanted for anything. I felt like I was in good hands. But this trip?!!!

Here’s the thing: a little voice in me said, “Why are you trippin’? Do you know how many people don’t get this opportunity and you’re complaining! So what it ain’t together like the other trips. This is different.” Then when that didn’t work, another voice said, “You know no matter where you are God is always taking care of you, so go.” That voice had me trippin’ for real because I do believe no matter the situation God is always taking care of me. But I also know that God always gives me the best. Anything I receive other than the best is what I chose to accept. True indeed, the Creator always will work it out, but why go down that road in the first place? That reminds me of two dreams I had a couple years ago.

The first one was me with a friend. Okay, it was some dude I liked. He was supposed to ride in this helicopter by himself, but wanted me to go with him. This voice told me not to get on. But, he wanted me to go, so I did. When I got on something happened and the helicopter started going down. I got so scared I woke myself up. The second dream I was on a bus and there were other people on it too. The voice told me to get off the bus. I was hesitating because I didn’t know why. Then, it said if I were to stay on I’d be okay, but I would have to endure what everyone else will endure. Do you know I stayed on that bus! It ended up crashing. I was okay, but of course, affected by it. Now, to be honest, I do believe I was watching my favorite television show, “Lost,” when I had these dreams. But, I’ve had so many extraordinary dreams that I know not to pay attention to all of them. Needless to say, without going into my business, I stayed on the helicopter and on that bus in real life and it did crash. What’s funny is when I had that helicopter dream I knew exactly what situation it was showing me in my life. I tried to act like I didn’t know. But I’ve learned the Spirit never lies, people do – and mostly to ourselves.

The day before the trip I received only my flight information. Everything else was a mystery. So, I stayed my black you-know-what in the “A.” And it wasn’t because I was scared of what might have happened. It was because all the other trips I went on I prayed for and I received everything I asked for and so much more. It was clear this wasn’t it.

You know I was tempted to contact people who went just to see what happened, but I stopped myself. I believe that it’s not about them. The trip could have been perfect, the best trip ever. But, that’s not my lesson. My lesson is to stand firm in my faith that everything I asked for I will receive, and I know from past experiences, that it’s always bigger and better than I imagined.

UTC family, I’d like to try something with you. Consider it a little experiment. Choose one thing today that you would like to see in your life, something you are committed to seeing manifest. Post it. If you don’t want to share your business with the family, then email me. Then, everyday nurture that special something you want in the way that makes you feel good. Keep us abreast on how it’s coming.

I’m looking forward to reading your posts!

I know I promised a new prayer, but all of it hasn’t arrived in my heart. So, I’m not going to rush it. I’ve learned everything has its own timing.

See you next week.

Yaminah Ahmad is editor-in-chief of The Atlanta Voice and contributing editor to Collective Voices, a newspaper published by the non-profit, SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective. More information on the group can be found at www.sistersong.net. Ahmad can be reached at missyaminah@gmail.com.


Email This Post Email This Post

Leave a Comment

Comments

August 25th, 2008 at 10:04 pm SweetSis says:

I want to see a little breathing room. Just not have to struggle for ever. single. thing. Mostly money wise. A cushion would be more than nice. It would keep me sane!

August 25th, 2008 at 11:07 pm Tawnie says:

Wow. What a beautiful story of listening to your intuition/gut/spirit. Thanks for the inspiration.
P.S. I would like to get my degree - finally.

August 25th, 2008 at 11:19 pm thelma says:

I used to know what I wanted it seems to keep changing now. But, change is good. I thank you for always bringing it back to the spirit

August 25th, 2008 at 11:24 pm culturepop says:

Follow your gut that trip wasn’t in the cards for you young lady. You have a strong head on your shoulders

August 25th, 2008 at 11:27 pm kamalp says:

I need to find a better job closer to da house cuz this gas is killin me.

August 26th, 2008 at 12:07 am nicq says:

ha ha..this is so true..some stuff just not meant to be..u did the right thing shawty

August 26th, 2008 at 1:13 am lilmamma86 says:

i feel you on that girl..snooze button is my bestfriend OKAY!!! lol

August 26th, 2008 at 2:14 am Mr.Fantastic says:

I THINK THIS IS A PART OF EVERY PERSON’S DAILY ROUTINE..BUT I THINK ITS GOOD U FOLLOW UR GUT…AND HURRY UP WITH THE NEW PRAYER..SOME OF US NEED IT! :)

August 26th, 2008 at 7:28 am Lottie Markus says:

I’ve been there many times before. Where you think you should go somewhere or do something to have the experience, but it just doesn’t feel right. It hurts to make the choice, but all we have is our intuition so we have to follow it and believe that it is guiding us in the right path. This was a great reminder of that power we have

August 26th, 2008 at 8:23 am Nu yawk says:

real spit

August 26th, 2008 at 9:11 am Conrad Sharpe says:

great blog
good advice for us to follow heart

August 26th, 2008 at 9:41 am Tina says:

I wouldn’t have went either. I am going to nurture prosperity and peace of mind today.

August 26th, 2008 at 10:12 am Philip Giddings says:

Timing is everything!
I predict your next opportunity will be laid out perfectly with no doubts
keep pressing on sista

August 26th, 2008 at 10:44 am Black Butterfly says:

Good experiment. I guess mine would be wanting to be seen for who I am, not the image people create for me. Constantly having to explain and prove myself over and over again has me weary and depressed. I don’t know where to start.

August 26th, 2008 at 11:39 am Krista Wills says:

I feel so inspired and much less doubtful about some of the choices I’ve made based on “the gut!”

Great blog

August 26th, 2008 at 12:11 pm pmatters says:

Where you ever able to make the trip afterwards? I love how you always speak on prayer because it does work. HE works ya’ll…He works!

August 26th, 2008 at 12:42 pm chica22 says:

I want to see peace of mind and spirit in my life. I worry way too much for my own good.

August 26th, 2008 at 12:50 pm MR TIBBS says:

happiness

August 26th, 2008 at 1:07 pm Stephanie says:

I know that I need to say No more often. I get into so much trouble always saying yes.

August 26th, 2008 at 1:22 pm Nicole Malave says:

Sounds like a great opportunity - FOR SOMEONE ELSE! Way to go following your instincts

August 26th, 2008 at 1:53 pm heatmizer says:

Girl I don’t know how you do it but you are one in tune sister!
Thanks as always for the weekly dose of self love

August 26th, 2008 at 3:27 pm Ellene Miles says:

This was mighty helpful today!

August 26th, 2008 at 4:38 pm lolalove says:

I gotta think about that one!
And I might be on the low low and email you! :)

August 26th, 2008 at 4:58 pm Jane Kennedy says:

The image of our resident spiritual guide listening to three six mafia just tickled me to death!

August 26th, 2008 at 5:36 pm Miss Yaminah says:

Thank you for your comments. I’m loving them. And thank you for posting your wishes. This is going to be fun.

August 26th, 2008 at 5:36 pm Eunice says:

i just turned down a brand new car girl!
just didn’t feel right something told me walk away. in order for me not to cry at night i have to convince myself it was the right thing

August 26th, 2008 at 5:38 pm Miss Yaminah says:

Update on the trip: It’s funny how I write about how I stopped inquiring about the trip to see what happens and then today somebody offers the information. An associate ran into someone who went on the trip. He asked how it was and the response was a mess. Wow.

August 26th, 2008 at 6:54 pm Miss Yaminah says:

@SweetSis: Have you declared the amount? Declare the amount and then give away money. I say that because I’m seeing that when I give away money, no matter the amount, it seems to find its way back in my pocket with friends.
@Tawnie: How exciting! Have you applied anywhere? What’s your major? What do you want to do with your degree?
@Thelma: Change is definitely good. I have a feeling there’s something you’ve always wanted. It’s consistent no matter what’s going on in your life. What is it?
@Culturepop: Thanks for your wise words.
@Kamalp: Always loved the name Kamal. Maybe because I have a longstanding crush on Q Tip. Anyhoo, I feel you on the job thing. What do you consider better? Money? Personal fulfillment? Less drama? Perks? One aligned with your talents and passion? Define better.
@Nicq: Thanks so much
@Lilmamma86: You got me with the snooze button. I hit it 5 times today. LOL!
@Mr. Fantastic: I love your name… I know what I want to say. I haven’t written down yet. Honestly, it’s a little scary. I can’t play with yall lives. But I’ll do it for the next blog. Thanks for the encouragement.
@Lottie Markus: You are soooo right!
@Nu yawk: I love the flip on my favorite city
@Conrad Sharpe: Thanks so much
@Tina: Prosperity and peace of mind- I need it every single day!
@Philip Giddings: Thanks so much for your prayer. I love the word predict. I’ll have to use that in the prayer.
@Black Butterfly: Wow. Thank you for sharing it with everyone. This one really hits home with me. Without writing a whole new blog I will say that an old supervisor, Mary is her name, was orientating me and some other new employees. She said something that sticks with me. She said that if we called off we didn’t have to leave some detailed message explaining why because we don’t pray to her. She’s just our boss. What we do is our business. All she needs to know is we’re not going to be there. That was in ‘98 or ‘99. I stopped explaining myself to people and I tend to say “no” without an explanation. But I realize now that it’s because I love who I am and feel I have the right to be me, but nobody’s going to honor me unless I do. So I say all of that to say it starts with you. When you learn to love yourself right now where you are without thinking of things you need to change people will honor you because you set the tone. My new thing is to “stand in my queendom.” But I gotta make sure I stay on the throne. :)
@Krista Wills: Thank you so much. It’s good to know somebody else is following their gut.
@Pmatters: I haven’t made the trip yet. I’ll definitely write about it. And yes, prayer works!!!
@Chica22: Chile, worry was my middle name! I can write a blog on that one!!! But I read a book that broke down worrying. It said that when you worry you are not in faith. Worry says you’re not trusting that it will work out and faith is the knowing that it will. They can’t co-exist. So I had to learn to trust and that meant I had to see with my faith. Your eyes can’t report what the Creator is handling behind the scenes. I’m a Virgo so I have control issues. So I’m learning to let it go and know that it will work out. The peace of mind will come when you trust all is well-even if you ain’t handling it. Man, I’m still working through this one. Thanks for the reminder!
@Mr. Tibbs-”They call me Mr. Tibbs,” in my horrible Sidney Poitier impression… I’m learning happiness is a choice with every moment and how we choose to respond in every situation.
@Stephanie: Say “No.” It feels good. It’s liberating, especially when you say no without an explanation. Please let me know when you say it. I’d love to know the situation.
@Nicole Malave: Thanks so much!
@Heatmizer: Thanks so much! I’ve read your comments on this blog and others. You got the gift. Stop playing!
@Ellene: My sister from another mother!
@Lolalove: LOL! I’m looking forward to your email.
@Jane Kennedy: Chile you’d be surprised at what I listen to. Actually, it always surprises people.
@Eunice: Oh I LOVE it! You go girl! You said no to something that others might perceive as a blessing. You followed your instinct. Good for you! I know people who’ve gotten messages from the Creator to let their car go and they’re holding on. Needless to say the car is always breaking down. Always.

August 27th, 2008 at 12:14 am SweetSis says:

Wow Yaminah. I will declare plus give a little extra at church on Sunday. Hey its a start.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to me direct. Dang to all of us! Thats damn cool.

August 27th, 2008 at 3:13 pm heatmizer says:

really yaminah you are bomb for making this like fam!

August 27th, 2008 at 9:12 pm Karim says:

as ur brother minah i am often suprised at the blogs that i read each week… i have re-evaluated our bother/sister relationship and found out that i really dont know u lol… im feelin the inspiring words tho! keep it up big sis!!!!