NO! Such freedom in saying NO! A tiny word, prohibited for so long, forbidden to leave the lips of a good little girl, or a sweet young woman. NO, carefully avoided as a professional on the career ladder who mustn’t be accused of not being a team player. NO withheld in intimate relationships because NO is so selfish and so, well, negative. I do not know if it is age alone which has transformed my relationship to NO, but transformed it is.
Now I realize that saying YES without the possibility of saying NO is hollow and joyless. I know that YES without the possibility of NO is allowing myself to be taken from rather than to freely give. YES without the possibility of NO is never the truth. More and more, I am claiming the fullness of my right to choose; I am celebrating my freedom to be a woman saying NO! NO to anything which is not true for me. NO to anything which diminishes me or reduces me to less than who I am. NO to any who would abuse my gentle and kind womanspirit or who would try to break my fierce and powerful womanspirit. NO to injustice, to violence, to hungry children, to keeping the secrets of oppressors. NO to ways of being in the world which come out of fear, impoverishment, anxiety, or the need to control or to please. NO to YES when I really mean NO. I am a woman saying NO!