Whether it is the meaning and value of a “no”, or the gift of rejection, family, school, work and cultural norms fail to assist us in appreciating the value of the no.
Whether it is our ability to say no – to a job opportunity, a potential partner or an evening invitation, or our ability to receive a no from another – no is a sacred thing. As Richard Avedon wrote:
“I’ve worked out a series of no’s. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narratives. And all these no’s force me to the “yes”. I have the white background, I have the person I am interested in and the thing that happens between us.”
It is the no’s that lead us to our yes’s.
Just as no is our road to yes, rejection is the way that we find, and the world leads us toward, our authentic path. It may be the gift of the lover who rejects us and requires us to see the truth of the other in order to heal. In that rejection we learn that because we are not right for another does not detract from what is right in us. It may be the job we never got that means we launch on a career path that is our passion rather than our ego’s ideal.
As children, if we grew up in a family or culture in which we were not seen or valued, we may have unknowingly adopted a false self. If we have a strong will, there are few ways for this persona to be penetrated. Often, the rejections are the chiropractic adjustment that force us to examine what we value, or what we have attached ourselves to, that may not be from a place of alignment. The more we slam our head against closed doors, the more likely we are to be willing to ask if that direction is our true path. The no’s and rejections may be the only path to our authentic self.
If we live from the place of cocreative unfolding with the universe (which is no small thing to get to), then, just as the seed that sprouts where there is light and moisture has found the universal “yes”, we must trust that the no’s and the rejections lead us to our fertile soil.