“Yes people” – those people who, when faced with a question, an invitation, a new idea or possibility, or chance for new or greater relationship – those whose first instinct is to say YES to life – these are my people.
This has been true my whole life, but it really became clear when I was working in the theatre where it would’ve seem so much more obvious to say “no.” We worked with basically no budget, and very little time, with mostly students doing the work. What I realized quickly is that saying “yes” under these constraints usually meant we pushed ourselves to increasingly greater levels of creativity and imagination. Of course…it could also mean a good deal of stress and not a small number of moments where we weren’t sure if we could really pull it off. Wonderfully and incredibly, however, most of the time, we did.
Over time I’ve realized that saying “yes” starts by learning how to say “no.” Not everything is worthy of that great YES leap of faith. Not everything serves that place that Frederick Beuchner called the place where “your deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger”– that place of untouchable and infinite joy. Some things, it turns out, actually get in the way of serving this joy– so that saying “no” becomes another way to say “yes.”
I used to believe that saying “yes” requires a basic trust – a trust of yourself, a trust of everyone else, and a trust of Life in the most ultimate sense. But I’ve realized, “yes” also means being open to life’s disappointments, losses, betrayals and failures – and experiencing more than a few of these, over and over again.
So, I’ve started to instead believe that being a “yes” person requires not trust, but faith.
A faith to act as if we will still all create the world we long for, as if we can still do and be the impossible, together, as if there is a love that is holding us all, connecting us all, healing us all. Faith connects me to that joy that drives and sustains the YES in the center of my being – and the YES at the center of Being. Through faith, I find the resilience to keep saying yes, which is to say, keep loving this broken yet still beautiful world.