Today I have been thinking about the first time I visited my Qi Gong teacher for a healing session. I remember him teaching me to draw earth energies through the energy channels in my body. After watching me for a while he gave his diagnosis of my condition. I was somewhat shocked when he said: “You need to grow a backbone”.
I was shocked because in so many spiritual and religious traditions we are told to do the opposite. I grew up conditioned to be helpful and generous and to give more love.
Whether it is intended or not, a lot of us interpret these instructions as if the ONLY way to give love is to say YES.
People ask us (sometimes knowing and sometimes without knowing) to do things that will take us beyond the resources that we have. We know that complying with their request will hurt and deplete us, but we think that to be loving or good means we should say yes.
And then we reach a point where we have nothing left to give.
But what if we have misunderstood?
What if there are situations where for our own good AND for the benefit of the person making demands on us, the most loving thing we can do is connect to the supportive energies of the earth, to grow a backbone and to say no?
And if this is the case, why not make a new challenge for ourselves? Why not find the way each time we need to say no to make our NO the most loving NO that the person we are saying it to has ever received?
In this way there is no difference between opening your heart and growing a backbone. Each is a way of staying open. And each is a way of giving love.