When The Answer Is No
I want. Gimme. It’s not fair! I hate you!
I remember saying these things at one point in my life. I also remember the responses.
You can’t have. Not now. No, it isn’t. That’s okay.
When we want something so badly sometimes our vision gets blurred and we see that ‘no’ as a roadblock to what we feel we deserve or need or just simply really want.
Most parents will see the above and connect. Cranky (or spoiled) children who want more candy, or to stay up late, or beg for a million unnecessary reasons to get out of their beds at night will make mom and dad super annoyed. Parents have a certain amount of patience and when it runs out, watch out kids…that is the end of the world as you know it.
What happens though when it’s the adults that are the ones asking or begging or declaring?
I want. Gimme. It’s not fair! I hate you.
What happens when the answers are the same? What happens when G-d answers this way?
You can’t have. Not now. No, it isn’t. That’s okay. Will there be a time when He says, enough is enough? The answer sometimes is just, no. But those who believe in G-d know that He has compassion and even if we reject Him and feel hatred towards Him, He is forgiving, just like any decent parent as long as we show remorse.
I want to be financially stable. Gimme a chance at a job that can actually support my family. It’s not fair that I need to ask for help month to month.
I want good health. Gimme a sign that this will pass. It’s not fair that I must endure this pain.
There are lots more examples. When frustration turns to bitter anger the downward spiral begins breeding hatred.
No one likes to hear the answer no. Why must honest and good people be denied? Denied the opportunity to get a second interview? Denied health benefits or tax breaks? Denied a credit card? Denied a scholarship? Sometimes it seems the hurdles are so hard when they should feel easier. A hardworking individual must sometimes bear larger burdens than those that are born wealthy or healthy.
Were misguided children, or those that were constantly indulged any better off than those that were constantly denied? No they, both breed a negative response.
There needs to be a healthy balance between receiving what we need and what we want. While its important to have goals and desires, we must also keep these in check. We must know there are limits and that sometimes there are things beyond one’s control that may determine what the end result becomes. Sure, the ‘don’t let anyone tell you your dreams are not attainable’ message is a good one. We set for ourselves time frames. When we don’t achieve the response we are looking for, in the time we allot for ourselves, we can get discouraged but need to have a good support system. Perhaps a friend or a colleague or a parent that whispers in our ear, ‘okay, that didn’t work – now let’s try something else’.
There is always a lesson to be learned. In everything. We may not like the process, in fact it may be painful and hard to understand or see the clarity until the dust settles and there is that light at the end of the tunnel…or someone wins the lottery… or gets the kidney.
Not everyone believes in G-d. Not everyone is as deserving as they think. As upsetting as it is to hear or feel the answer ‘no, not yet’, we deal with it. Bang some tables, kick some doors, scream, cry, dwell…until we calm down. We reflect, we reorganize our thoughts, our actions, and begin again, differently. We are an ever evolving species and as smart as we get, the more we know, the harder it is for us to come to grips with the unknown. It makes the negative reactions/responses/remarks that much harder to absorb and digest.
These are the times and the things that make us work harder, think better, and eventually succeed. Either getting the raise, winning the odds at the lottery, meeting the right doctor, asking please, being polite, waiting our turns, closing our eyes at bedtime, or just simply accepting that ‘no’ as another opportunity to work on ourselves, our behavior, our interactions with each other. Perhaps this is a time to accept that there is a higher power than ours and we must succumb to the fact that we don’t always have the answer because we are not meant to find out.
I think it’s okay not to know everything about all things. I am curious and the older I get the more I want to know. But I also accept that I don’t deserve to know or to get everything I may want. Sometimes the things that we want so badly, a baby, a promotion, a cheese cracker, may not be good for us. Only after the fact do we most often have clarity. This is what makes it so hard. I often think, if I could just know what the end result would be whether it be for the good or the bad it would make the process of enduring it that much better.
I just reminded myself of the labor and birth of my first baby…the unknown was far worse. Not recognizing what a contraction would feel like or the amount of time it would be from beginning to end…of course these are all part of a very positive outcome, but the pain in between – that was awful. This is not meant to be a holy piece about G-d and Rebirth – or anything religious, it’s a piece on endurance and acceptance. Sometimes though we try to do things differently, the answer sometimes will still be, ‘no’. And that just needs to be okay.