A friend of this page sent me this today and I thought it was great…it also reminds me of my own evolution about the word NO, which goes like this:
1) For most of my life I never said NO to anything or anyone, because I didn't know how.
2) Slowly I learned how to say NO to people I didn't like, and to things I did not want to do. This felt for a while like the highest teaching. But there is a higher teaching still…
3) Recently I have learned the hardest lesson of all: How to say NO sometimes to people whom you do love, and to things that you do want to do — based upon a compassionate comprehension of the limitations of your own energies, time and emotional capacity.
Which is to say: Sometimes you must gently refuse even some things which appeal to you, so that you can focus your limited human attention not only on what is important, but on what is possible.