The False Protection of "No"

by Roy Piper  Feb 1, 2014

I am discovering my “hard no’s” in life relate directly to where I feel the most fear of being cast aside, replaced, or found unworthy. In other words, the lies I believe about myself.

I also see that instead of protecting me, “no” actually keeps the story of unworthiness going, by re-enforcing what I am too afraid to see (or let others see.) The very phrase “hard no” reeks of fear and denial. "No" is alchemy in reverse, turning gold into lead. I have been a top-notch reverse alchemist.


My research in OM the last several months has been to see where each ‘no” originates from and learn what “no” is trying to protect me from. And then face that very thing, completely naked. To feel it, and let it burn.

After much research and many OMs, the big fear behind all my “hard no’s” is… drumroll… that those I care about will discover I was not at all what I led them to believe I was, causing them to find others better than me, and “trade me in.” It’s that simple. It’s that raw. And it hurts.

This potential result represents the ultimate “judgment” against me. I grew up Catholic, and even the “Last Judgment” did not frighten me as much as this possibility! For myself, I could believe in a God that forgives easier than believing in a partner or close friends who would forgive me for being less than what I sold them. And I certainly did not forgive myself for such!

To protect against this, my “hard no’s” became a kind of Ten Commandments. “No” became my protection from the original sin of being unworthy. And much like religious commandments, I told myself that my “hard no’s” were “for my own good.” Or, when I could not sell myself that theory, I claimed my “no’s” were a morally superior way to live. “No” represented the freedom I would relinquish (or force others to relinquish) in order to access the “promised land” of not being "found out." Unfortunately, the reality of “no” often felt more like purgatory, where nothing actually happened. Where I was both the prisoner and the jailer.

Through OM, I find myself among a community of practitioners who are willing to lower their defenses and allow others to do the same. Through OM, and that which grows out of OM, I am more willing to say “yes” to less control, “yes” to research, “yes” to more freedom for myself, “yes” to more freedom for my partners…. and…. even “yes” to the possibility that my fears could someday coming true! And, unless I say “yes” to that fear, I have not claimed what I have come here to do.


All the OMing, all the orgasm and all the new sensations in my body are not going to eliminate my fears, nor deliver me from them, but allow me to become intimate with them, embrace them, and move through them, in community. OM does not replace false stories with warm blankets of comfort, but with the true power and self realization to be wholly with the stark reality of any moment.

By dismantling my “no’s” and embracing “yes,” even when it scares me, I am beginning to see my true face, including the frightened parts. And by accepting my fears, begin to forgive myself for not being who I wanted to be, and for who I projected I was. And then passing permission to do the same to others.

I am finding on the other side of all the “hard no’s”, where "yes" resides, there is a connectedness and web of vulnerability with far more freedom, sensation, aliveness and forgiveness, than any kind of living with “protection” use to afford. And through OM, my core practice, I can access and re-enforce honest truth, honest realization and honest connection, 15 minutes at a time. OM is yes.