The Power of No

By Greg Baer M.D.

June 12, 2017

I was in the room with Pam when she read an email from her sister, Suzanne, who had been quite critical—even bitter—toward Pam. Briefly, Pam furrowed her brow as she read the negative words out loud, but then she waived her hand in a dismissive—but not condescending—way and said, “No, I don’t think so.”

I asked Pam what she meant, and she said, “Oh, for a moment, I thought about having my feelings hurt, and being angry, but I decided not to.”

“You just decided?” I asked.

“Sure. I’ve had my feelings hurt many times before, but it never made me happy. I’ve been angry, but I only became unhappier. And then I learned about Real Love, which finally explained how foolish it is to be hurt or angry, and I felt loved as well. So now I know a better choice, and love gives me the power to make that choice. So now I choose to be happy.”

Pam received a distinctly negative message from her sister, and for a moment she felt a twinge of pain, fear, and anger. But then she chose to be understanding of her sister instead, which was followed by feelings of compassion and kindness.

We all experience initial negative responses to potentially hurtful events. These initial responses come from years of pain and a great many difficult circumstances, and they are simply reflexive. In short, they are not our fault. But in the next moment, we CHOOSE to feed these reflexes or to choose other thoughts instead. We would be wise to follow Pam’s example.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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