The big YES

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

I have a friend who was on the verge of becoming a nun. She was already ‘provisionally engaged’ and was living at a Catholic community. I went to visit her there a couple of times–at that period in my life living in a religious community (rather an ashram, though) was not far from me, I considered it as a possible way of living. Besides enjoying my time with her, I got a glimpse of the lifestyle of such a community.

I heard about the big YES concept from her. Living as a Catholic nun comes with a lot of renunciation–you have to renounce your wealth, your income, you commit to living in celibacy, your days are determined by the needs and the mission of the community and there are plenty of religious duties you have to perform. My ego was amplifying all I heard from her, and I was convinced I am too egoistic to be able to surrender to this extent. But then she said: do not see my life as a bunch of small NOs, saying ‘no’ all the time to everything. See my life as one big YES – saying ‘yes’ to my choice of being a nun, serving God and accepting everything that comes with this decision. To tell you the truth, at that time, I could not entirely embrace this notion.

As the birth of my son taught me much about surrender, I now can understand more what my friend was talking about. Having kids also means I have to say ‘no’ to many things I enjoyed before, but the unquestionable big YES makes it much easier to turn an invitation to a party down, to read a bedtime story instead of going out to dance or staying at home with a sick little fellow, knowing that work can wait.

There are other areas in my life ruled by one big YES:

I can call this concept a trade-off, also. I make a choice in favor of something while being aware of the fact that with this decision I renounce other possible options. Either way, you call it, get some paper and a pen out and write about your big YES and trade-offs you choose to have.


After rereading your answers to the questions above, check in with your long term goals. Do your conscious decisions support your long-term goals?


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