Here's a thought:
A really hard, really sad decision could be part of following one's bliss. I never thought of bliss-following that way before; I always thought bliss-following was only happening during those times in which we see a crazy, huge, positive opportunity before us - and though it scares us, we jump at the opportunity. I guess I thought bliss-following required the word "yes."
"Yes, I will pursue this crazy idea of a career - even though I'm not sure I can make a living from it - because I'd be doing what I love." "Yes, I will make time for this seemingly-silly hobby in my life because it makes me happy." "Yes I will give my heart to this person - even though it's scary - because it feels like the right thing to do." "Yes, I will go on this trip - even though it will be hard for me to afford - because my inner soul is pulling me towards it." - Those things I know are bliss-following.
But maybe saying "No" is bliss-following sometimes, too.
I will tell you this: Some of the hardest decisions I've made in my life (- and I'm talking gut-wrenching decisions) have also been some of the best decisions I've made. I think this is hard for me to admit/to realize because I'm an optimist; but it's hard to deny. I don't shoot things down in life easily or quickly, so when I do - when I finally articulate a loud, resounding "NO" - it's because deep down, I knew I had to. Something pulled me - and it hurt, and I didn't want to, but I had to. I guess that's what they refer to as going with your gut. To me, saying "No" to something in my life has always felt a bit like giving up/giving in/quitting. I believe that I am a magical being; I believe the power of my faith, spirit, happiness, love - result in a force to be reckoned with. That I feel with more intensity than does the average person and thereby have more magic in me than the average person. I believe I can inspire change, that I can make the universe a better place, that I can be a source of power and light for others... and when I'm faced with a "No" - I often feel like it means I've lost - that I've failed. It's hard for me to see "No" in a good light.
Clearly, yes, I'm referring to ending important life relationships - but to other things as well. The one major job I quit was one of the most difficult things I've ever done... But I knew I had to - I knew it was changing me into someone I didn't want to be. And any romantic relationship I've ended - NONE have been easy... but I've come out of each one for the better.
And yes, that's what's got me thinking now. Three weeks ago I uttered a "No" that was very hard to come to, but that I knew was right for me. Since then, words cannot express to you how happy I have felt about my life. I feel alive, I feel grateful for every friend and family member I have, I see all the opportunities before me - and I've had a number open up in front of me quite recently that keep just keep adding to the excitement and energy within me. It's so strange because we are currently in the darkest time of the year, yet I am bursting with love and light. I almost think I'm to the point where I could start annoying people with how happy I am :) I want to hug or kiss each of the awesome people in my life. And actually, if you're in my life - thank you. Thank you for all you've done for me, and thank you for loving me and appreciating me. I also thank those who are not in my life anymore - because you absolutely contributed to who I am, too. All any of us can do is follow our heart - sometimes that brings us together, sometimes that sends us in opposite directions.
For now, I will muse more about the positive effects that a "No" can bring to one's life - if it's not based on fear - and if it's true and honest. It reminds me of a quote that I'll leave you with. I can't vouch for the word-for-word accuracy, as I heard it a few years ago - and at the time, my mother was paraphrasing it, nor do I know the origins. I share it with you anyway:
"Healing may not be so much about getting better
as it is about letting go of the things that aren't you -
all of the expectations, all of the beliefs -
and becoming who you are."
Good luck to us all, as we determine which things we should reach for, with all our might, and which things it's time to let go of...