Strength And The Power Of No


I used to find it hard to say the word ‘No’ to people. As in, ‘No. It’s not okay for you to keep talking on the phone when you should be serving me.’ As in, ‘No. I’m not going to clean your dishes/clothes/car for you.’ As in, ‘No. I don’t want to come out tonight. I’d rather stay home and read a book.’ (That just sounds weird before you’re 40 years old. Even for an introvert.) But since I reached my forties I’ve been liberated. Whoo-hoo! The ‘no’ word just gets easier and easier. The important thing now is to remember to say it kindly.

Finding the courage to ask for what you want  – rather than doing what is expected of you – is very much the domain of the Strength card. I can remember the days when asking for what I wanted from someone – especially bank managers for some reason – felt as scary as putting my hand inside the mouth of a lion. I used to get the Strength card a-lot. And I think there’s a connection there. I suspect that if a Tarot card keeps coming up again and again when you do readings it’s trying to get your attention.

Strength is the first card in the Adulthood section of Life Lessons Tarot (the Major Arcana). Which makes sense. Cause if you’re not able to ask for what you want, and just as importantly, what you don’t want, you can never be truly empowered as an adult. You might not even feel like a grown up. Your true self, your light, is hidden away when you meekly follow the bidding of others. You need to do a bit of roaring like a lion to get people to really pay attention to you. Be a point of difference. You need to be able to use the power of no.

Anyone else ever struggled with saying ‘no’?

P.S. My camping holiday has been delayed by a day so I’m still home as I write this. Tomorrow will be the true test of the internet in whoop whoop (as we call faraway places in Australia)!

2 thoughts on “Strength And The Power Of No

  1. I have a great difficulty saying no…..particularly to my elder daughter who uses and abuses me. she now has a baby girl whom I love dearly, and I bite my tongue and go and visit. I always leave these visits feeling worn out and beaten up. I need to visualise this card to help me stand up to her.

    • Hi Bhearni. So sorry to hear of your difficult relationship with your daughter. This is definitely the card to focus on when it comes to standing up for yourself. Although I tend to think of it more as standing your ground. When the lion comes up to the woman in the card she doesn’t move. Likewise, I think Strength suggests that the trick to getting what you want is to state your piece in a no fuss manner. Without anger. Without expecting the other person to agree or disagree. If anything, being as kind as you can (even when you really want to kill the other person, lol.) Look at how the woman in the card is smiling. She is even giving the lion’s jaw a tickle. So say your piece with a smile in your voice if you can. Be gentle with your truth. And let yourself be vulnerable like the woman whose very life is threatened by the presence of the lion. Admit how hard your daughter’s requests or demands or expectations are for you. But again, say these things gently. You never know, you might just tame the lion. I know this is much easier said than done. I struggle to be gentle with my own children constantly myself. Good luck at standing your ground Bhearni. Let us know how you get on. Cheers, tan xx

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