In the past, I’d often thought that falling in love was reminiscent of that extremely vulnerable, naked moment a suicide encountered right before taking that precarious leap into open space; that space disguising the unrelenting hardness of rocks and cement on the street below. I thought of that split second of being airborne, hurtling through the atmosphere a thousand miles an hour; your face, clothes and hair whipped, twisted and contorted into monstrous shapes, and terror, undeniable terror settling over your mind. I knew right then and there that falling in love without understanding was like falling out of an airplane without the proper parachute. You were certain to fall, no doubt about it. But exactly into what -- you did not know.

Some relationships are like that perilous suicidal leap, swept along by feelings, emotions and an over-riding chemistry so deep and pervasive you feel as though control has been lost over your body, heart and sanity. Waking hours are spent examining and dissecting every star-crossed moment together, with each kiss, touch and smile relived ad nauseum. Silly grins, imaginary conversations, day-dreams and night-sweats rule the day drawing you further and further down your own vapid rabbit hole . . . where it really is easy to become lost if you’re not very, very careful.

We can all agree that dewy-eyed, moist skin sensuality has the ability to turn us on and on and on, but a chemistry ruled relationship can turn sour remarkably fast and generally has no sustaining roots that burrow deep into the ground and provide one with stability when the going gets rough. That self-same heady chemistry that moves you and grooves you can cause serious emotional and at times physical damage if common sense is completely tossed out. Pheremones and sensuality to not a relationship make. When chemistry reigns and no thought is given to the detrimental consequences of joining two very divergent souls together with very little in common, complications can and very often do arise to an unimaginable degree.

Thank goodness, we have been wired with the ability to say no to any and all relationships that cause more problems than they’re worth. We have been gifted with enough tenacity to pull back and objectively look at “love offerings” that undermine our health, sound mind and freedom and reject them out of hand, but only when we choose to consciously review all the data surrounding them.

The gift of “No” first begins with an understanding that I AM worthy of absolute love, respect and acceptance, regardless of what my family, friends or society have tried to drill into me. My looks, ethnicity, height, weight, financial disposition, education (or lack thereof) have no bearing in deciding my value and worth. I AM a spirit with an incredible soul, dwelling in a vehicle provided for this lifetime, and regardless of any appearances to the contrary, my worthiness extends to the heavens. Because I AM worthy, any relationship I enter into must also be worthy of me. Any man/woman I meet must recognize their worthiness to the extent that I recognize mine. If not, a union with that person is unacceptable. Their lack of understanding my value and worth or their own value and worth will hinder my growth and preogression to my destiny. To the degree I allow myself to become united with this person, it will only be to serve as a guide or educator, but not as a love interest.

The gift of “No” prohibits me from participating in any anger and violence directed at me. I was made for happiness; I AM too worthy to suffer abasement at the hands of another and will not subject myself to someone else’s rage. Who that loves me could approach me in any spirit other than joy, gladness and appreciation? Loves does not wound, despise nor tarnish the object of its affection. It does not caress, then curse; shelter, then shatter; hug, then hurt the one it has pledged itself to but instead builds up, treasurers and protects its loved one.

The gift of “No” next recognizes that it gives my Creator joy when I celebrate me. How can I not celebrate my part in this universe when even rocks and trees celebrate their very existence by adorning the fields and forest with the lushness of their presence. I AM here, in this place, at the right time to celebrate life in whatever way I choose. I shall dance in thankfulness for possessing feet, and clap in laughter for possessing hands. If my voice rings out in the mornings, a little off key or out of tune, nevertheless I shall still sing, resplendent in the knowledge that I am able to articulate my pleasure and gratefulness for witnessing another day. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding me, my life is in order, and will continue to be in order. And I have the ability to say no to any who cannot celebrate with me, for in celebrating myself, I celebrate others and my Creator as well.

The gift of “No” intuitively knows when sex becomes a cheap substitute for love and refuses to settle for any imitation of love. The gift of “No,” allows me to stand firm in my right to be honored and cherished in relationships that elevate and extol, understanding sex within love connects me with my Creator, while sex absent love objectifies me.

Finally, the gift of “No” recognizes the end of times, gracefully, no matter how painfully it comes about. It recognizes the ending of a relationship just as surely as it recognized the beginning of one. It comprehends approaching storm clouds, wind and rain where once the delusion of rainbows stood and it lets go. The gift of “No,” does not clutch, choke nor hold on to what is no longer there, desperately seeking to resuscitate dead things, to breath life into something withered and dry. It gathers its wings, folds itself within itself and meditates on the good and the bad, learning whatever lesson the relationship has taught. It does not seek to settle scores, rebuke nor grieve its partner because goodbyes need not be long nor torturous, just final.