It’s the power of the other “N” word that enables our happiness, stops unwanted pet poops on the floor, and kills unwanted attention dead in it’s tracks.  It’s the word “NO”.  There are people who fear this word because of its finality, that saying the word means a shaded future at the office, or the rejection its uttering might mean.  The word “no” is not only powerful, but it can be liberating too.   No, I’m not working Christmas Eve because I want to go to church.  No, I am not working another sixteen hours because I would like to spend the holidays with my family.  No, I don’t want you to touch me.   No, I’d really rather lobotomize myself rather than listen to one more Christmas Carol.  No, I don’t believe in God.  No, I don’t want a secular household.  No, I’m not going to be in the closet anymore and I am going to come out who I really am to everyone I love.  No, I’m not going to dislike you.  No, I’m not looking for a potential mate, I enjoy my “me” time.  No I am not going hell.  No I am not taking on this huge project because it’s not my job.  No, I am not going to settle for second-best.  No I am not ugly.  No I am not fat.  No I am not dieting.  No I am who I am, love me or leave me.  No I’m not going to argue with you anymore.  No I am not going to be alone for the rest of my life.  No I’m not liberal.  No I’m not conservative.  No war, I support peace.  No Israel has a right to exist.  No I’m not going to commit suicide on the guise that I’ll be a martyr.  No, I’m not going to let my brothers and sisters in poverty die of starvation.  No I’m not going to stop volunteering my time for what I believe in.  No I’m not going to marry you because I’m not ready.  No I’m not going to treat Atheists like crap.  No, I’m not going to stop being who I am and change for you.  No I’m not going to hurt the ones I love anymore.  No I don’t want to have sex with you.  No I’m not going to let you hurt me anymore.  No I’m happy where I am, I’m not sorry you don’t like that.  No I have better things to do than to be bitter.  No I’m not a bitch.  No I’m not a prick.  No you don’t have the power over me.  No I don’t want or need a drink.  No I’m not getting high anymore.  No I’m not giving up on myself.  No I want to live true to myself, true to my dreams, and do what I want to do.  No I am not your puppet.  No you are not going to use me anymore.  No you aren’t allowed to hit me anymore.  No stop eating the plants.  No don’t poop on the floor.  No I’m not a statistic.  No I am important to me.  No it’s time to move on.  No.  It ends things, it begins things, it can make people cry, it can hurt and it can help, it’s wise and it’s stupid, it’s powerful and it’s weak, or it’s important or unimportant.  It’s the word you might need to think about, mull around, allow it to fit the moment…but it is your word and you can use it if you try really hard and make it work.