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You Can't Or You Don't


I have always detested the word can’t. It’s a bully, a coward. It’s restrictive limiting essence does not fit in my version of freedom. How does it make you feel when you are told you can’t (participate, join in, act, speak, go somewhere, achieve your dream, succeed, etc.)? I would love to hear in the comment section of the blog.

Let me tell you about one of my early run-ins with can’t. I grew up poor. Not just a little poor, but what is referred to as dirt poor. My family was very large with six brothers and six sisters. We didn’t have anything extra and just barely the basics to survive. One day a classmate invited me to her pool party for her birthday – well, she invited the whole class and I was in the class, therefore she invited me (just sayin’). I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see her pool and join in the fun. And then the dreaded words from my mom, “you can’t go.” It was one of many devastating moments of my youth that involved that horrid word and I felt like my joy balloon had just been deflated with a pin. Can’t seemed to devour me at every turn and every time I heard the word something inside of me boiled a little hotter.

A shift in perspective occurred for me with my friend Mr. T who I introduced you to a few days ago. Mr. T was a very large man and I love to say he was bigger than life because that was how he appeared to so many who loved him immensely. We were making plans to go for lunch one day and he said in a heavy New York accent “I don’t do boots.” Well, I thought, what the heck does that do with having lunch? Asking for clarification, he repeated it again, “I don’t do boots.” Then I got it and for you fellow non New Yorkers, I will interpret. He didn’t do booths. They were too restrictive and he couldn’t fit in. Now, to me this was interesting in the fact that he didn’t say he “can’t” do them but choose to word it as “I don’t.” I made a mental note of the difference. He wasn’t bullying himself, beating himself up with something he couldn’t do. Instead, he was acknowledging that there were other options and “boots” was not one of them. Note to self: This is an important strategic maneuver. I learned so much from this gentle giant. He tried to teach this country girl how to speak like a New Yorker but never succeeded. Maybe in the next life, Mr. T.


To say that it frustrates me to hear someone use can’t as an excuse for not doing something is an understatement. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. I just want to scream YES YOU CAN! Wake up and see how you are shackling yourself. I didn’t wake up to this until much later in life. It wasn’t until I discovered my self-worth that I took a long hard look at how much I hid behind can’t. I gave my power away to it and let it sucker punch me constantly. It would go something like, “I want to say yes but, oh I forgot, I can’t do that.” One day when I was still caught up in the illusion of can’tness (yeah, that’s my word), the angels spoke very clearly to me. It’s a message that stops me in my tracks when can’t starts to come out of my mouth. They said “what you are really saying is you choose not to.” Wowsers.


Angels, how can we remember our magnificence especially at times when we feel so vulnerable and unsure of ourselves?


Dear Ones, this is one of the hardest lessons you will encounter in your human experience because the human body is the epitome of restriction. You start out unable to walk, talk, feed yourself, cleanse yourself and are totally dependent on others for every need. However, once you start realizing the things you can do, you leave that dependence behind you, do you not? In a good experience, your caretaker praises you for your accomplishments and forward growth. You learn your power in what you can do. Throughout life you build on those small steps and take pride in what you can accomplish, leaving behind the more restrictive can’t. Many times, however, in your experiences you run up against can’t and if you are not grounded enough in your self-worth you may once again hand your power over to it. We encourage you to stand firm in your Divine self and when you enter the can’tness, examine your options. Maybe it’s not something that is truly that important to you and therefore you can make a different choice. Remember that how you perceive it is important, as was pointed out prior in your story of your friend. His wording was perfect as he said “I don’t” instead of “I can’t.” There are always options, Dear Ones. Stop waving your flag in defeat before you examine them.


Thank you, Angels, once again for confirmation and clarity. Yes, I can is my favorite power sentence. Thank you. I love you. Namaste y’all.





I would like to dedicate this angel message to my angel, Mr. T, Anthony Tenriero, 1962-2010.


Thanks, buddy. See ya later.






Teri Angel is an angelspeaker – one who receives and delivers messages from the Divine. She is an author, teacher, peaceful warrior and creator of the movement Peas For Peace as part of the Peace On Earth Tour, a movement of loving our Mama Gaia. You can contact her at teri@angelspeakers.com or visit the website http://www.angelspeakers.com for more information about how you can be involved in the movement and mission to bring in more peace, love and joy to our planet.


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