It has been a few weeks since I have had the time to do a Five-Minute Friday post but I am up for the task today. I went to Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog today and found the word for today: BARE. It stirred me so I am going for it. Remember, I have just five minutes and no editing.
I feel bare with this blog. I have bared my soul for everyone to see and I don’t necessarily get the same in return. People I know, people I do not know, have information about me that I willingly share but it leaves me naked and vulnerable. I want to be vulnerable because with it comes power. Being comfortable with being vulnerable gives me strength in so many other areas of my life. I am not afraid of being vulnerable because I know there is nothing that anyone can take from me that I am not prepared to give up willingly. And, for a very long time, I have done just that. No more.
Today, I ran into a friend in Starbucks and she looked at me and I know she saw someone different. I have stripped myself bare. I have shed my outer layer that protected me from the brutality that might have hurt me before. She saw my nakedness and it gave her joy. She saw the light that so often was muffled beneath the layers of fear.
Later today, I went to my barre class. I wore very little clothing because I get so warm with all those intense ballet moves and pulsing of my muscles. I looked at my body, the bareness of it, and I loved it. I was not afraid of the folds, the bulges, the imperfections that often made me turn away from the mirror. I stared at myself, my bare self and I felt whole and complete and abundant and could barely contain myself.
I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about. I blew off a lot of steam at the end of the year and hurled myself into the new year filled with positivity and intention. And, I’m working it! But, I’m always looking for a story, an angle, an intersection to look around and find some unique image to share. Thanks to my good friend Claire and her Project for Kindness blog today, I found something fun. It’s a very simple writing prompt. Another blogger, Lisa-Jo Baker heads up what she calls a “flash mob for writers” on Fridays where she selects a topic and asks other writers to pull together a piece in 5 minutes. So, I just have 5 minutes to write on the topic du jour – FIGHT. Freewriting, no editing, no thinking. This will be pure free-association. I apologize in advance for typos!
Here we go!
The word fight connotes such negativity for me. I think about my entire childhood. Fighting was the norm. My parents fought, my siblings fought, we all fought. It was constant and brutal and ugly. I hated it. I hate fighting. I do it myself. I cannot deny that my husband and I have had some of the most brutal, relentless fights I have ever experienced. And I hate every second of them. I am a peaceful person. I would rather discuss and negotiate and acknowledge and appreciate. But, I am hot-headed and half Italian and stubborn and, sometimes, looking for a fight. As much as I hate them, I sometimes will them on. And I really dislike that about myself.
The fighting has subsided in recent years. It has calmed down a lot. Mostly because I think about my kids. I don’t want them to be as uncomfortable with fighting as I am. Fights feel like a dead-end. There is no easy way back. They are so violent and hurtful. And, often, so unproductive. I want them to see healthy alternatives to fighting. I want them to think about the word fight as an internal drive. I will fight my way to where I need to go. Rather than I will fight with someone I love.
I cannot stop the fighting. My kids do it constantly but they have an amazing ability to love each other and move on. There is resentment but it is not deep. There is no true hostility. It is silly fighting. It is pushing each other’s buttons. They don’t fight productively but they also don’t fight abusively.
I add to my 2014 list of intentions to try to fight less. I’m hanging up my gloves for a while. This was a great reminder.