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.
As I shared last week, I am now participating in Five-Minute-Fridays, a virtual flash mob for writers. My friend Claire, a wonderful blogger herself, got me hooked on this last week.
Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker’s blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.
This week’s word is SEE. I saw it this morning and have not stopped thinking about it all day. I just started the clock so here we go.
I want to be able to see myself as others see me. I want to have a view that looks past what is so obvious to my eyes – my big nose, crooked teeth, the rolls that have developed in places I would prefer them not to be. I want to see deeper into me. I want to see a reflection that stares back at me that resembles what others see when they look at me. I want to see the radiance. The joy. The beauty. I want to see what my husband sees when he looks at me and remembers the girl he fell in love with. I want to see what my closest friends observe when they sit across a table from me and we pour our hearts out to one another. When they look in my eyes and see my happiness or are struck by my pain. I want to see the energy, the enthusiasm, the vivid landscape of colors that I provide to them but I remain blind to.
I looked at some photos of myself over the weekend. I struggled at first. They were very lovely pictures of me and some were better than others. But they all told a story about me that I could not read. I spoke to my friend who studied the same photos and shared with me imagery and narrative about what he saw and WHO he saw when he looked at them. After I put down the phone, I stared into the eyes of the woman in the pictures and tried to see her. I forced myself to look past all the familiar flaws, all the shortcomings that I generally observe. I pushed past what showed up in my mind when I looked with my eyes and I tried to look with my friend’s eyes. I tried to look with my husband’s eyes. I tried to look with my children’s eyes who see a woman who they love. The woman who gave them life. The woman who protects them and loves them endlessly. I tried to borrow their vision to see.
And, for the first time, I was able to SEE me.