1. Fran Stekoll says

    Yes, to Life, Yes, to having a healthy family, Yes, to the ability to walk, talk, sing, write, hear, see. Yes to the knowledge I learned from graduating from
    College. Yes, to have loved and been loved. Yes, to experiencing death and
    been given a chance to appreciate life. Yes to living life each day as if it is my last. Yes to Life!!!!

  2. Nikki Di Virgilio says

    In the past years, I have noticed many no’s. These no’s have created disappointment and discouragement in me, but I also see that these “no’s” are bringing me to yes. Yes. Once again I say yes to me. To my essence. To my power. To my light. To my wisdom. To my grace. To my life. To my love. To my heart. To my mind, body & soul. Really, I’ve been saying yes all along- to something larger beyond what I think I want or need- like that yes from an agent. Or that yes from a possible job contract. Or that yes for a friendship, or a yes for life to be easier. So to fully answer today’s prompt, I say yes to me. All of me.

  3. Naema says

    I’ve never really told anyone these certain thoughts.. but I feel the need to say yes to society. To allow myself to be among crowds again, to say yes to a friend’s companionship. To say yes to meeting new people. Saying yes seems to be quite difficult for me now, but I’ve begun thinking of ways to overcome my obstacle. Although it seems a bit childish and stupid to not be able to say yes to socializing and the world around me, but I’m an outcast and these days, never has the need to say yes has felt strong.

    • Nikki Di Virgilio says

      Cool that you have put this out there. I imagine, you, like me are a sensitive soul. Probably strong in your own uniqueness, and now you are ready to share and be shared. I wish you all the best.

    • Laura Davis says

      Naema, thanks for your honesty and willingness to share…..glad you’re thinking of saying yes more to yourself.

  4. Dianne says

    I need to say yes to more fun, to give myself a break from structure and routine. I need to say yes to jumping in puddles of water and to giving myself permission to play all day. I need to say yes to me and no to everyone else.

  5. Bobbie Anne says

    I need to say yes to me living now, in the moment. I will say yes more. I am a sensitive caring soul and I need to handle myself with care. I am a cancer survivor. I am a caretaker who needs to say yes to me. To say yes to some of the possibilities in this life and not put my life on hold anymore. I need to say yes to caring about myself. I need to say yes to life.

    • Debbie O says

      Bobbie Ann –

      Thank you for sharing and reminding us that so many times we will put a “yes” to others before a “yes” to ourselves.

  6. Eugenia says

    These prompts are incredible. Though I don’t do the personal essays/thoughts on the offered topic, the flash fiction pieces I write as a response, may turn into good stories. Thank you Laura! Very inspiring.
    Here is the story I wrote:

    Lynn woke up. It was a sunny morning again. Light wind moved the yellow curtain, but even though the window across her was half-open, the air in the bedroom was stale, heated all night by two heavy bodies.
    “Gotta open the window,” Lynn thought, not moving yet. Her body was stiff, but her mind was already running a mile. “Strawberry yogurt and a bagel for me, and two-egg-and-sausage omelet for you,” she turned her head and looked at Gene.

    “How are you?” His big lips were smiling, his eyes still closed.

    “All good,” she said, smiling back at him, “though that muscle in my back still hurts.” Lynn shrugged to check if the pain has subsided. It didn’t. “Nightmares again? You gotta try this new remedy that Alice suggested.” She raised on her elbows to look into his face. He got up often during the night to go to the bathroom, and couldn’t go back to deep sleep. She was worried about him.

    Gene didn’t answer. He turned to her, and tightly embraced her shoulders. His breathing became heavy.

    “I’ll go to the shower,” Lynn said, giving him a big kiss, and shrugged to free herself from his embrace.

    “Wait,” Gene said, not letting go. His big body gently but urgently pressed into hers.

    Lynn laid back, feeling lost. There was a breakfast to be prepared, then another meal right after that — Alice with the kids will visit at lunch, and… many other things to do. A usual busy day of a recently retired couple.

    Gene’s paws, warm comfortable paws, caressed her back. His fingers massaged her tight muscles relaxing them, then ran over her hip, up and down, repeating their shape.

    Lynn chuckled. It felt rather nice.

    “We’re old,” she said quietly.

    Gene now gently stroked her shoulders.

    “It’s been a year,” Lynn whispered. She turned to her husband, and repeated his move — up and down his still-muscular hips.

    “Say Yes,” he said, and kissed her again. This time it was a long good kiss.

    “Yes,” Lynn thought, fully relaxing, enjoying the warm waves of pleasure in her body

  7. Ilana says

    Say yes

    It feels like I’m falling. The sensation of my feet slipping from the edge of the pit is so strong that I can see it in my mind’s eye. I can see the scratch marks that I made on the wall, years ago, as I clawed my way out. Now all that work is undone. I sail downward past each hard earned step. As I fall, I look back on the past seven months. I know when I lost my footing. It was the night my sister-in-law told me she was pregnant. “What kind of God would allow that monster to become a father?” I felt myself fall that night but somehow I held onto the side for another month. I remember the exact moment I lost my grip. It was when I read in her e-mail that she had watched Star Treck with her husband, my brother. The same man I used to watch Star Treck with; the man who, with the help of our parents, trapped me in the pit.

    This pit was my home. I lived there throughout my childhood. It was the pit of my own self-loathing. It kept me from telling anyone besides my parents what my brother was doing to me. It kept me from fighting back, from asking for help. I did not deserve help. My body did not belong to me. In later years, the pit kept me hovering in doorways, undeserving of joining the party. It kept me in one abusive relationship after another because I did not deserve to be loved without being hurt.

    Then, when I was 23, I decided I did not have to live in that pit anymore. Desperately, painfully, I began to dig my fingernails into that stone wall and climb out. When I got to the top, a man was kneeling at the side of the hole, his hand outstretched for me to grab onto. I took it and he pulled me out, into the sunshine and down the aisle to marry him. I was happy but not completely free. Sometimes I fell into the pit, but not to the bottom. I always managed to pull myself out again.

    This time was different. This time I was pushed back into the pit by the family who first put me there. As I fall and watch each bloody scratch in the wall sail past me. I am losing hope. I will hit the bottom and find myself trapped in the self loathing I grew up with. I despair. I give up. Then suddenly a hand comes out and catches me. “Yes.” It whispers. “Have faith in your right to exist.” This hand is not strong enough. It has slowed my decent but it cannot lift me up. Another hand comes to join it. “Yes.” The whispered voice is louder this time. “Acknowledge your right to be loved.” Hand after hand comes out to catch me. “Yes.” Again and again the whispered voices sooth me, challenge me. “Yes.” They grow stronger and more loving. “Yes.” They begin to talk over each other. “Yes; you deserve peace. Yes; you deserve joy. Yes; you deserve to be safe. Yes; you deserve to love yourself. Yes; you deserve to flourish, to grow.” A thousand hands are under me now, working together to support me, to lift me out of the pit. “Yes.” This is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.

    Craning my neck I can see the top of the hole. There is a man there, kneeling down and reaching out his hand to me. I know that smile. I know that hand. “Yes.” He whispers and I know he means that I will make it out of the pit. I know I will survive and together we will walk away from that pit forever.

    If I’m going to get there, though, I need to say Yes to hope.

    • Eugenia says

      Emotional, poetic, tough to read — the topic is so heart wrenching. Wishing you the best. (Brother? And he married someone? Does she know ?)

      • Ilana says

        Thanks for your comment. Yes, she knows but does not believe me. Best possible situation, I’ve done all I can for her and if she see’s a red flag she’ll have my warning to support her.

        • Andrea Jones says

          Oh Ilana, this is so hard to read. To think about a child (another child) being harmed. I hope your sister-in-law is a strong woman that will put her child first.

          • Ilana says

            I am so sorry to have worried you all. I never should have mentioned the baby in my post. There is no need to be concerned. Although I had several reasons of my own not to be concerned about my sister-in-law’s son’s safety I did speak to a couple of experts to make sure that I didn’t need to do anything to protect that little boy. Please consider this a formal apology for my post and do not worry about him. That baby is safe and has many resources to protect him.

    • Debbie O says

      Ilana –
      This was touching but so beautiful. When I close my eyes I can hear those voices of support – maybe some from your minyan, maybe some from this community – but also some from inside you. That you hear them, and can feel lifted up by them inspires hope in us all. The reality of tripping up and getting lost on carelessly shared information is potentially true for anyone. In an instant you can step in a pot hole and nearly disappear. But you don’t disappear anymore – you are here, you are healing and you do have many hands reaching out in faith and caring to you. Thank you for sharing this with us.

      • Ilana says

        Debbie- I was told long ago that when a writer puts his or her words out there we hand them over to the reader for his or her own interpretation. Yet you heard exactly what I was saying. These hands, these voices, are indeed people from my minyan, people from my incest survivors support group, friends, people from this online community and many from my own heart. I was afraid that it would come off that it all came from my husband but the truth is Zander has no more to do with those hands than any other single individual. He is at the top of the hole, waiting for me to come out and join him. Thank you for seeing the hope instead of just the horror and thank you for understanding my writing so clearly.

  8. Andrea says

    Yes, you are free to go. Yes, I want you to leave. Yes, you don’t deserve me. Yes, you will jump out of a plane and climb fierce mountains, but under it all you are a coward. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Yes, you deserve to be angry. Yes, you are still a fool to give up. Yes, I am braver than you. Yes, there is more to me than meet the eyes. Yes, I don’t need you. Yes, I’ll be fine on my own. Yes, I’m a good mother. Yes, some day I will be happy again. Yes, I hate you a little for giving up. Yes, I love you. Yes, I love me more than I love you. Yes, it is okay that I do. Yes, our friends and family have easily forgiven me. Yes, I deserve to be forgiven. Yes, I hope you are happy some day. Yes, I believe what we have is special. Yes, I believe it is worth fighting for. Yes, I don’t want someone that doesn’t want me. Yes, I want someone that loves me. Yes, I want someone that makes me laugh. Yes, I want someone that makes me laugh. Yes, I want someone that makes me laugh. Yes, I want someone that makes me laugh.

    • Ilana says

      Wow, Andrea! That was amazing. So empowered and self loving. It’s beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Debbie O says

      Andrea – you are an amazing and courageous woman. This is such an affirming post! You are so clear on the conflicting emotions and your right to happiness at the same time. I have so enjoyed the humor you have brought to us with your writing – and I most definitely wish you the same!

    • Ilana says

      As Debbie once said, I am back for a second read, to savor your words again. This piece is so empowered, so full of dignity that it thrills me to read it. Thank you again for sharing and I wish you the best. I hope you do find someone who makes you laugh, and makes you laugh, and makes you laugh…

  9. says

    I need to say yes to saying “no.” I have always been an idea person and my ideas carry me away far too often. Individually, each “idea” seems good, but taken all together they lead me, far too often, to a life where I am running too ragged! So I have much more of a need to say “no” than “yes!”

    • Andrea Jones says

      I so agree with this. When I was a teenager, I remember my mother sticking post it notes all over the house. They all had “No” printed on them to remind her to not say “yes” to everything.

    • Debbie O says

      Laura –
      I can so identify with this! There are so many things that interest me and I like to do – that I can end up not doing any of them very well, or feeling overwhelmed by my well meaning plans. Hope you are successful in this intention!

  10. Debbie O says

    What do I need to say yes to in my life?

    When I start pulling at this thread of thought it starts to unravel the tapestry of patterns in which I have been wrapped for the past couple of decades…

    I need to say yes to my mortality; to the reality that I am aging, that the overweight, middle-aged women in the mirror is really me.
    I need to say yes to the laws of physiology that I may have bent over the past decade but are now rebounding back, leaving vestiges of decay within my body.
    I need to finally say yes to leaving my long-term, comfortable, caring and stagnant love relationship.
    I need to say yes to the longings for connection to community, to postponed efforts toward friendship, to reaching out to others, not as the competent business woman but the vulnerable child-writer within.
    I need to say yes to needing. No more denying that I need without fulfillment; friends, hope, joy, pleasure of a gentle touch, kindness, smiles, moral support.
    I need to say yes to the shy, scared part of me that has hidden in the shadows all my life. She needs my support and to borrow courage from other parts of my psyche to keep opening the door, a little wider each day
    I need to say yes to feeling; all of the feelings, the tears, the gratitude, the fear, the confusion, the uncertainty, the vibrancy of life, and – yes, even to the sexual feelings that still stir deep within.
    I need to say yes to failing, relaxing into what is to come, to stop swimming so hard upstream
    I need to day yes to the moment, to being able to pause, and really see the details of the beauty and mysterious that surrounds us every day, all the time if only we will see.
    I need to say yes to spirit, to my inner knowings that I want so much to believe in and yet I continue to doubt
    I need to say yes to each of you; yes you matter to me, yes you are helping me heal, yes you are part of my new life and community.
    Oh, yes!

    • Ilana says

      Debbie- As always, you make me think. I had to read it. Take a breath and read it again. This piece sounds sad at first but it is so full of promise, of potential. I hope you do open that door a little more each day and let that little girl express herself. She has so much to share, with all of us. I was especially touched by the part where you talk about the beauty, the mysterious that surrounds us everyday. Also, I love how you ‘need to say yes to needing’. It is a struggle to need things for ourselves especially when we have spent so much of our lives giving. Thank you for sharing your writing and your feedback.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Debbie, thank you. I so relate to this piece. In many ways, I see myself in your words. One thing that struck me was about showing the uncertain child-writer inside you. I really get that. So awe-inspiring.

  11. Eugenia says

    Hi Debbie,
    Wonderful post. You are helping me too, even though I came here to work on my fiction writing only. Your, and this community’s sincerity opens my heart. That’s what they meant by saying that “writing is easy. You just open your vein and bleed.” It is about my veins, my blood and my honesty. I needed that to become an honest writer. Thanks again.

  12. Bobbie Anne says

    I am a writer and a published poet. I have also taught some poetry in the schools and in libraries and in continuing education classes. There is a writing festival coming up at the college I went to as an undergraduate. They were asking for proposals. Well, I’ve never written a poetry proposal before, but I decided to say yes to myself. I have gotten my poetry published and I want to share my tips on how to do it. So, I just finished writing and submitting my proposal for the poetry workshop. I am so excited. I have a gut feeling that I will be picked. Laura, thank you for giving me space to write here. I think it helped me to have the courage to submit the proposal today!

      • Bobbie Anne says

        Thank you Debbie for that and your previous comment. I’m glad I’m here with you and all of these wonderful women-and we all are wonderful! Another woman, an artist, shared we have to ‘own’ that. So now I’m doing just that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *