sweating like a pig

I can feel the warm drips sliding down all over my face. There are even a few slipping down my chest. The thought occurs to me that contrary to the saying, I have never seen a pig sweat quite as profusely as me before.

Partly, the copious amount of fluid being released from my body has to do with the high heat and humidity of the week. But the sun has not yet risen for the day and the air has yet to hit the stifling point.

I would wipe the sweat from my face; at least from the drops coming down from my forehead into my eyes, if my hands were not glued to my sides by the weights I am carrying.

Another thought that enters my mind. I must be crazy. I mean, who does this…..and enjoys it? Me.

Previously in my life, I have commanded my body to work for me. Grasping for control, I have reviled in the sense of power I received by forcing my body to submit to my will.

But my body does not fall prey to my control issues alone. Often it is the part of me that I beat up because of how the world beats on me. I have days when I am desperate to prove my value through the world’s exchange: external aesthetics. And my body, along with my soul, pays the price.

Other times, working my body as hard as I do has been to prove something to myself. That contrary to what I might have originally thought, I can do it. I am more capable than I give myself credit for.

But more and more in my life, sweating is less about making my body be or do something I think it should. Increasingly, I have a sense of gratitude for how my body is connected to the rest of me. I appreciate the release that comes from moving my body. From pushing my muscles. From breathing hard. From sweating.

Because something mysterious is taking place when all of that is happening. Emotions that have been trapped inside of me are finding a way out. I don’t exactly understand it, even as I experience it.

I simply know it to be true: we are connected human beings. Our minds and our bodies and our emotions and our spirits are all connected together to form us as whole people. And somehow through moving my body, my feelings escape and I settle within myself.

So as I feel the beads fall, I say a quiet word of thanks. I am grateful for physical outlets. Letting out what is inside and living in the mystery of how that happens as each drip trickles down my face.

Moving my body can be so much more about freedom than slavery.

potato chips and chocolate

The crinkle of the bag brings me hope and dread all at once. My pain draws me to the cupboard without my awareness. I have been carrying around this powerlessness and it is heavy and painful and I want an escape from it. But there is none. That doesn’t stop me from looking, though.

As the salt touches my tongue, it seems to be a numbing agent on my heart. For the moments that my mouth is full, the overpowering taste blocks out my emotions.

Eventually, I finish the bag or the bag finishes me leaving my mouth raw. I sit for a minute, trying to force the satisfaction to stay. But eventually it runs away like it always does and my mind dances with the sweet that would sooth the savory I just consumed.

Another crinkling bag delights my ears. I pull out the handful of dark chocolate chips and let them sit for a while to be warmed by my hand. Then in my mouth they go as the cocoa, rich and smooth begins to soften and ooze together forming a luscious mound of heaven that melts down my throat.

Eventually I realize the break from my pain was only temporary, and the let down sets in. I want this to help but it doesn’t. I try night after night, but the pain remains. I cannot control others. I cannot change what they think of me. I cannot force someone to listen.

All I can do is let go and mourn what is lost. And sometimes that is more of a process than I would like it to be, even with my potato chips and chocolate.


If yesterday was “trying to breathe” then today is definitely “hyperventilating”.

Yeah. That’s is my husband’s new car in the picture. The one that I was driving to the conference. I hit a pole as I pulled out to come home. Mostly drive-able but somewhat banged up.

I am the car.

My one-on-one appointments didn’t go as well as I had dreamed them in my mind. I knew that was likely to happen, but it didn’t make the dream less desirable, thus less painful to part with.

I fought back tears now and then in the following few hours. There was more learning to do so the emotions would have to wait. I am not sure my emotions are used to waiting.

But by the end of the night I thought I had moved passed it. The agent I pitched to during the social time who asked me to send all of what I had (when the revisions I told her about are done) helped a bit for sure.

Then I hit the pole. A four-letter word may or may not have passed my lips. As I drove home I battled myself just like I did in the era my book is about. Because of the plot seminar I took today I can now articulate the “faulty belief” I held in those days. Love is earned.

And ever since my one-on-one’s that didn’t go how I dreamed, I struggled with a feeling that I had not earned the right to be loved by my husband (who sacrificed time, money, and a weekend as a single parent for me to be there).

I know this isn’t true. In my head, anyway. It was just hard to convince the rest of me. Especially after that pole.

Love is a gift…….a gift of grace.

My husband does not love me because I make his life easier or better or more comfortable. He doesn’t love me because I am such a wonderful wife and avoid poles when I drive the car.

I was just so frustrated that I was dealing with this old issue. No matter how my husband might respond (because let’s give him some grace and remember he is a human husband and doesn’t love to spend a long hard day with the kids just to have his wife come home with a banged up car) I want my reaction to be one of a person who knows that love is not earned.

But like the car, even though there were some hits today, all is not lost. I certainly have made some wonderful friends and connections at this conference. My understanding of the book I am writing and the audience I am writing it for is clarified. I have WAY more tools to practice to become a better writer. And after moving through some emotions and lots of Kleenex, I remember that love is a gift of grace, impossible to earn.