Last week I went to the India.Arie concert. Let me tell you, it rocked my socks off. I didn’t care when or where the concert was. For India.Arie, I am willing to sweat buckets anytime, anywhere. So, of course, I took careful consideration of what to wear so that I would be comfortable. I ended up color coordinated with my favorite female musician, donning an electric blue skirt, a purple tank, and flip flops. I am very picky when it comes to my flip flop selection. I can’t wear just any type. They have to have a sueded sole similar to Birkenstocks, or some type of fabric to absorb the sweat. I’ve found some very comfortable ones called Bon Bon by Clarks. I haven’t been able to find any recently, so the 2 pairs I own I’m trying to take really good care of so they will last longer. Sanuk also makes some great flip flops that help me to avoid the slip and slide factor.
India.Arie performed with a friend whom she met in Israel, Idan Raichel. They sang a variety of songs together from their new album Open Door to be released this fall. They performed one of their songs, Gift of Acceptance, at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway. I can relate the lyrics of every single India.Arie song to my own life. Her music is powerful and speaks to the very depths of my soul. Here are some of the lyrics from Gift of Acceptance (not necessarily in the order in which they are sung):
Give the world a present, give the gift of your acceptance. We want peace, love, and prosperity. Does God live here in our hearts or out in the universe? I can honor your choices and you can honor mine.
This really speaks to the power of being able to come as you are, to live your whole truth and nothing less, to not be ashamed of who you are and to be accepted for it. India also mentioned that she had always been afraid to write certain lyrics for fear of what others might think, but that she was ready to stand in her truth and stay true to her intention: “To spread love, healing, peace, and joy, through the POWER OF WORDS AND MUSIC. To be a living example of acceptance, honoring of cultural diversity, the interconnectedness of humankind, the elevation of consciousness of humanity, and above all else, to be an example of the truth that LOVE WINS, and to do it all while being TRUE TO MY SELF.” (The capitalization is hers.) Amen, sista!
Okay, so maybe I don’t have a choice in the matter when it comes to sweating, but you can still honor me as I do so. And, if you’re honoring me right now by reading this blog, I thank you. It’s hard to write things and make them public. Of course I worry about what other people think regarding my blog, but I’m not writing this for them. I’m writing it to finally live my truth, to use my faculty for writing for exactly what it is, a blessing. If I can be a blessing to someone else through this blog, I will have succeeded. I am getting great joy from doing this; therefore, I will not allow comparisons to rob me of that joy.
I felt less ashamed of my body and more honored after I had the second most embarrassing time of my life occur due to my hyperhidrosis. Several weeks ago, the young marrieds group from my church went out for frozen yogurt. We were having a lovely time and were getting ready to leave, so we decided to pray before we parted ways. We don’t typically join hands to pray, but on this night the person leading the prayer asked us to. I could feel my body temperature go up immediately and the vicious inner monologue begin its rant inside my brain. My trigger situations, when they manifest beyond what I feel is an acceptable level, cause me to become physically hot and sweaty and emotionally turbulent within the confines of my own psyche. So once we joined hands, I didn’t hear a single WORD of the prayer. All I could focus on was how much I was sweating and just willing the prayer to be over so that I could have my hands back. The longer we held hands, the worse it became. I could feel my hands pouring sweat, so I opened my eyes and looked down to my left and I SWEAR to you a sweat droplet landed on my friend’s foot! Of course he was wearing sandals, so I’m sure he felt it drop if it did actually land on his foot. It was like I was in a TV commercial for how to be uncomfortable in your own skin and everything was moving in slow motion. Thankfully, the person on my right was my husband, so I only had to worry about the gross out factor for one person. Once the prayer was finally over, I opened my eyes, looked down, and had 2 small puddles of sweat at my feet, taunting me from the sidewalk. I wanted to call on Moses to come and part the Red Sea of concrete so that I could be swallowed up.
My friend looked over at me and said, “Wow! You really do sweat, don’t you?” I told him I wasn’t kidding when I revealed this about myself. Another friend remarked that I could totally rock the Michael Jackson look and just wear a shiny glove. Or I could call it my superpower. I kind of like that idea! 🙂 I was a very good sport about everything and didn’t mind the humor at all. In fact, I think it’s good to be able to laugh about it; plus, it showed they didn’t really care about it in the way I was expecting and have seen people do in the past when they become acquainted with my HH. Prior to everyone joining hands, I had said it would make mine sweat. Another friend said, “It’s okay. We’ll take you as you are.”
That single statement is probably the biggest thing you can do for someone who suffers from HH. It really is a gift of acceptance. It allows us to not feel shame about the bodies we inhabit. So for that, Cortney, I thank you. Jon, sorry if I ruined your shoe or startled you with my self-made rain drops. And Steve, thank you for giving me the gift of laughter. “Wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world.” – William James
Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle