An encounter with a porta-potty and how it was a metaphor for the week I barely survived.
Friday, July 27th, 2018
Do you ever have a week that you just want to end because it’s kicking your behind?
A week where you feel like you can’t, will not, no matter what you do – get ahead?
Forget about get ahead – a week where you just want to maintain? But can’t even do that?!
That was me this past week. Between intense discussions with Jason that wouldn’t end (aka a fight), not so nice texts and emails, painful conversations, and getting ready for family to come into town – let’s just say that I felt like I was getting beat up.
I have never been so happy for a week to end – and end with a bang it did.
Jason and I went for a run on Friday morning (bonus) and as we were nearing the end of our run, behind us came a truck with a porta-potty on a trailer. There were a lot of small bumps in the road so the truck was hauling the porta-potty quite slowly. Since we were going in the same direction and because we are such speedy runners (just kidding!), the port-a-potty, it seemed, stayed put right beside us for several minutes.
Unfortunately – this particular porta-potty was full of you know what. This was obvious because it didn’t take long before the WORST stench filled the air. It was so bad that I almost started gagging.
You would think that we would have just stopped, or even turned down a street and gone in a different direction. But none of that we did. We just kept right on running right beside it as we groaned, punched the air with our fists, and started laughing.
What a perfect metaphor for the week I’d had – a week that left me feeling like poop.
We finally started thinking straight and stopped running so that the truck could take that port-a-potty far, far away from us. And shortly there after, it pulled out onto a busier street and that was the end of the porta-potty full of poop.
When I’m having a poopy week – one of the things that is of utmost importance is connecting with someone that I trust and being able to just say it like it is. (To be clear – there are many things I need – a moscow mule, a good book, an all expense paid for vacation, a shopping spree, time alone with God….) But back to connecting with someone – I need a safe place to vent and get it all out. If ALL I do is vent and feel heard – that in and of itself works wonders.
What it comes back to is connection and leaning into being intimate with others.
I was reminded of this last night as I was talking to one of my groups – we were talking about how with men that struggle with sexual integrity issues – the issue is an intimacy issue – not a lack of sex issue. For these men – they don’t know how to be fully known (intimate) with others because of the very real risk of rejection. Oftentimes us wives find ourselves struggling to be fully known, too.
But wait – we were created to be fully known. We are commanded by God to love him with all of our heart, mind, body and soul. We are also commanded to love others as we love God (Luke 10:27). That means we love others with our heart, mind, body and soul, too.
It’s innate for us to live from a place of fully known. But in this world we live in – it’s always going to be a challenge. Take media for instance – we feel a little bit connected as we watch our favorite show – but it’s not intimate or real. Then there’s social media (don’t even get me started!) – we might think we really know the gal we follow on Instagram – but in all seriousness – how well do you fully know her from a photo of what she ate for dinner last night?
All that to say – we are not set up in this life to be fully known and true and real – quite the opposite in fact. But when we are having a poopy week (Ralenda – I want you to know I am really trying to behave with my words!) – the antidote is intimacy. It’s being fully known and fully knowing. It’s understanding that there is a very real risk of rejection – but showing up anyways and taking off the mask and saying – this is what’s really going on. This is who I really am. And this is what I’m struggling with.
So that’s what I did. I talked to a friend poolside and told her all about my difficult week. I then called two different friends this week and vented to them. And let me just tell you – while it was hard to lean in (it always is) and risk with what I was really feeling – as always – it helped. Sure, there are no guarantees but I know that I know that this is the answer – to be real and true with myself, with others and also with God.
What would it look like for you to lean in as this week comes to a close? What could you do today to work toward being fully known with someone else that you deem safe? Would love to hear your thoughts.
xo – Shelley