A Sacrifice to All the Wrong Gods

by Tamara

'Skinny Woman' photo (c) 2011, Eden, Janine and Jim - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Some days I believe
I am more
When there is less of me,

That my words
Bear more weight
When I bear it less,

That my deeds
Tip scales
When I don’t.

And untruths
Are easy to buy
When I am feeling cheap,

So I bring plates
Filled with lies
As fragrant offerings,

And make myself
A sacrifice
To all the wrong gods.

65 Responses to “A Sacrifice to All the Wrong Gods”

  1. HopeUnbroken April 18, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    beautiful and haunting. . . and so much raw, painful truth in these words.
    it almost hurts to read, yet i find more with each reading.
    thank you for the sharing.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

      I’m grateful you’re going back to read again even when it hurts– I hope it starts to heal.

  2. Steph April 18, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    Beautiful writing.

  3. Edwin Christian April 18, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    Very nice!

  4. Buddy Bagwell April 18, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Your talent pool is very deep. My admiration for you grows deeper each week. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Lisa G April 18, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    I will be reading this again and again and again and sharing it with some teenage girls (including my own daughter) who swallow that same lie. Thank you for being a truth teller.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

      Oh, thank you so much for sharing it with those precious girls. They– we– need to hear the truth from our mothers and sisters and friends.

  6. Susie Finkbeiner April 18, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    Thank you for this. Such pressure we live under. And we feel we can’t even talk about it. Thank you for talking about it.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      You’re welcome. That’s why we tell the stories.

  7. Diana Trautwein April 18, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Wow. This one hits hard and close. Weight has been my personal albatross/nemesis/enemy my entire adult life. And that’s a lot of years. I’ve carried many extra pounds, most of the time as a kind of protection against the world, some of the time as an act of rebellion against the pressures of my own home growing up and the world at large ever since. It’s a complicated thing and the source of so, so much pain, fatigue, angst, struggle. Thank you for putting these beautiful words around such an ugly, hard topic. These layers of insulation have kept me ‘safe’ (whatever that means) and have helped me to be ‘big enough,’ maybe just plain ‘enough.’ Though I don’t fight this battle in the same ways that you do, I fight it nonetheless. And I have lost that battle, again and again and again.

    But, by the grace of God, 40 pounds have fallen since retirement. And I am trying to wait patiently for another 40 to follow. But I grow weary in the waiting. So I thank you for the encouragement of these words and will offer up myself yet again – hopefully to the only God who knows and cares and not the small ‘g’ ones who play such horrendous mind games with the likes of me.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your struggle, Diana. I so appreciate that you say our struggles aren’t the same but you offer solidarity. We all need more of this from each other.

      Isn’t it true, there’s only one God who can heal any of it?

  8. Carrie @Tempo Life Coaching April 18, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Beautiful words about a horrible struggle…telling the truth vs believing the lies. Thank you for this, So well done!

  9. Margaret April 18, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Amazing clarity. Once again, thank you Tamara!

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Thanks, and you’re quite welcome.

  10. Claire De Boer April 18, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Beautifully written Tamara :) It strikes a chord with so many of we women – thank you for sharing.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Thanks for saying so– I thought it might. So many of us fight these battles, and it does no good to keep them quiet.

  11. Amy April 18, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Just beautiful and wonderfully true. Thank you for sharing with us!

  12. bethany April 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    This is so moving and blunt in all the best ways. What a wonderful piece!

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      I’m glad it moved you, Bethany.

  13. Stephanie Spencer April 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Love this. It speaks to my heart & soul at a time when I’ve been hoping to jump back on the weight loss wagon. Thank you.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      I am so grateful it speaks to you, Stephanie.

  14. Dan McM April 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Can we submit this to publish in high school English text books? Please?

    Great writing. Poignant message. Seriously, wish there was a way to get this to high school english teachers for submission/discussion in their classrooms.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      I love it. Why can’t we? Send it to all the teachers you know and ask them to send it their colleagues. You have the author’s permission. :) God’s done bigger things with less.

      • Dan McM April 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

        I just forwarded the link to the English and Health teachers I know (not a lot of them.) Good stuff, my friend.

        • Tamara April 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

          Thanks so much. Love this idea!

  15. Julie (@InciteFaith) April 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    You’re beautiful. <3

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      Thank you, Julie. So are you. xo

  16. Sarah H. April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    I’m so glad you brought these lies into the Light. I pray that doing so has lifted that particular burden from you right now.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Thanks, yes, not feeling as pulled as I sometimes am by the lies enabled me to bring them into the Light to share with others. We can fight so much more ably there than in the darkness alone.

  17. Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) April 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I am more
    When you write.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Humbled, grateful tears. Love you, friend.

  18. katdish April 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Whoa…and wow.

    Thank you, Tamara. I think you just expressed the inner struggle of 99% of women. American women, at least. And it doesn’t even have to be about weight or size. We beat ourselves up for any number of perceived shortcomings.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Yes, yes. This is not just about eating disorders; in fact, I don’t even have one. But I have struggles with not being “just so,” and I think we all do, and I’m glad we’re talking.

  19. Jlunardo April 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Really good poem, Tamara! The whole “weight/size determines one’s value” thing is such an insidious problem, especially for females. Society teaches us at such a young age that our value is determined by our beauty, weight, shape, size…and that is such a hard mind set to fight against, even when we know better. If only we were taught from the get-go where our true value comes from, and if only society reinforced THAT TRUTH rather than bombard us with lies.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      Yes, society is awfully loud and awfully wrong. I think that when we know the truth, we have to try to speak it all the louder.

  20. HisFireFly April 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    So true and so close to the bone…

  21. Jo Malone April 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Looking at some holiday snaps of smiling faces, white beaches and blue skies, I showed one picture to my partner and said, “What do you think of this pic?”. She said, “We look fat.” I was expecting her to say, ‘We look happy!’ So started a battle with my weight, which I (thankfully) gave up on when we split up. I’m now almost 50, and so what if I don’t look 20 any more? Content now in the shape I am (and a partner who loves me even when there’s more to cuddle).

    (love the picture you’ve put beside your wonderful poem btw – reminiscent of today’s catwalk models)

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      How heartbreaking that that’s what she saw; I am so happy you now see it differently and that you have someone who sees you simply through eyes of love.

      As soon as I saw that picture, I knew I had to use it. A skinny golden idol. *sigh*

      • Sarah W April 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

        It is interesting that you chose this image to accompany your poem. Giacometti has always been an artist close to my heart because – for me – his sculpture mirrors the tension, the slenderness, the precariousness and fragility of life. He said his figures were not meant to be people at all, but their shadows, which began evolving into the elongated shapes with which we are most familiar after he bore witness to the horrors of the second World War. Your poem, slender itself, resonates peculiarly with this sculpture in my mind. I do not see it as an idol, but as the shadow of a soul without substance. When we sacrifice ourselves to the wrong gods, our shadows become tenuous as our hope. Thank you for your poem.

        • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

          Sarah, thank you for that rich insight into the art– I had no idea. Funny, I found it by searching a database for “skinny woman,” and it reminded me of the golden calf– but perhaps this says more about my own idols than it does about the art itself. And either way, I see the tenuous shadow.

          Awesome thoughts– thanks.

  22. randomlychad April 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    This is a beautiful, poignant piece. It is an awesome thing to know that we are not enough, will never be enough–in fact, are worse than anyone else knows.

    And yet are still completely, absolutely, irrevocably loved anyway.

    Because He is enough.

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      “Irrevocably loved”– awesome. If only we could just rest and be satisfied in that.

  23. Maile April 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Sadly beautiful. Why, oh, why do we sacrifice to these gods? Brings tears to my eyes…

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      And there are enough of them to fill a pantheon. Even when we know the only God worth seeking, it is still so easy to turn time and again to the others.

  24. Sarah April 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Wow, this is beautiful and so honest…been here many times. Thank you for sharing this!!

    • Tamara April 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

      So many of us have. You’re welcome, Sarah.

  25. Joy April 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    This is such a powerful post.
    Especially for those of us who have struggled with body image all of our lives.
    That’s probably the majority.
    Thank you for spreading your light darling.

  26. Casey April 19, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    Thank you for sharing your work with the world. ‘My deeds tip scales when I don’t.’ – remarkable sentiment. I hope to read more of your poetry at some point. :)

    Best wishes,


    • Tamara April 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      Thank you, Casey. I have another one or two on here and several at my personal blog. I appreciate your reading!

  27. Jaime April 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Wow. Just found your page (from a comment at churchrelevance.com). Powerful words.

  28. Christie April 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I sat here and read it. And read it again. And again. And I probably will read it YET again. Because I need to hear it and think we all do. It’s brilliant!

    So that probably sounds like shameless sucking up, but I really LOVE this piece. Thank you!

    • Tamara April 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

      Not at all. I’m so glad it touched you!

  29. Aidan Stoltzfus April 22, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post. Really Cool.

  30. emily wierenga April 25, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    oh tamara. how this struck home… an incredible write friend. would it be okay if i posted it on my eating disorders blog sometime? bless you… xo

    • Tamara April 25, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      It would be more than okay. Thank you. xo


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