Friday, April 8, 2016

"Carry on, Warrior; The Power of Embracing your Messy, Beautiful Life" by Glennon Doyle Melton

  So one thing I enjoy doing, is listen to and/or watching TED talks online.  I've been introduced to quite a few interesting people through doing so, and Glennon Doyle Melton is one of them.  Maybe I missed out on the whole Momastery blog and community she's created over the years because I myself and not a mom, but apparently she is pretty well known and liked...and now I get why.
  Glennon talks a lot throughout her book about how in opening herself up to being brutally honest about herself to the world, she has seen other women feel like they have permission to do the same.  Lives have been touched and hearts have been open, all because she was willing to put her real self out there and help other women know they are not alone.
  In the first few pages of the book Glennon states, "I was born a little broken, with an extra dose of sensitivity.  Growing up, I felt that I was missing the layer of protections I needed to expose myself to life's risks... risks like friendship, tender love, and rejection.  I felt awkward, unworthy, and vulnerable.  And I didn't want to walk through life's battlefield feeling that way.  I didn't think I'd survive".  Reading that, I could totally relate.  As an overly sensitive person who has spent years of my life trying to protect myself from hurts that normal people seem to be able to just roll with, I felt like....yes!  Someone gets me!
  She goes on to talk about how, "maybe the battles of life are best fought without armor and without weapons.  That maybe life gets real, good, and interesting when we remove all the layers of protection we've built around our hearts and walk out onto the battlefield of life naked".  At first I was like....uh, yeah you lost me, crazy woman....why would I ever go off to war without protecting myself!  But the more I read her story, the more I began to see how she seems to really LIVE life... in all it's gloriousness and messiness... and maybe that's really what it's suppose to be like.
  Glennon doesn't skirt around the issue either and pretend like life is easy if you just learn to put a happy spin on it.  In fact she says, "Life is equal parts brutal and beautiful.  And/both.  Life is brutiful.  Like starts in a dark sky.  Sharing life's brutiful is what makes us feel less alone and afraid.  The Truth can't be stuffed down with food or booze or exercise of work or cutting or shopping, for long.  Hiding from the truth causes it's own unique pain and it's a lonely pain.  Life is hard... not because we are doing it wrong, just because it's hard".  I needed to hear that... as I've experience the lonely painful side of what she said!  But to be reminded that in those moment of brutalness, it's not that I just can't seem to get it right and figure out this thing called life... It's that this IS life...both the good and the bad put together (which I obviously knew but often forget to remember)... brings a sense of comfort.
  She also talks about love and how "it's not something for which to search or wait or hope or dream for.  It's simply something to do" and how it's not always "warm and fuzzy or sweet and sticky. (But rather) Real love is tough as nails.  It's having your heart ripped out, putting it back together and the next day offering it back to the same world that just tore it up......resisting the overwhelming desire to quit, to save yourself for yourself".  I have a tendency to run away from SCARY love like that.  I don't want to be hurt so often times I leave before I can experience true, life affirming love.  But as Glennon also says, "Brave is not something you should wait to feel.  Brave is a decision!" and her book certainly gave me a lot to think about in terms of stepping out in bravery in this way.
  So while this is certainly not a new book and I'm probably one of the last people to get around to hearing about Glennon Melton, if you haven't read it, I certainly recommend it.   I think it would probably speak a lot to you too... not because it's perfect or because the author is (she admits herself that she is anything but), but because it's real and will make you feel less alone and more open in reading it...and I think we could all use a little more of that!

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