A great read: Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Lawyer that I am, I gotta start with the caveat: I don’t agree with all of Glennon Doyle’s conclusions, which is an easy statement to make because Glennon’s doing her life up BIG and MESSY and HER WAY.

And to that, I’m guessing Glennon would say: That’s the point. You don’t have to agree. I’m just over here living my life, the best way I can, with what I currently know, which will almost assuredly evolve soon, and that’s all ok.

Whew. What a breath of fresh air.

Glennon has this quote that’s stuck with me: “I don’t know about you (yes I do), but in a world drowning in information, I am straight up parched for wisdom. … Wisdom is directions for your heart.”

So gosh darn true. I think that’s why Oprah has this enduring place in so many women’s hearts: She embodies the wisdom we so want.

Anyways, Untamed was in that vein: Page after page of wisdom. Not wisdom in the definitive, holy text, sort of definition; rather, evolving wisdom. Rooted in a clear sense that what’s true now may not be true in the future. Borne of experience still being experienced. Speculation as to what may continue to be authentic and real in the future.

I was talking to a friend yesterday (on the phone! A habit that’s returned to me in these quarantine days and I love it), trying to solve a personal dilemma she’s facing. We talked about how, as we get older, the definitive black and white divisions have blurred into more gray. This is better, but harder … a more well-rounded view of life and the world sometimes makes actions and decisions less clear cut. More nuanced. Better. More difficult.

I note this because that’s how the wisdom flowed in Untamed for me: Beautiful, true, flawed, illogical, honest, real.

Some of my favorite passages from Untamed:

On the perils of avoiding the inevitable pain and suffering of life:

  • “I thought I was supposed to feel happy. I thought that happy was for feeling and that pain was for fixing and numbing and deflecting and hiding and ignoring.”
  • “I thought that when life got hard, it was because I had gone wrong somewhere. I thought that pain was weakness and that I was supposed to suck it up. But the thing was that the more I sucked it up, the more food and booze I had to suck down.”
  • “This is why every great spiritual teacher tells us the same story about humanity and pain: Don’t avoid it. You need it to evolve, to become. And you are here to become.”

On relying on your own damn self:

  • “I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”
  • “There is no map. We are all pioneers.”

On creating that true and beautiful life for yourself:

  • “Let’s conjure up, from the depths of our souls: The truest, most beautiful lives we can imagine. The truest, most beautiful families we can fathom. The truest, most beautiful world we can hope for.”
  • “Let’s put it all on paper. Let’s look at what we’ve written and decide that these are not pipe dreams; these are our marching orders. These are the blueprints for our lives, our families, and the world.”

And this one, the new one that I hope will imprint on my every move: “What if you stopped trying so hard to be fine and just…lived?”

Look, there are flaws here. There is a questionable narrative she tells herself about her own life. BUT. It’s her life. And she’s out there trying. Not just trying … putting it out there and trying. And good God that counts for a lot in my book.

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