There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this?
Four years ago, Glennon Doyle, author, activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three — was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within.
Glennon was finally hearing her own voice — the voice that had been silenced by decades of cultural conditioning, numbing addictions, and institutional allegiances. She vowed to never again abandon herself. She decided to build a life of her own — one based on her individual desire, intuition, and imagination. She would reclaim her true, untamed self.
July 2020 Bookclub Read was: Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
Now I know a few of you groaned with this announced. A self-help book? Please no!!
Those same few picked it up and never put it down. I had emails exclaiming how much they loved this book….. As did I!
Why? Because this isn’t just a self-help book. This is a real and raw story of a woman… An every day woman like you or me…. That found her Knowing.
Everyone has their own label for it but we all know what it is. Its the deep down feeling of rightness. Its the compass that points us to our true north. It is the warm feeling we get when we feel that we are living the life we were meant to.
The Knowing is taught out of us, duality ensues, a battle of mind over heart. We war between the circle and square, the linear and non-linear, the yin and yang, we war until we have no idea what is Truth anymore, we loose our compass.
Glennon found her compass at the worst/best possible time. Just after releasing a best selling book about salvaging her marriage and finding domestic bliss she realised that she was not being true to herself. This realisation was forced on her by a sudden and undeniable love for someone other than her husband. That someone also happened to be a women. Glennon also happens to be religious.
So here Glennon was with the picture perfect life, husband, kids, church life, best selling author about said picture perfect life. Then bam. Her Knowing shows up and speaks to her.
Glennon has the courage and bravery to follow her Knowing and accept where the compass points. This to me is massive. The courage to leave her husband and kids, to tell her fans the truth of her life, to inform her church of her love. Just whoa.
That courage is what I wish every person in this world to grasp for. I pray that my daughter to be born grows up with this courage. I hope I have this courage.
The book is an easy read, it isn’t exactly linear nor is it a complete a-z story. It is perfect the way it is. Short stories and collections organised in a readable manner that explores so many human connection topics such as marriage, love, social conditioning, courage, racism, activism, bravery. It is an equalist book. It exposes the social conditioning to tame women and invigorate men. It shows both. Whilst aimed at women, I love how all struggles are highlighted not just ones that relate to her “box”.
The book it isn’t heavy and it isn’t me me me. It’s a book that helps Glennon explore topics that are deep at her heart and exposes how she came to her truth. This in turn helps us explore what we think about these topics and helps us know what our truths are.
How much do I think this should be recommended reading to everyone? My truth is that dog earing a book is sacrilege, punishable by the cane. Yet my Knowing told me to dog ear every page I think highlights or exposes a critical human truth so that any visitors, guests, and hopefully my daughter will pick up and will be drawn to these snippets.
Some of my favourite parts, stories, and take-aways:
- Never ever ever let intimacy become uncomfortable. If it does, do not try and force the intimacy back by being more intimate. Respect your sexuality and your body. This is in regards to the BlowJob chapter which made me steaming mad…… And is still making me steaming mad.
- Do what is right for you…. Always
- Learn to listen to your Knowing
- There is no need to justify your Knowing with logic and reason and justifications
- Progress is important. Progress leads to Progress. We don’t just jump straight into level 10. Start by practising the small Hard things in life.
- This book shows the importance of having deep and meaningful relationships outside of those with your children.
- Having the courage and the insight to stand back and see how we are raising our sons and daughter… Are we treating them differently? If so, how does this impact the next generation? If you want your husband to help more around the house, then it is important that we teach our sons as much as our daughters about household chores.
- Listening to your Knowing will result in some people asking “What gave you the guts to do that” and others “What gave you the damn right to do that”.
- Doing what is right is more important than doing what is socially accepted. If you believe it is right to stick up for BLM and you get labelled a racist for it (like Glennon did..being white), then have the courage to let that racist label slip right off your back.
- Anger is valuable. Anger teaches us when something is wrong and promotes us to action. We just remember not to give into the heat of anger but to explore the teachings in it. Often, anger is more about us then about the person/s or things we are angry about.
“Listen. Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is ti disappoint that someone else. Your job, throughout your entire life, is ti disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.”
Glennon describes our society as one that loves labels. She asks us to see these labels as Glasses.
“We created these glasses to try and contain the uncontainable”.
Are you straight or gay — pick a glass.
Finally enough people embrace their truth and shout that there isn’t a glass that describes them.
Instead of getting rid of the glass system all together we simply add more glasses. We add in bisexual and than we add in pansexual and we keep adding.
Whilst this is better it still isn’t right. Glennon still doesn’t know what glass she fits into. I am sure many of us don’t. We may fit into one glass or label most of the time but our secret deep desires may go across many different glasses.
That is ok.
“But letting old structures burn can be uncomfortable and disorientating” Glennon acknowledges. Nonetheless, we must strive to break the glass system, to let the dam wall crumble, and unleash the waters that are us and allow them to flow in any direction they want instead of being channeled into glasses.