To be fair, many books have shaken me. UNTAMED was different. This one rattled my bones. I promise to get to the review of the actual book, but stay with me.
Some back story is prudent, here.
By nature, I’m a writer first. A daughter and granddaughter of writers and poets, the written word has always been my magic. That’s after all, why I started blogging. Once upon a time, I needed a space to write my truth during a time that I knew would be scary for me (postpartum). I also knew that my truth wouldn’t be traditional, conventional or fit into a box. Almost as quickly as truth rolled off my keyboard, an audience appeared. The dark and twisty and imperfect ones showed up because they needed me to say it’s ok. So, for the last five years, that’s what I’ve been doing. I have been telling women it’s ok to be depressed, it’s ok to be on meds, it’s ok to get divorced (multiple times maybe), it’s ok to question everything like faith and society and rules, and it’s ok to not understand your body, and so on.
I’m a writer. I’m also a motivator, a justice fighter, a connector of people.
Somewhere along the way, I also became a career content creator. This makes sense, as I’m someone with an audience who also loves writing and photography. Over time, I began to earn an income from this. That’s… a dream. Right? It is, until it isn’t. All of a sudden I became an “influencer”. I was being paid to promote things, which- my bank loves- but I wanted to be paid to create things. Little by little, it can chip away at your full truth. Even if you don’t notice. Going viral a couple times taught me some harsh lessons in the land of unfiltered social media Karens. One day I realized that I was becoming more and more consumed with what “other people” would think. I worried too much about how other people would process my message.
I have an intuitive friend, Sam. (You might remember her if you listened to my podcast.) She reached out one day recently. She’s received messages for me in the past that have been affirmative at all the right times and I knew one morning when she called me at 7am that I needed to answer. She talked to me about not caging my truth. She told me I’m the only one limiting myself. I remember visually seeing myself in a cage while she was talking. She was right. I have all these wild stories and wisdom gained, but I’m still choking my own voice. I’m still hyper obsessed with control.
I thought of writers and activists that I admire. (Specifically, my holy trinity- Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle, and Liz Gilbert.) They aren’t censoring themselves. They aren’t forcing themselves into boxes. They are unapologetically themselves: Writers. World changers. I’ve always related to Glennon, specifically, more than any other author. She grew up religious and then evangelical. She’s a mom. She started as a blogger. She’s been married and divorced (like me). She’s lived her mess out loud for the rest of us to benefit from. When I think of “living your truth”, I think of G.
When 2020 began I took a workshop on visioning and manifesting. My guided meditation and soul conversation brought up a burning, intense need to make 2020 the year I say anything. In fact, the center of my vision board on my bedroom door has the words “SAY ANYTHING” smack dab in the middle. I was so tired of caging myself, controlling myself, editing myself. I’m almost 34 years old, for crying out loud. If I can’t be 100% me now, then when?
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when Glennon Doyle slid in my DMs with a compliment on my work (sorry, what? MY work?) and an offer to send a pre-release copy of UNTAMED. As a jaded person with a semi-large audience and imposter syndrome, I thought- no way. She has no clue who I am. This is her assistant. Or maybe this is a mistake entirely and she’s confused me for someone else. (I’m still not sure I’m not in a weird dream.)
How could this be? Is this real? Could the universe/God have some sort of divine flow happening here?
Then, I got the book. I got the book yesterday afternoon and I finished it at 1 am this morning. I highlighted and dog-eared and all the things. I could not put it down. I wanted it to become the sacred text of my new self-made religion. This book changed the game for me. This book is everything I needed right now.
Remember when I said that I had become obsessed with control?
Glennon talks about that very thing in UNTAMED:
“The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that there was something wrong with me. I quit spending my life trying to control myself and began to trust myself. We only control what we don’t trust. We can either control ourselves or love ourselves, but we can’t do both. Love is the opposite of control. Love demands trust … What the world needs is more women who have quit fearing themselves and and started trusting themselves. What the world needs is masses of women who are entirely out of control.”
She also talks about never promising to be any certain way, just promising to show up. She says:
“People will like me or not, but being liked is not my One Thing; integrity is. So I must live and tell my truth.”
And, there it is. Being liked isn’t, in fact, my truth. It never was. It never will be. Integrity is my lighthouse. My heartbreaking tragedies and knee slapping comedies and loud mouth for justice and megaphone for the underdog… those are my truths. I trust my truth. I love my truth. I won’t control it anymore.
Thank you, Glennon for a true work of art, my new favorite memoir (now tied with Becoming because duh), and a message that was divinely needed in my world- and I am certain that everyone needs it in theirs as well. It’s time to untame ourselves, friends. We just don’t have the luxury of waiting.
“When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.” – Glennon Doyle
Untamed is available for pre-order and releases on 3.10.20.