Can a person live honestly without alienating the people they love? Can a person heal their past wounds in order to transform their life and relationships?
Glennon Doyle Melton grapples with these questions in her emotionally raw memoir Love Warrior, a New York Times bestseller, and presents the answers in a vulnerable way. Love Warrior is a must read for women and men alike in search of love. I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this heart-wrenching, yet inspiring story in a matter of days and I’m not the only one; many of my friends absorbed it just as quickly and with fervor. It was Melton’s brutal honesty about her failing marriage as well as her courage to face and heal her past that kept me wanting to read. It was as if she took me by the hand and walked me through her trauma, making it to the other side where a richer life awaited her.
At the start of the book, Melton is living a pretty good life. She’s married with three children, a devoted husband, and a successful writing career with a popular blog and bestselling book, Carry On, Warrior, to her name. She begins her story with a quote by Joan of Arc. “I am not afraid…I was born to do this.” This sentiment alone braces the reader for the fierce personal battle that lies ahead for Melton and teaches us that fearlessness comes when you endure pain and recover from it. Despite growing up with much love from her parents, and family, Melton found herself, beginning in early adolescence, battling bulimia and struggling with feelings of unworthiness and despair. Into adulthood, she became an alcoholic and suffered from low self-esteem, truly believing that she wasn’t good enough, her marriage wasn’t good enough, and until she demanded better of herself, and of her relationship, she was stuck in a cycle of destruction. For her, the way out was by starting to live an honest life.
How do we cultivate compassion for ourselves to have more of it for others?
Melton’s commitment to live authentically began when she started writing about her life and her true feelings about addiction and her struggling marriage on her blog. However, her confessional writings eventually gave her husband the courage to be open too. He saw the freedom honesty awarded her and he wanted a taste of that. During a couples therapy session, he decides to reveal his infidelities, and Glennon feels, then and there, that her marriage has been a sham. Given she is a recovering alcoholic and bulimic, Glennon hit rock bottom and had to face her own demons in the midst of a marital crisis to get to a place of forgiveness with her husband. Together, through commitment, time, space, understanding, patience, they do. It wasn’t until Melton found love for herself that she could have compassion for her husband.
What does it mean to become a Love Warrior?
Glennon writes the “how tos” so well, she gives us the courage to be warriors ourselves: brave, strong, and full of light in the face of adversity. She shows the reader the importance of nourishing your own self-care by getting rest, eating well, doing yoga, writing, going to church, praying; and she taught me that without adequate basic self-care, I can not fully be there for my loved ones. By sharing her personal journey, she not only changed her own life, but through her emotionally raw, confessional tale, she managed to change mine. She proved that any woman seeking to heal her past wounds, live honestly and experience mature love, can be a Love Warrior too.
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