Saturday, December 31, 2016

Love Warrior

Book 93 of my 2016 Reading Challenge
read from November 08 - December 26

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Summary (via the book jacket)
Just when Glennon Doyle Melton was beginning to feel she had it all figured out - three happy children, a doting spouse, and a writing career so successful that her first book catapulted to the top of the New York Times bestseller list - her husband revealed his infidelity and she was forced to realize that nothing was as it seemed. A recovering alcoholic and bulimic, Glennon found that rock bottom was a familiar place. In the midst of crisis, she knew to hold on to what she discovered in recovery: that her deepest pain has always held within it an invitation to a richer life.
Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. This astonishing memoir reveals how our ideals of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for a man and a woman to truly know one another - and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they've been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, fall in love.
Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.

My Opinion
I read this for an online book club group read.  We read a chapter about every 3 days and while I never participated in the discussion (I'm a silent lurker) I enjoyed reading others' views on it.

Here are some of her phrases that made me sit back and think 'wow'.  I wish I didn't relate to some of them as much as I did:

  •  "We had to tell the truth, which was: "Actually, I'm not fine." But no one knew how to handle hearing that truth, so we found other ways to tell it. We used whatever else we could find - drugs, booze, food, money, our arms, other bodies. We acted out our truth instead of speaking it and everything became a godforsaken mess. But we were just trying to be honest."
  • "We begin to understand that to coparent is to one day look up and notice that you are on a roller coaster with another human being.  You are in the same car, strapped down side by side and you can never, ever get off.  There will never be another moment in your lives when your hearts don't rise and fall together, when your minds don't race and panic together, when your stomachs don't churn in tandem, when you stop seeing huge hills emerge in the distance and simultaneously grab the side of the car and hold on tight. No one except for the one strapped down beside you will ever understand the particular thrills and terrors of your ride."
  • "He would not be able to explain that I named that kitten Miracle and that Miracle thought I was his mother.  When I told Craig that story I knew it was important, but he didn't.  He smiled and nodded and then let it slip away.  When I mentioned Miracle months later, Craig said, "Who is Miracle?"  His forgetfulness feels like carelessness, and his carelessness feels like rejection.  What do I do?  Tell Miracle's story again?  Do I say, The story I'm about to tell is important to me.  Please pay attention to me and remember it.  Please keep this piece of me somewhere safe so we can build upon it?  Each day, we're making sandcastles I know will be washed away.  I long for something solid, lasting, strong between us."
  • "But since I am a mother, dramatic gestures are off-limits.  I must be steady.  I must be calm.  I must think about my children, who haven't yet seen the wave that's about to hit.  I must be the steadfast captain of our sinking ship.  I must smile as we go down so everyone can drown peacefully."
  • "We either allow ourselves to feel the burn of our own pain or someone we love gets burned by it.  Craig and I had spent our lives denying our pain, but that did not make is disappear.  Since we refused to hold it, we passed it on to the people we loved."
  • "God created women as a Warrior...While those around them fall away, the women hold the sick and nurse the weak, put food on the table, carry their families' sadness and anger and love and hope.  They keep showing up for their lives and their people with the odds stacked against them and the weight of the world on their shoulders.  They never stop singing songs of truth, love, and redemption in the face of hopelessness.  They are inexhaustible, ferocious, relentless cocreatorrs with God, and they make beautiful worlds out of nothing.  Have women been the Warriors all along?"
This was the first book of hers I've read but it definitely won't be the last.  The reason I gave it 4 stars and not 5 is because I skimmed the last few chapters because it was too hard to read her optimism when I know it ended up not working out for them.

A Few Quotes from the Book
"We know what the world wants from us. We know we must decide whether to stay small, quiet, and uncomplicated or allow ourselves to grow as big, loud, and complex as we were made to be. Every girl must decide whether to be true to herself or true to the world."

"Any woman who doesn't give a fuck is simply abandoning her soul to adhere to the rules. No woman on earth doesn't give a fuck - no woman is that cool - she's just hidden her fire. Likely, it's burning her up."

"If you don't remember half your life, does it even count? Did you really live it? I pass six more months of my life this way; half alive. Half alive is all the alive I can take."

"While I've been home changing diapers, doing dishes, and feeding our children, he's been sleeping with other women. While I've been begging my body to heal, he's been lying down with other bodies. While I've been apologizing for my inability to connect during sex, he's been connecting with strangers. For years, he let me take all the blame. He let me cry on his shoulder and ask: What is wrong with me? Why can't I feel safe during sex? He patted my head and said he didn't know. He knew. He was the reason."

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