Last month, my Wild Women Book Club read and discussed Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It’s a sassy, brave memoir of how Glennon reclaimed her true self and best life. Like most memoirs and personal growth books, not everything she presented resonated with me, but I did find great wisdom and helpful tools in her courageous climb out of a conditioned, unsatisfying existence into a life of her own making, under her own rules, within her own boundaries, and defined by her own joy.
In Untamed, Glennon outlines Four Keys she has discovered for living a life on purpose:
Key One: Feel it all.
Key Two: Be Still and Know.
Key Three: Dare to Imagine.
Key Four: Build and Burn.
While I encourage you to read the full memoir, I’d like to share some highlights from these four keys over the next few weeks which were very impactful for me.
By accident, we shared Key Two last week instead of Key One. So, I’m sharing Key One this week.
Key One: Feel It All.
Glennon’s first Key is all about our aversion to acknowledging, feeling, and moving through the pain in our lives with our eyes and hearts wide open. She rightly surmises that pain does not last, but suffering does. When we feel pain, fully, move through it, learn and grow from it… we are stronger. We are better. We become an expanded version of ourselves. When we suffer, we are often ignoring or holding on to pain, resisting the growth that can only come from the passage through it.
Glennon reminds us that “We can do hard things.” We can. And when we do, we grow. It’s the only way we grow, doing hard things. We find out what we are capable of through struggle. So, feel it. All of it. All the mistakes, bad decisions, painful losses, the injustices, the anger, unrealized dreams, and the shameful moments. We all have them. Feel them fully so you can move through them and get on to your becoming.
Here are a few of my favorite excepts from Glennon’s chapter on Key One: Feel It All.
- Being fully human is not about feeling happy; it’s about feeling everything.
- I can feel everything and survive.
- I can use pain to become.
- Pain is not tragic. Pain is magic. Suffering is tragic. Suffering is what happens when we avoid pain and consequently miss our becoming.
- What scares me a hell of a lot more than pain is living my entire life and missing my becoming. What scares me more than feeling it all is missing it all.
- Even though I can’t know what comes next in my life, I always know what comes next in the process.
I love that because there is a process to empowering your life. And if you know your process and the next step in it, then no matter the depth of the pain, you always have a path. You always know the next step. You are never powerless, even if you are in pain.
The next step in Glennon’s process is “Be Still and Know” which I already shared last week so I will skip to Keys Three and Four next time. If you missed Key Two, go back and read it from my November 9 post.
For now, feel it all. The good stuff and the hard stuff. You can do hard things, and you can become more. Everything you are experiencing and feeling is serving you in ways you can’t even imagine. Don’t avoid the pain only to suffer. Feel the pain and move through it. Your becoming is waiting patiently for you on the other side.
“There is no glory except straight through your story.”
~ Glennon Doyle