I just finished Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I hadn’t read her first book, Carry On Warrior – I do plan to at some point. I will admit, Love Warrior wasn’t high on my list to read. I am only somewhat familiar with Glennon’s work through her Momastery site. And Love Warrior is her memoir, so I just wasn’t sure if I should read it without familiarizing myself with more of her work and figured I should read Carry On Warrior first. Then my friend Sara talked about the book at our first book club meeting and how positive of a read it was in the days post election. So she sold me on it and I borrowed it from her. And it sat on my shelf for the next couple of months until I realized that I need to read it and give it back to her because she has other people waiting to read it. I don’t know what I was waiting for. I couldn’t put it down.
Glennon has a very approachable writing style. It’s not preachy. She’s doesn’t claim to have all the answers. She simply shares her story and what saved her. It is not a “self help” book in any stretch of the imagination. It is simply her heart and soul and passion.
She shares first about her childhood and how it was wonderful and ideal but somehow she lost herself in her teen years to bulimia and alcoholism. She tries to get help many times at the urging of her family but nothing really takes until she finds herself pregnant in her early 20’s. She takes it as a sign and manages to turn her life around for the sake of her child. She marries the father of the child and they have a happy early marriage, going on to have another couple of children. Then she learns he was unfaithful to her. The rest of the book covers her journey to find herself again and how she is able to mend the fences of her marriage.
It might sound like a bleak, horrible picture, but the overall message in the entire book is one of hope. Through church and yoga and other medatitive practices, Glennon finds her peace. She speaks of how when you’re in the trenches you have to become a Warrior. You have to keep fighting.
A couple of points that stuck out to me in particular. After learning she is pregnant Glennon goes to see a priest at the urging of her parents. She describes a scene before he meets with her where she is in a sanctuary with a statue of the Virgin Mary and how safe, protected and loved she felt there with Mary. I relate to that, as a Catholic I’ve always had a deep devotion to Mary and many of the prayers and hymns that are dedicated to Mary have always been of the most comfort to me. And I feel especially connected with her given my child was born mere weeks before Christmas.
The other point that stuck out to me and I actually wrote it down was a quote early in the book about music – “Music is an invitation to feel, quiet is an invitation to think.” In her case, she didn’t want to feel, so she wouldn’t let herself listen to certain music. For me, I do like to choose music to feel – whether it is happiness or sadness, music is everything in my opinion, but sometimes you need that quiet to think things through as well. So I really liked that quote.
Overall I really enjoyed her story, I appreciate her sharing so deeply and while I have nothing in my life that is that hard or difficult, I like the idea of trying to face life as a Warrior. I would like to read Carry On Warrior now. I regret that I wasn’t able to make it to a talk that Glennon gave here a couple of months ago. If she ever comes back, I hope to catch her because if her speaking is anything like her writing, I would love to listen.