Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call on trusting ourselves.
For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her own discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. This was her own voice—the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. Glennon decided to quit abandoning herself and to instead abandon the world’s expectations of her. She quit being good so she could be free. She quit pleasing and started living.
Read on for six life-changing lessons we learnt from Untamed, on finding ourselves, honouring our anger and heartbreak, and unleashing our truest, wildest instincts.
Embrace sensitivity as an emblem of bravery, as it takes courage to sense and to stand by that response amidst dismissal.
The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor…The culture depends on the sensitivity of a few, because nothing can be healed if it’s not sensed first.
Never undermine or under-value the validity of your own desires, feelings and ambitions.
I was wild until I was tamed by shame. Until I started hiding and numbing my feelings for fear of being too much. Until I started deferring to others’ advice instead of trusting my own intuition. Until I became convinced that my imagination was ridiculous and my desires were selfish. Until I surrendered myself to the cages of others’ expectations, cultural mandates, and institutional allegiances.
Pain and the feeling of sorrow are not meant to be avoided, it is meant to be felt-for resurrection and evolution.
I can use pain to become. I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever. To be alive is to be in a perpetual state of revolution. Whether I like it or not, pain is the fuel of revolution. Everything I need to become the woman I’m meant to be next is inside my feelings of now.
Be still and know. When you block out the distractions, and reach within yourself, you find the answers, the meaning already there waiting to be trusted.
It’s my daily reminder that, if I am willing to sit in the stillness with myself, I always know what to do. That the answers are never out there. They are as close as my breath and as steady as my heartbeat. All I have to do is stop flailing, sink below the surface, and feel for the nudge and the gold. Then I have to t rust it, no matter how illogical or scary the next right thing seems.
Don’t be afraid to ‘destroy’ your life, because it’s only then that you can begin anew, to rise like as phoenix from the ashes of destruction.
Destruction is essential to construction. If we want to build the new, we must be willing to let the old burn. We must be committed to holding on to nothing but the truth. We must decide that if the truth inside us can burn a belief, a family structure, a business, a religion, an industry— it should have become ashes yesterday.
Sometimes the best way to reclaim your life is to simply cede the need to control, to restrain, yourself
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.
Extracts from Untamed by Glennon Doyle (2020)