There's a new memoir out by Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the popular blog Momastery. While Love Warrior is not a book for those typically in line with the status quo, it is a moving story of personal empowerment, what it means to be a woman in a world built for men, and what it looks like to fight for love.
After devouring the book in a few short sittings, I'm convinced I'm a love warrior.
Here are six signs you are, too:
1. You are not happy all the time
Allowing yourself the full range of human emotions which include: love, joy and happiness, as well as anger, grief, sadness and pain, is how we experience the full breadth of what it means to be alive. Not allowing ourselves to feel negative emotions, actually diminishes our ability to feel positive emotions too. As Brenè Brown has so widely shared—we can’t numb the pain if we want to feel the joy.
2. You show up
Despite feeling as if you’re letting others down, or you're not good enough, or strong enough, or pretty enough or thin enough, or whatever enough, you show up and do your best. Because that’s what warriors do; They get busy doing the work that needs to be done.
3. You are comfortable with uncomfortableness
Life is messy, or as Glennon calls it “brutiful,” a lexicon of brutal and beautiful. If we are ever to reach our highest potential, we won’t always have a guarantee things will work out the way we expect. To truly live, we must have the courage to take a step forward without being able to see all the way to the outcome. And as is so beautifully illustrated in this memoir, would we want to know the end result anyway? We miss the whole point if we demand perfection.
4. You tune the world out, so you can tune into you
Sometimes the most courageous thing is to go back to bed. As I navigate my own separation and imminent divorce, self-care is the most critical piece to being able to care for my children. The laundry will wait, as will the dishes, and my children will notice my mood much more than than they will a spotless kitchen floor.
And despite chaos ripping holes through your daily reality that threatens to completely destroy you, there’s a small steady voice inside guiding you toward the truth. You believe it, and follow it.
5. You turn pain into beauty
Glennon herself is such a beautiful example of this. She’s taken what so many would view as complete failure (being a bulimic, alcoholic, unwed mother) and turned it into the masterpiece of her life. She’s created an online community where imperfect warriors can gather, share their truths, and celebrate the truth that they are still worthy of love. In a world full of , it’s refreshing to know there are Graceful Glennon’s out there, shining a light from the refugee, enCOURAGing us to be still until we hear that voice inside guiding us which way to move.
You're clearly a love warrior if you take the pain of something, and turn it into something beautiful—a work of art. Whether it’s a story, a photograph, a painting, or a meal; You transform the energy of the emotion—and channel it for good.
6. You honor your whole truth
Here I’ll share one of my favorite passages from the book. Glennon shares the questions that haunted her her whole life and sometimes still do as she watches her young daughters wrestle with the same dilemmas: “How can I be expansive and free and still be loved? Am i going to be a lady or am I going to be fully human? Do I trust the unfolding and continue to grow, or do I shut all of this down so I fit?”
If you find yourself walking this line of honoring yourself while meeting the needs of those around you—then you most certainly are a love warrior. One who knows that she’s no good to anyone, unless she’s good to herself.
My connection to this memoir
Love Warrior miraculously showed up on my doorstep just after my husband had moved back in our home after a trial separation. As in, an advance copy was literally was mailed to me by the publisher and an invitation for my thoughts on the book. I’m not sure why or how, but I know in times likes these, it’s best not to ask questions and argue with the powers that be, insisting there must be some mistake.
It’s best to make a cup of tea, sit down and read the book that clearly was sent to you via divine message from the universe.
And so I did.
So much courage, truth, love and vulnerability in one book.
What made the experience all the more resonate for me, was the post Glennon had shared just weeks before, announcing her imminent divorce. Though the book chronicled her separation and then eventual reconciliation with her husband, life happened outside the pages of her book, and destroyed any hope of a nice tidy storybook ending. The marketing and PR people surrounding her had advised (ie begged) for her to wait to announce the truth until after the book's release in September. They warned it would affect book sales.
Instead, she stood scared and yet propped up by the strength of her truth.
THAT, my friends, is a Love Warrior.
One who speaks their truth, even when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable.
"The truth has legs; it always stands.
When everything else in the room has blown up or dissolved away,
the only thing left standing will always be the truth.
Since that's where you're gonna end up anyway,
you might as well just start there."
Rayya Elias' Truth Mantra
So for me, Love Warrior wasn't something I'd add to my list of interested books on Goodreads.
No, it was something I had to read, and absorb the messages written for me. And while the fate of my own relationship is still not determined, there were so many truths that jumped off the page and into my soul, and all I could was offer a sincere cry of gratitude to whichever creative being knew it was just what I needed, at just the right time.
I found immense comfort in Glennon's courage to share such deep and painful truths. As I sat reading her journey, I felt like a flannel blanket had been wrapped around my shivering shoulders as I faced the truth of my own relationship. Her courage, enCOURAGED me, that honoring my truth was indeed the only thing within my control.
As women, we internalize the message that if love ends, that it was never there and we have failed. But I would like to offer an alternative truth. Perhaps when love ends, it is just that. That chapter is over, and it doesn’t mean love was never there, it just means it's taken a new form.
"What if the transporting is keeping me from transformation? What if my hot loneliness was never a mistake, but an invitation? What if in skipping the pain, I was missing my lessons? Instead of running away from my pain, was I supposed to run toward it? Perhaps pain was not a hot potato after all, but a traveling professor. Maybe instead of slamming the door on pain, I need to throw open the door wide and say, Come in. Sit down with me. And don't leave until you've taught me everything I need to know."
- Glennon Doyle, "Love Warrior"
Glennon's ability to share her pain so beautifully, combined with my own personal experiences at the moment, have convinced me, my job is to stand in gratitude for the many ways in which love shows up in my life, even though it may not look the way I'd hoped or wanted. And that by giving myself permission to fully embody who I am, I give my daughter and every other woman on the plant, permission to do the same.
Here's to being a love warrior.
Meet Tiffiney Lozano
Tiffiney Lozano is the creator of the Mama Said Project and two crazy humans. She offers workshops for women craving connection with themselves and the world around them. After 18- months of continuous travel she and her family are finding adventure in the everyday from the comfort and beauty of their home in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe.
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