I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest but in the best way possible, if that can even happen. I mean, it hurts. BAD. But yet, it’s altogether fucking amazing. (warning to my mom and friend H, this is a long one…)
About a month ago, I was doing some research on Amazon and the featured book was Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I didn’t know why, but I was annoyed that it kept showing up like a beacon that I didn’t want to see. I kept avoiding it, hiding my eyes, but every time I went back on to Amazon, there it was again. Argh. All I could think was, another Oprah book that is going to get a ton of attention, good for her. What could possibly be the big deal anyway.
This reaction was so bizarre because I love books. I can’t get enough, especially of spiritual books. Not only that, since when did I care about a book that much that I hadn’t even read? Especially because clearly, I didn’t want to read it.
Next thing I knew my best friend sent me a text telling me I needed to check out the link she shared. It was to a phone conference? (I don’t know what these things are called ugh) between Glennon and Oprah. The sight of her annoyed me and I didn’t even know anything about her. Super loving, right? Anyway, I figured that because my reaction to her was so strong that this call was probably something I needed to watch. Her bubbly voice and cute mannerisms just about sent me into a tizzy. I really didn’t like her.
Then a crazy thing happened. I heard her message. I heard her heart. She was me. I was her. I didn’t like her because I didn’t like myself. I recognized too much of myself in her and it was almost more than I could bear. I became hooked. I began learning more about her. I watched another video call between her and some other love warriors that are touring the country on the Together tour. They are talking about love, friendship, and being completely fucking open and truthful with no apology. I bought a ticket. This is a big freaking deal because I don’t like crowds. I don’t like making friends. And, the thought of going alone makes me wonder what I was thinking. But, I needed to be a part of this. I NEEDED to be a part of this.
I still didn’t have her book. I don’t know, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. I made excuse after excuse. I haven’t budgeted for that. (although I budgeted for a tour ticket?? Lame.) I will go check it out of the library. (I still didn’t have a library card in Atlanta.) I put it in my Amazon cart then took it back out again. Finally, this past weekend I took the plunge. I had to buy a few things on Amazon so I put it back in my cart and made the purchase. Not surprisingly it was same day delivery.
My aversion to this book was so strong that I didn’t even remember buying it mere hours later. I kid you not! I took my boys to the library to finally get our cards and while we were there I placed the book on hold. I was 8 on the list. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I had time to prepare. Prepare for what?
When I got home I think the hazy memory of the morning began floating back because I started to panic about the book. I remember thinking very clearly, “Once I read this book I can’t go back.” Go back to what? I still didn’t even really know what it was about. I knew she preached truth and love, but these aren’t new concepts. But, my soul knew. My soul knew what would happen because of this book the minute I saw it on Amazon and I was scared.
The book came. My body was electrically charged at the sight of it and I couldn’t wait. I started reading it that day. It was late at night so I only got through the first few chapters before falling asleep, but it was a very fitful sleep. My soul was on fire. My story was nothing like hers, yet I was reading my own words. The ones that I didn’t have the strength to say. As a child, I was too much. Too much light. Too much joy. Too much love. It made others so uncomfortable (which was the worst thing in the world to me) that I learned to stuff it all. All of it. For all of my life. Yes, even during my year of hugs. See, that year was an attempt to get it all back.
I finished the book the next day. I cried. Hard. A lot. Not because her story was sad, although it was, but because her story was mine. She used her voice when I couldn’t use mine. She used her voice when so many of us women haven’t been brave enough to. She spoke for us. She calls to us now. Together. We must rise, together.
We serve no one by being small. I cannot be small anymore. It hurts too much. Don’t get me wrong, this unbecoming hurts even worse right now but I know it’s temporary. I know it will end and when it does, I will experience a freedom unlike any I have felt since I was a little girl. I will be free to love unapologetically. I am free to love and I’m not sorry.