As I started reading the book, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, I thought all women should read this book. Then I thought, all parents should read this book. Now, I think everyone should read this book. Doyle makes remarkable observations about life, written in an easy, witty style. It’s her memoir so, you’re reading about her personal life experiences, but from them, she offers up advice on how everyone can live their personal best life.
Throughout the book, I had moments of, “I never thought of it like that” and “that’s exactly what happened to me” and “I wish I had read this when we were raising our kids”. Doyle is insightful, offering messages on a range of topics, such as:
– the different ways we treat boys vs girls and how that affects them
– how easily people can get trapped in lives they aren’t happy with
– the importance of acknowledging feelings, not hiding from them
– talking to kids about online porn – every parent should read this!
– how to break out of our cultural cage to become who we’re meant to be
– and so much more.
Here are a few of the gems I found in this book:
“Femininity is just a set of human characteristics a culture pours into a bucket and slaps with the label feminine. When we say, girls are nurturing and boys are ambitious. Girls are soft and boys are tough. Girls are emotional and boys are stoic, we are not telling truths, we are sharing beliefs—beliefs that have become mandates. If these statements seem true, it’s because everyone has been so well programmed. Human qualities are not gendered. What is gendered is permission to express certain traits.”
“When I was a child, I felt what I needed to feel and I followed my gut and I planned only from my imagination. 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. Until I buried who I was in order to become what I should be. I lost myself when I learned how to please.”
“The legal system proves to us again and again that even our own memories and experiences will not be trusted. If twenty women come forward and say, “He did it,” and he says, “No, I didn’t,” they will believe him while discounting and maligning us every damn time.”
“I did not know that all feelings were for feeling. I did not know that I was supposed to feel everything. I thought I was supposed to feel happy. I thought that happy was for feeling and that pain was for fixing and numbing and deflecting and hiding and ignoring. I thought that when life got hard, it was because I had gone wrong somewhere. I thought that pain was weakness and that I was supposed to suck it up.”
“You’re not doing life wrong; you’re doing it right. If there’s any secret you’re missing, it’s that doing it right it’s just really hard. Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they’re for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones. The secret is that you’re doing it right and that doing it right hurts sometimes.”
“I see that you’re upset. Are you ready for a solution yet? Or do you just need to feel this way for a while?”
“Your business is to stay loyal to you. That way, you will always know that those who do like and love you are really your people. You’ll never be forced to hide or act in order to keep people if you don’t hide or act to get them.”
This book has something for everyone, wisdom for both men and women. Take what speaks to you and ignore the rest. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself laughing out loud while reading. Enjoy, and you can thank me later. In fact, come back and let me know what pearls of wisdom you found, in the comments below.
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