The Art of  Variety

One Woman's Journey to Self-Discovery

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning that if you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Now and then, I get sucked into the never-ending YouTube signing videos. Recently, I was watching Youtube videos from The Kelly Clarkson Show. One video featured Glennon Doyle, Alicia Keys, and of course, Kelly Clarkson. The topic was Glennon Doyle's book titled, Untamed. After listening to Kelly and Alicia's insight and opinions on the book, I looked it up on Audible. (If you don't have Audible, but you love to read, I highly recommend it!) Most reviewers raved about this book. Reese Witherspoon said the book is "Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today." Oprah and others named the book one of the Best Books of the Year. If you were paying attention up there two sentences ago, I started with the word "most." That's part of the reason I love Audible. It does not just provide good reviews, but also the bad. One person titled their review "Shockingly shallow and self-centered" and then went on to explain that the book "is nothing more than very articulate whining."

Well, I have two very different viewpoints here. I have celebrities raving that this book will help you find yourself. Then, an individual describes this book as a mere glimpse of adulthood, one in which we all encounter and face. Ultimately, I decided to read it. I wanted to make my own decisions about whether or not this book deserved high praise.

This book pulled me in both directions. Doyle talked about heartbreak delivering purpose, living a life of your own, bitterness, racial injustice, recovery, and an array of other topics. Some more controversial than others. Contentious issues make or break the book. You either agree or disagree. If you choose the path less followed by celebrities, it makes it hard to agree with her book. That is a risk for any author; Doyle was willing to take it to make her point.

In the chapter titled "Deliveries," Doyle makes a statement that truly resonated. She first asks the reader, "Where is the pain in the world that you just cannot stand?" Then goes on to state, "The thing that breaks your heart is the very thing that you were born to help heal. Every world changer's work begins with a broken heart." When I stopped to think about these simple but powerful words, they made all the sense.

Ellen DeGeneres is broken-hearted about the elephants and therefore started the #BeKindToElephants Campaign. Ashton Kutcher created the DNA Foundation to raise awareness about and eliminate child sex slavery worldwide. Millions of Americans volunteer on Mission Trips yearly to teach, provide medical support, and develop communities. These examples extend nationwide, but there are events taking place in your local community. Her question made me stop and ask myself, "What truly breaks my heart?"

Another statement that Doyle made was, "I think we are only bitter about other people's joy in direct proportion to our commitment to keeping joy from ourselves." Oh wow, that is good. Initially, I stopped to ask myself, "What is she talking about? Why would I intentionally sabotage my joy?" Then I realized we sabotage ourselves unconsciously.

As human beings, we are constantly self-sabotaging. It's part of our internal divide that dates back to the garden of Eden and humans' desire to seize autonomy. We desire things that we cannot have, and we blame others for going out and taking what they want. She then goes on to state, "The more often I do things I want to do, the less bitter I am at people for doing what they want to do." This, this is truth.

Later in the book, in a chapter titled "Ideas," she describes a scene where her ex-husband sat her down to talk about raising their first child side-by-side instead of getting married. She explains that "he knew." Then she goes on to describe a scenario where a friend asked her about her relationship, and Doyle said that they would have to break up up, "she knew." They both knew, but yet they stayed because of this idea of "SHOULD." The SHOULD idea is influenced primarily by societal views. That two people who are going to have a child SHOULD be married. Or that a successful life SHOULD include college, a job, marriage, and then children.

The SHOULD idea is garbage. Per Doyle, "Right is not real and should is a cage." If I were to agree with nothing else from this entire book, I would at least agree with that.

She covers various topics throughout this book, including but not limited to racial injustice, recovery, co-parenting, and marriage. The reviews were both correct. She does blame others, but she also blames herself. She uses each significant event to piggyback on other aspects of life events. I may disagree with her political ideology, ideas about God, or various elements. That's fine; I don't have to agree with them. If each book I read provides at least one positive thing that I can relate to and use to better my life, I find success. Glennon Doyle's book, Untamed, did just that.

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