In this 21st century, most of us pursue lives that are not led on our terms but are dual. With such an advanced connection with the outer world, we are always sharing almost everything around us. The irony is that although we pretend as if we are an open book but it has turned opposite with improving connections because with more people comes the fear of judgment. What usually starts with pretending to be perfect according to others turns into a difficult lifestyle. The book “Untamed” takes us through a similar life story of Glennon Doyle, and how she transformed it for the better.
Glancing at Doyle’s Life
Glennon Doyle was a public figure as a “mommy blogger” and writer. Doyle had a loyal following; millions of women relied on her for honest counsel on marriage and parenting. What’s more, she was about to publish a book, Love Warrior, that described how she and her husband had finally managed to heal their marriage in spite of his multiple affairs just before she met the love of her life. Little did she know that this book is going to turn her life around. Although she painted a healthy picture of her perfect family but the realities lied far away from that as she was not any more attracted or felt connected with her husband.
She anyways continued with the program of promoting and launching her book for which she was to present it at a national book conference. At dinner, Doyle saw her love for the first time and could take her eyes off Abby Wambach, a retired professional soccer player. Abby and Doyle started talking and realized they had a lot in common. The chemistry between them was intense, and they couldn’t stop looking at each other. Though Doyle did not fuel this feeling, they merely wrote each other letters. She had awakened from repressing her feelings when she saw a cheetah in the zoo that was restricted to a small cage, all her wildness stamped out of her. She had conditioned herself to become the perfect woman that society expected her to be. Since age 10 she had been burdened with speculations by society and she caught in between to match the expectations of a good girl while feeling repressed, alcohol and drugs became essential to escape for some time. When she got pregnant she decided to be sober. But she was still living it according to other people’s expectations. She hadn’t managed to break free from the sexist cages she lived in.
Coming out while being a good mother
There was no guarantee that things would work out, and breaking up her family went against everything Doyle believed about being a good mother. These all thoughts always haunted whenever she wanted to do something for herself and put her needs before her family’s. Doyle decided that even if things didn’t work out with Abby, she was no longer willing to be trapped in an unhappy marriage. Hence she told Craig and surprisingly he was so supportive and they both explained this to their kids. That meeting was the first step toward creating a new, blended family.
As we read in Untamed, she finally came out to people she loved, although many like her mother and Christian society did not appreciate it but she was much more confident now. With the book launching in a few weeks she took the boldest decision of her life, i.e. to come out on her blog about her divorce and sexuality. Amazingly, it was welcomed like never before with warm wishes and her book hit like a storm after that.
To build a new life, Doyle had to learn to listen to her own intuition. Doyle had once been so desperate for external validation that she’d even asked Google whether she should stay with her husband after he’d cheated. But after reconnecting with her intuition, she didn’t need to crowdsource her decisions anymore. She lost connection with the church when she was no longer accepted and her beliefs faced questions from her. Although her relationship with God has grown stronger, Doyle has become more skeptical of organized religion. She won’t blindly accept any version of religious teaching that asks her to numb her critical faculties.
Her story, in Untamed, is everyone’s stormy maybe more, maybe less but all of us not living wholly on our terms following default patterns because that seems easy to be acceptable. But there lies a universe of truths if we look without prejudices and ‘untame’ ourselves to find the reality.