“What if pain – like love – is just a place brave people visit?” Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior
Love Warrior is a book about how to turn pain and suffering into love.
This past October 27th, in Visalia, California, I watched Glennon Doyle deliver a sermon about becoming a love warrior. Her commentary about Jesus left me awestruck.
Just to be clear, Glennon isn’t a minister and doesn’t possess religious credentials of any kind.
I found myself sitting in the auditorium of love, listening to Glennon preach the doctrine of love.
So, back to Jesus for a minute.
Jesus never avoided the crucifixion, Glennon reminded us. He knew that pain and suffering awaited Him, but He didn’t shy away from His path. It was the pain, struggle and crucifixion that led to the resurrection.
It was the crucifixion that led to the rising.
Have you noticed that most of us usually try to run from our pain?
You and I would do just about anything to avoid feeling bad for a few hours.
Glennon made me question why we run from our pain when, in fact, pain will lead to our own personal resurrection. It’s the pain that will transform us and help us rise again.
In her popular memoir, Love Warrior, Glennon takes the reader on her life journey through bulimia and alcoholism to marriage, betrayal and divorce.
She uses her life story to show us that we, too, can become the alchemists of our own lives by transforming pain to love.
Here are 7 important life lessons from Glennon’s memoir, Love Warrior, to help you become a love warrior in your life.
1. Just the next right thing.
“I will go to sleep. The sun will rise. I will make breakfast. I will take the kids to school. I will come home and rest…Just the next right thing, one thing at a time.”
When, at a therapy session, Glennon found out about her husband’s betrayal, she panicked as she watched her life spin out of control. Not knowing what to do after coming out of that session, she did the only thing she could do with her life.
When you are in situations of panic or disaster, or have hit rock bottom, your plan can be as simple as hers.
Just take the very next step.
You may not know what all the right things are and what the future holds but you can do the next right thing. Whatever feels right next, do that.
2. Doing the precise thing.
When other people blamed or scorned her for her dissolving marriage, Glennon stopped asking for advice from others and pretending that she didn’t know what to do. She stopped fretting about whether her next actions were right or wrong.
“It’s about doing the precise thing. The precise thing is always incredibly personal and often makes no sense to anyone else.”
You have to do what’s right for you. The divine is speaking to you at all times and guiding you in your life. You know what’s best for yourself. The precise thing is the right thing for you to do next.
3. Tear down the walls and face what’s underneath.
When Glennon didn’t know how to fix – or whether to save – her marriage, she realized that it wasn’t about her marriage.
“All I know is that I need to tear down my own walls and face what’s underneath.”
You have little control of the circumstances and people outside yourself.
To become who you are, you must be willing to go within. To fix the outside, you have to start with the inside.
To progress and become who you are may require going backward and unbecoming who you were.
The journey to who you are requires an internal detour.
4. Sitting in the hot loneliness.
You have a sense of loneliness within you that you may have tried to escape, just as Glennon tried to do.
“I thought I needed to hide these feelings, escape them, fix them, deliver myself from them…I didn’t know that it would pass.”
Just like a hot yoga class that Glennon found herself in, sometimes all it takes is sitting on your yoga mat, feeling pain and not running out of the hot yoga studio.
The pain may be uncomfortable and the heat intolerable, as will be the loneliness. However, if you sit tight and allow the uncomfortable feelings to pass, you’ll realize that you can get through it. The feelings of discomfort are temporary and passing.
5. You are everything you already need.
“What if I don’t need Craig to love me perfectly because I’m already loved perfectly? What if I am the warrior I need? What if I am my own damn hero?”
Your true identity is one of love. You came from love and you are love.
Yet you look for love on the outside. You’re looking for a person to love and complete you when you don’t need anyone to do that.
You just have to observe and embrace the love that’s already there.
Once you’ve embraced your true identity as a love warrior, you will become the most powerful force on Earth.
6. Be real, not perfect.
“I tell them that we can choose to be perfect and admired or to be real and loved. We must decide.”
If you choose to show up in the world as perfect, you have to be an inauthentic version of yourself.
If you choose to be real, you show up as a tender-hearted and vulnerable person. This person will likely suffer hurt more often but will be much stronger than the superficial version of yourself.
You don’t have to hide, terrified about what people think of you.
Show up as how you are with your faults and shortcomings. Your true self is your strength and your authenticity is your gift to the world.
7. Trust yourself.
“I will not betray myself. I will trust the wisdom of the still small voice…I will trust her and I will trust myself.”
It’s easy to let outside society dictate your decisions and actions.
Our intuition is strong, Glennon reminds us, and we should listen to it.
The inner voice that you usually drown out in the midst of a busy life is the voice of reason and wisdom.
The more in tune you are with that voice, the more you’ll take actions that are in your best interest.
Listen to it, trust it and know that it will guide you to what’s right for you in your life.