This was an engaging and fast read, and was a very good memoir. Glennon Doyle Melton delivers a great account of her becoming who she is today, incorporating all the trials and tribulations that formed her into her current self (well, current as of the end of the book; she has changed quite a bit since its publication). Her very confessional style is a little new to me, but feels modern and matches how younger generations communicate today. The most striking feature of her writing is the emphasis on her emotions — how she feels, how she is able to make them physical, how she adjusts and prepares and experiences them. It is an extremely helpful insight for me into how women experience interactions, and I recognized some of the same differences between her and her husband that I see in my own life and friends.
I would encourage anybody to read this book, though perhaps particularly my male friends who could benefit from a woman’s open perspective. The idea that she learns through the mind and emotions, whereas he learns through the body and physicality, was both a valuable insight and a good reminder. My big takeaway is that women FEEL whereas men feel. I know this type of knowledge extends back to the “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” books and much earlier, but in this day of equal rights and everybody being treated the same, I think it’s useful to remember that people learn and experience life differently. It often breaks down along gender lines, though not always, and this perspective can help me focus more on learning how others learn, rather than assuming everyone learns and experiences life as I do.
There was also a tremendous power in the way she approaches faith. That God is far too big to be constrained by the hierarchies and structures we humans have put in place. It’s a feeling that I have been evolving to, and her overall approach probably mirrors my understanding better than most others I have understood. She retains a lot of Christian language, which I do identify with, but offers the open love and freedom that many people are migrating to. It reminds me of the movie Stigmata, surprisingly, where they explore the “not approved” Gospels, talking about finding God under a rock and everywhere, rather than only in Church and through proper actions. To take Christian thought literally, that God loves us no matter what, I do find a great dissonance with how we are scolded and shamed and intimidated into acting a certain way. It also reminds me of some people I got to know in college, who were very forward about their Christianity — and it turned me off, as being inauthentic and false. I appreciate humility and a willingness to be uncertain, and have found myself growing comfortable with uncertainty. It’s not easy in this world, given the political and financial and religious pressures, but I think it is more authentic.