I am intimidated to even write a review of this book because I know I cannot do it justice. To be honest, I didn’t even know who Glennon Doyle was, but I follow Reese Witherspoon on Instagram, and she had it on her book club page. I saw the book at the library, so I just grabbed it and had no idea that it was about to change my life. Now I want everyone I know to read the book.
I examined numerous aspects of my life throughout the entire book and thought: Who am I? Who do I want to be? What kind of mom am I? What kind of mom do I want to be? Or better yet, what kind of person do I want to be? The analogies and metaphors used to explain different parts of our lives are so beautifully written that it brought me to tears, and I admire her for writing this powerful book.
Doyle writes with such honesty and is so relatable that even though her struggles have been different than my own, I felt my own pain through her stories. Untamed addresses concerns that all women face and makes the reader feel like she needs to take action to start living the life she deserves, not the life that she is ‘supposed’ to be living. While reading her book, I just kept thinking, “I really wish I was her friend.” And “I can’t wait to start living my life for me.”
Listen to The Knowing.
“Be still and know” (56).
This is really just listening to our guts and trusting ourselves. We should be living our own lives for ourselves and no one else. Don’t worry about everyone else. This seems like something we have all heard a million times, but Doyle writes about it in a way that makes us feel like we haven’t listened hard enough, and now we want to. We need to slow down and really listen to the inner voice.
Society has put us in cages.
Own Your Wanting. Eat the Apple. Let it Burn.” (122).
We try to make ourselves fit into these roles for no reason other than that’s the way it has always been. Media has been brainwashing women and men to believe that in order to be successful or special a person must be a certain way, and we need to break free from these ideas. Let go of the world’s expectations of us and set our own expectations. We cannot be contained in boxes anymore, and there really shouldn’t be any boxes anyway.
We can do hard things.
“To be brave is to forsake all others to be true to yourself” (106).
Pain is good. People grow through painful experiences. Often when we lean into the pain and listen to our inner voices, that is the moment when we will see how to break free from the pain. Sometimes we listen to others because we want them to like us, or we don’t want to rock the boat, but we are not being true to ourselves when we are doing things that make us uncomfortable to make others feel more comfortable.
“Selfless women make for an efficient society but not a beautiful, true, or just one” (75).
Mothers devote everything to our children and our family, but somewhere along the way, we forget who we are and what we love. We forget that we are allowed to have our own goals, dreams, and happiness. We can’t lose ourselves trying to serve others. We need to get our spark back and find out what makes us feel alive and gives us joy.
We have to let our kids feel pain and struggle through life. We are failing them by protecting them from everything. Moms want to to what is best for our children, and we question if we are doing it right all day every day.
We have to give our daughters messages about finding their true inner voice, even if it doesn’t fit into any kind of expectation from others. Also, we need to let our sons be who they need to be. We can no longer project the identities that have been forced upon us for centuries.
Family is work, and family is love. No member of a family recovers until each member recovers.
“How am I showing up today, in this civil rights era?” (209).
Look inward at our own biases. Turn ourselves inside out and unlearn ideas that we hold onto. Show up and tell the truth when we see injustice. People will get criticized and go through pain, but we will learn and grow from the experience. People have a responsibility to all of humanity.
Activism Together Rising
“Blessed are those brave enough to makes things awkward, for they wake us up and move us forward” (222).
Go upstream…this means to find the problem that pains us and do something about it. Then when we find the problem, ask ourselves, “Who or what is causing this problem?” Try to take action to fix it. For me, this is working with kids who need extra love and support. This book made me want to do more, be more, and fight harder for what matters to me.
This is just a small portion of what I took away from this book. I would love to hear other people’s perspectives on this insightful read! Please share the life lessons that you took away from Untamed!