It was late March and a few weeks into quarantine. I had lost my job of 9 years, my dog of 10 years and whatever faith I still had left in humanity. I was feeling a bit gutted when Brené Browne showed up in a new way. If you are not familiar with Brené’s work, she has spent over two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She’s had five books hit #1 New York Times status, but she’s never had her own podcast before. One of Brené’s first podcast guests was Glennon Doyle. Glennon is also a New York Times #1 bestseller, but there is something special about her latest book, Untamed. I swear if you didn’t know it, you would think Glennon wrote this book post-pandemic. She’s that in touch. She’s that aware.
The book begins with a wild cheetah living in captivity and a metaphor that will rock you. This book is a call to action. Glennon suggests that we must, as a society, unlearn the taming that has kept so many of us small, voiceless and afraid to speak our truth. Although she focuses on women, it is not lost on me that her message is universal, especially right now.
Glennon says, “We do not need more selfless women. What we need right now is more women who have detoxed themselves so completely from the world’s expectations that they are full of nothing but themselves. What we need are women who are full of themselves. A woman who is full of herself knows and trusts herself enough to say and do what must be done. She lets the rest burn.”
― Glennon Doyle, Untamed
A main theme throughout her book is the concept of undoing what we were conditioned to think.We are unraveling right now and I can’t help but think that maybe everything has to fall apart like this. Maybe it all has to burn to the ground before we can lovingly and honestly love ourselves, animals and each other.
Glennon can make you feel slightly uncomfortable at times because you know exactly what she means with lines like these:
“A woman becomes a responsible parent when she stops being an obedient daughter.”
“My children do not need me to save them. My children need to watch me save myself.”
“I did not know that I was supposed to feel everything. I thought I was supposed to feel happy.”
She also talks about religion, race and privilege.
“To me, faith is not a public allegiance to a set of outer beliefs, but a private surrender to the inner Knowing.“― Glennon Doyle, Untamed
“Privilege is being born on third base. Ignorant privilege is thinking you’re there because you hit a triple. Malicious privilege is complaining that those starving outside the ballpark aren’t waiting patiently enough.”
― Glennon Doyle, Untamed
There is a reason this book is a Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick. There is a reason this book is having a moment.
Reese says: “This memoir is so packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today, what did we learn as young girls about how to behave or believe, and why we need to free ourselves from a lot of these ideas that don’t work anymore.
I understand that this book won’t be for everyone, but for me, this book was like Chicken Soup for my entire soul. It spoke to me as an empath, who is ridden with anxiety, in a way that no other piece of literature ever has. It gave me the kick in the ass I needed to start listening to my knowing. I have gifted this book to several of my closest and fiercest friends and I hope you will too!