Friday, January 16, 2015

Be Still

I had the amazing honor of hearing Glennon Doyle Melton speak last night thanks to some delightful freinds. Let me tell you folks, Glennon Doyle Melton is what is RIGHT with the world. She takes vulnerability to a new level and I learned so much from her both last night and previously from her blog Momastery.

I have been reading her stuff off and on for the past few years but when I really knew I loved this woman was when I read this article by her: Love Letter to Indigo Girls. I too share an (unhealthy at times) love for the Indigo Girls and they are on their own little planet of music so it is rare I find people who also "get" them. I won't tell you how much credit card debt I racked up in college following them around up and down the east coast, or how many of their songs I learned to play on the guitar, or how I know every word to every song they have written. I have probably seen them over 40 times in concert. They are my church...

But back to Glennon. This article- Perspectacles, was the second time I really fell in love with her. I mean- running water is SUCH a miracle- please read it if you haven't already.

I was so excited to hear she was coming and the tickets sold out before I could get one, so I was super grateful my friend Lisa's friend had some extras. Glennon did not disappoint. She walked right out on stage in this church, immediately took her shoes off and sat criss cross applesauce in the chair. She proceeded to answer questions about her life and her faith while we all watched with rapt attention. I wish I had a recording because I would love to hear it again. I did take some notes on a few things that I loved and wanted to share them here. Of course, I will not be able to get anywhere near recreating her wit. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak- do so!!

The thing that Glennon is known for is her brutal honesty and openness about her past and present. I TOTALLY related to her as she spoke about being an introvert and how she has an inability to make small-talk therefore going WAY deeper in conversations with people who weren't ready for that! Most people are too scared to open up about their issues that make them imperfect, but as Glennon pointed out, by keeping quiet and staying on the surface level of small talk, we go around feeling like we are different and therefore we go around feeling lonely. Deep down where all the joy/shame/anger reside, we are ALL the same. Pain is universal. She even said the first second she starts to feel shame about something, she goes straight to the computer to write about it, it needs to be in the light because only in the light do the "gremlins" disappear. She also said that when she shares her shame, people ALWAYS connect with her with lots of "Me too's". She went on to say that we should all be brave enough to tell the truth about ourselves, but always have the kindness to refrain from telling the truth about someone else. In other words, my work on this earth is on myself, NO ONE else. I don't have the right to tell people about themselves, my job is to be a mirror for others. (not sure if this applies to my kids or not;)

Glennon talked about how she always felt called to write, but how she didn't for a long time because she liked watching TV too much. Once she did actually start writing, she would get up in the morning every day because she said she "knows all the things" in the morning before she gets all the messages from the world. She talked about her cloffice which is where she does her writing (her closet which has a desk in it). I loved what she said about following her dreams as she described writing right next to her husbands underwear, she said "Following our dreams is always boring, unsexy, and hard." I loved this because I always thought following my dreams would be energizing, fun, exciting, and mind-blowing. Not the case... It is a good reminder to find the thing you really are called to do because you are going to need to stick it out even during the boring, unsexy, hard times.

Because this was a presentation put on by a church, a lot of the discussion centered on faith. Glennon called herself a progressive Christian and a Jesus Freak. She spoke a lot about her understanding of God and her relationship to a loving God. She said she is an atheist to the God who is vengeful and discriminatory. She spoke a lot about how since she feels she is forgiven, she therefore knows everyone else is forgiven and she doesn't have to be judgey, just love everyone as they are. She spoke on her doubts as well and how some days she isn't even sure if all this God stuff is true. Whats she said she knows for sure though is that NO human can know everything about God. And so those people who think they know everything about God, are NOT the ones she wants to be hanging out with and yet she tells a story about how she has been called to love these people as well.

Her overarching message though was the one that is also tatooed on her wrist. "Be still". Sit in your pain for just a bit longer before reacting. If we all accepted, embraced, and shared our pain, it could dissolve and the world could become a more peaceful place.

There was not one thing I heard last night that I didn't wholeheartedly agree with. Seriously, this woman is making earth a better place. I aspire to be more like her.

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