Read This: Carry on, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Monday, April 13, 2015

There are few books I ever re-read. My usual stance is I know the story, I know what happened, let me read something else. But THIS book? I've already re-read passages, and I can see myself referring to it for, you know, ever:

For those of you who haven't heard of Glennon Doyle Melton, I recommend watching her TED talk first. It's one of my favorite TED talks of all time (and I'm a bit of a TED addict.) She's a recovering bulimic, alcoholic, and drug user who now has three kids, a popular blogan inspiring non-profit, and is full of love. But she isn't perfect. Nothing about her book is perfect. Her book is both beautiful and brutal, just like life. 

The Chicago Tribune calls Melton "the anti-Instagram" and I couldn't agree. 

You know how Instagram is often perfect slices of people's lives, filtered excessively to crop out the sadness? Instagram can make you want to scream "I'll have what she's having!" even though you know it's probably fake. Melton is the antidote to Instagram; Melton is a truth teller. She shares hard, brutal slices of her truth. She tells her whole story. Even parts where you raise your eyebrows and think "Did she really just say that? I totally would've left that out." But those moments, combined, are what make her book so extraordinarily relatable.

"Life is a quest to find an unfindable thing. This is the problem. Life is a bit of a set up." is how Melton convincingly begins chapter three. I couldn't help myself from tweeting that quote, and had to restrain myself from breaking the book down into 140 character bits and tweeting the whole thing. It's so refreshing to read such an honest account of life that I just wanted to share it! I am not a recovering bulimic, alcoholic, or drug user. And I am not a parent (except to my beloved cat). But, of course , I have struggles. I've struggled with depression in the past, and, somedays, the world just seems like a terrible place to be in, right? We've all been there/are there.

Carry On, Warrior is a book of feeling, a book of healing. Melton opens her whole world to you, and, by doing so, makes you feel better about your own. The resounding, uplifting message is we are all in this together.

One of my favorite chapters, Namaste, relates Mother Teresa's work in Calcutta to our lives today. She writes that when Mother Teresa wanted to see God, "...she didn't look up and away; she looked into the eyes of the person sitting next to her. Which is harder. Better."

And, even if going to remote parts of the world is not your jam, "I know that Calcutta is everywhere. All of us live in some sort of poverty. Poverty of hope, poverty of peace, poverty of love. We are all poor in one way or another. Mama T. used to call material poverty the easiest poverty to alleviate."

Namaste means "the divine light in me sees and honors the divine light in you," after all. Sometimes we get so caught up in yoga goals we forget all about that.

Melton is a Christian, and this book has a Christian lean (she often references the Bible). I wanted to "warn" you in case Bible mentions totally cramp your style. But then I also wanted to also encourage you, especially if Bible references make you squirm, to give this book a chance. Maybe you were raised in terribly oppressive Christian setting or feel constantly excluded from the Church due to your sexual orientation or personal beliefs. Melton's Christian perspective is so refreshing and so inclusive that, if you're going to give any Christian book a chance, I encourage you to make it this one. Because her book isn't one of exclusion, it's one of love.

She's also hilarious.

As you can tell, I can't recommend this book highly enough! Anyone else read an inspiring book lately that you want to just shout from the mountain tops? Would love to hear as I'm officially in between books! Hope your weeks are off to a good start! xx

p.s. On her blog, she recently wrote a beautiful piece in support of marriage equality where she wrote "I support equal rights for my gay neighbors not even though I’m a Christian, but BECAUSE I’m a Christian." I recommend reading it if you'd like a sample of her writing before reading the book. (Though that essay itself is not in the book.) (You can also read her entire blog, which I recommend :)

p.p.s. The link to the book is an amazon affiliate link, meaning, if you buy it through the link I make a small commission, but the price is unchanged for you. You can also borrow my copy for free if you want —let me know!

p.p.p.s. (Oh my gosh am I in 4th grade?) Thank you, Stephen, for buying me this book for our 5 year anniversary! :)

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