Glennon Doyle is an activist, speaker and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Love Warrior,” as well as the New York Times bestseller, “Carry On, Warrior," stories about redemption as she overcame addiction and repaired her family.
She’s back with a new book titled, “Untamed,” a memoir where she continues her journey of self discovery after overcoming her husband's infidelities, dealing with divorce, and finding herself in love again and remarried to Olympic star Abby Wambach.
The message of her book? We must untame ourselves and live free from societal confines and ideas about how we should behave in order to bravely find our inner voice. Doyle’s book is out March 10, but in the meantime, read below for two excerpts.
When Abby and I first fell in love, we had hundreds of miles and a million obstacles keeping us apart. The facts laid out in front of us made a future together seem impossible. So we’d tell each other about the true and beautiful unseen order we felt pressing through our skin. Our imaginings always included each other and the water.
Abby wrote this to me from the other coast, one evening before she fell asleep:
“It’s early in the morning and I’m sitting on our dock watching the sunrise. I look and see you in your pajamas, still sleepy, walking toward me, holding two mugs of coffee. We just sit there on the dock together, my back against the piling, your back against my chest, watching the fish jump and the sun rise. We have nowhere to be but together.”
The harder things became, the more often we’d return to that morning Abby had imagined for us. That dock, her, me, two steaming mugs of coffee: That image became our unseen order, guiding us forward. We had faith.
A year later, Abby made dinner for the six of us: the kids, Craig, and me. We all sat down to eat on the back porch of the home off the Gulf of Mexico that Abby and I bought together. It was a gorgeous evening, the sky all purples and oranges and the breeze steady and warm. We ate and laughed and then cleared the table together. Craig left for his Sunday-evening soccer game, and the kids finished the dishes and then sat down on the couch to watch a show. Honey, our bulldog, snuggled up on Amma’s lap, and Abby walked outside to our dock: the Doyle Melton Wamdock. I watched from inside as she sat down with her back against a piling and looked out at the canal. I poured two hot teas and walked out to join her. She looked back toward me, and by her smile, I knew she was remembering. We sat on the dock together, my back against her chest, her back against the piling, and we watched the fish jump while the sun set and the sky celebrated in deeper and deeper purples.
Before we went back inside, I snapped a picture of us, smiling with the sun setting behind us, and later I posted it. Someone commented, “Gah. You’re so lucky to have each other and this life.”
I replied, “It’s true. We are terribly lucky. It is also true that we imagined this life before it existed and then we each gave up everything for the one-in-a-million chance that we might be able to build it together. We did not fall into this world we have now, we made it. I’ll tell you this: The braver I am, the luckier I get.”
I’ve spent much of my life lost in the woods of pain, relationships, religion, career, service, success, and failure. Looking back on those times, I can trace my lostness back to a decision to make something outside myself my Touch Tree. An identity. A set of beliefs. An institution. Aspirational ideals. A job. Another person. A list of rules. Approval. An old version of myself.
Now when I feel lost, I remember that I am not the woods. I am my own tree. So I return to myself and reinhabit myself. As I do, I feel my chin rise and my body straighten.
I reach deeply into the rich soil beneath me, made up of every girl and woman I’ve ever been, every face I’ve loved, every love I’ve lost, every place I’ve been, every conversation I’ve had, every book I’ve read and song I’ve sung, everything, everything, crumbling and mixing and decomposing underneath. Nothing wasted. My entire past there, holding me up and feeding me now. All of this too low for anyone else to see, just there for me to draw from. Then up and up all the way to my branches, my imagination, too high for anyone else to see—reaching beyond, growing toward the light and warmth. Then the middle, the trunk, the only part of me entirely visible to the world. Pulpy and soft inside, just tough enough on the outside to protect and hold me. Exposed and safe.
I am as ancient as the earth I’m planted in and as new as my tiniest bloom. I am my own Touch Tree: strong, singular, alive. Still growing.
I have everything I need, beneath me, above me, inside me.
I am never gonna lose me.
Excerpted from UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle. Copyright © 2020 by Glennon Doyle. Excerpted by permission of Dial Press, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.