God compelled a friend to put this book in my hands at exactly the right time on my life journey. “Love Warrior” struck me so deeply that I feel compelled to share excerpts of the book with you. In the spirit of being real and loved.
I have lived most of my life as two people…my self and my representative as Glennon puts it. A highly sensitive person on the inside struggling with how to manage a really large range of intense feelings (self). A tough, impatient and smiley person on the outside doing and achieving in order to avoid all those feelings (representative).
Now I realize I’ve been living a half life. Feeling half the love and pain while stifling the other half. Robbing myself of all that God has blessed me to experience in this life. No more. This book, and specifically these passages have completely changed the way I think about the beautiful dichotomy of love and pain in my life. Challenging me to surrender to all that God has planned for me. I hope Glennon and God are able to touch your heart the way they have touched mine with this writing.
Oh my God…what if the transporting is keeping me from transformation? What if my anger, my fear, my loneliness were never mistakes, but invitations? What if in skipping the pain, I was missing my lessons? Instead of running away from my pain, I was supposed to run toward it? Perhaps pain was not a hot potato after all, but a traveling professor. Maybe instead of slamming the door on pain, I need to throw open the door wide and say, Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.
I’ve never let myself trust love because I’ve never let myself trust pain. What if pain – like love – is just a place brave people visit? What if both require presence, staying on your mat, and being still? If this is true, then maybe instead of resisting the pain, I need to resist the easy buttons.
Addictions are safe little deadly hiding places where sensitive people retreat from love and pain. No one can touch us there, so we feel protected. But since love and pain are the only things that grow us, we start dying as soon as we hide. The cage I built to protect myself from the world’s toxins also stole my oxygen. I didn’t know how I need to be seen and known like I needed air.
People who are hurting don’t need Avoiders, Protectors, or Fixers. What we need are patient, loving witnesses. People who sit quietly and hold space for us. People who stand in helpless vigil to our pain.
There on the floor, I promise myself that I’ll be that kind of mother, that kind of friend. I’ll show up and stand humble in the face of a loved one’s pain. I’ll admit I’m as empty-handed, dumbstruck, and out of ideas as she is. I won’t try to make sense of things ore require more than she can offer. I won’t let my discomfort with her pain keep me from witnessing it for her. I’ll never try to grab or fix her pain, because I know that for as long as it takes, her pain will also be her comfort. It be all she has left. Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved.
The Journey of the Warrior. This is it. The journey is learning that pain, like love, is simply something to surrender to. It’s a holy space we can enter with people only if we promise not to tidy up. So I will sit with my pain by letting my own heart break. I will love others in pain by volunteering to let my heart break with theirs. I’ll be helpless and broken and still – surrendered to my powerlessness. Mutual surrender, maybe that’s an act of love. Surrendering to this thing that’s bigger than we are: this love, this pain. The courage to surrender comes from knowing that the love and pain will almost kill us, but not quite.
I will be a Love Warrior. I am here for you. God bless.