In a live appearance at UCLA’s Royce Hall, New York Times best-selling author Glennon Doyle asks what would happen if we stopped being afraid of our pain. The founder of the online community Momastery and president of the nonprofit organization Together Rising, Glennon takes us on what she calls the “journey of the warrior,” explaining there is no easy way out when it comes to life’s challenges. “The willingness to dwell in our discomfort and truly listen is how we turn our pain into power,” she says.

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00:00:00I'm Oprah Winfrey welcome to Super Soul conversations the podcast I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present your journey to become more inspired and connect it to the deeper world around us starts right now
00:00:27when I first read Glennon Doyle book Love Warrior
00:00:32I felt like I knew this girl she was funny and she was wise and she felt like a friend to me Glenn and spoke for so many people who don't feel brave enough to speak their own truth and after sitting down with her on Super Soul Sunday I now call her a Super Soul Visionary she is Glennon Doyle Melton session is Title First the pain then the rising
00:01:11hello super solars holy cow here we are okay so I have a couple questions for us today the first one is this
00:01:22how would our lives and our relationship and our world transform if we stopped being so afraid of pain
00:01:31what if we just once and for all decided that we were strong enough for the pain in our lives to instead of hiding from it we just rushed straight toward it and allowed our paying to become our power
00:01:44so I'm a person who hid from pain for the first half of my life when I was 10 years old and looked out at the scary world and I decided that I was too weak for it so I dropped out of life and into bulimia and then alcoholism until I was 25 and found myself on that bathroom floor shaking and holding that positive pregnancy test
00:02:08and finding myself decided that I wanted to become a mother
00:02:13but at that point I'd been an addict for 15 years so I didn't even know how to be a human being
00:02:20so I decided that my best bet would be just to fake it to just look around for other women who seem to be adulting successfully and just copy them so my criteria was that I looked for women who were wearing scarves
00:02:42right his eye I just feel like if you are the type of woman who gets up early enough to like stop and look in the mirror and be like so you know what this outfit needs is a scarf
00:02:54and then you have bought a scarf at some point and you know where to find said scarf and once you find the scarf you know how to do that tying thing then you are just crushing life you know
00:03:06so I became a scarf where and I became a wife and a mother and a writer and an activist because I thought that growing up meant becoming things and then I'm 12 years later my husband told me that he'd been unfaithful to me our entire marriage
00:03:26and that's when my Unbecoming begin
00:03:30so I went back to therapy and I sat with my therapist and I said look I've never been in this much pain in my life
00:03:37and I need you to help me figure out how not to waste it I have to use this pain somehow and so I started working really hard in therapy and I left my therapist take me back all the way to till I was 10 years old and I dropped into bulimia and here's what we discovered together
00:03:56so we are all bored hole right which went Trinity's just like God Body Mind and Spirit and that the healthiest of us live out lives of the body physical lives lives at the mine and intellectual lives and lives of the Soul spiritual lives but what happened to me so young is that our culture gave me so many confusing and objectifying messages about my body
00:04:22that I just started disassociating from my body right because good girls don't desire good girls don't hunger good girls don't even grow but I did hunger and I did desire and I did grow and so I started to become ashamed of my body and you can't love and claim anything that you're ashamed of so I just voted my body off the island of myself right and then I'm a similar thing happened to my vent husband Craig when he was 10 years old when he was born that he was whole to Body Mind and Spirit but well the world tells girls that good girls don't hunger don't desire the world tells little boys that brave boys don't feel don't cry don't make themselves vulnerable and anyway and so Craig did cry and he did feel and so he started to become ashamed of his emotions so he devoted his Emotional Self off silent
00:05:21right so you see we've got women trying to love men with our mind but they don't live there and we've got men trying to love women with their bodies but we don't live there and it's like everything that we've learned about femininity and masculinity makes it nearly impossible for real men and real women to be fully human with each other which makes it nearly impossible for us to really see each other which of course makes it impossible for us to really love each other
00:05:50and I know these things are huge generalizations but I'm just saying them because they're always true okay
00:05:59so my therapist said listen Glenn and I don't know if we're going to save your marriage but we got to save you we got a host of reunions for you to go to like vote your body back on the island and I said that sounds really hard do you have any more pills
00:06:17and she said no more pills when we're going to do the work we're going to see the lyric Planet so
00:06:24the work so
00:06:27Army part of the work was to go to yoga okay so yoga ended up saving me but I hated it at first cuz it was so like you know so one morning during the separation I was just in so much despair that was actually scared of myself like I felt like if I started crying again I just might never stop right so I picked myself up off the bed and I went to yoga and I walked into the yoga studio and my instructor my regular instructor wasn't there so the receptionist pointed me towards this new room and I sat down in the room and you guys it was 1 million billion degrees in the room
00:07:11and I was so annoyed because my life was so hard already and now I didn't have any air condition it right
00:07:19and then the instructor walks in and she says welcome to Hot Yoga
00:07:26and I was like oh holy hell this is on purpose that they're doing this on purpose and then she says the following like Oprah
00:07:35now we are going to set our intentions for the class
00:07:40I'm like okay so the first lady okay on the most no good very bad terrible day of my life has the nerve to say this sentence
00:07:51my intention is to radiate sunlight all faciunt being
00:08:04and everybody else had some crap like that and all I could do is glare at them and think we'll my intention is not to stab all of you to death to death
00:08:19but when they got around to me I was already crying and I said look my intention is just to stay on this Matt and try to handle whatever is about to happen here
00:08:30without running out the door
00:08:33and the room got really quiet and the instructor looked directly at me and she said okay honey you just be still
00:08:44now they all right what sounds easy I can do that right but you guys it wasn't easy
00:08:52it was actually 90 of the hardest minutes of my life because what I found out as I sat there is that I've been running so hard and so fast to avoid the confusion and pain of my past and the white hot rage and shame of my betrayal and my Terror for the future of my babies and my family and myself and I haven't I haven't I haven't felt any of it right and so for this 90 minutes I just had to sit there and surrender to all of the pain and fear of all of it and I think it was the first 90 minutes in which I allowed myself to feel what it means to be fully human without running out the door
00:09:36it felt like it might kill me but it didn't and we got to the end of the yoga class and I was just lay it on my mat and I was just soaking wet from tears and sweat like like it had been some kind of organic baptism and the instructor walks over to me and she leans over into my ear and she says honey
00:09:55what you just survived
00:09:57that was the Journey of the warrior
00:10:04and I thought my God you look so weird what kind of
00:10:12ever so I just like got my mad and I got into my van I drove home like on the way home you have had this crazy Deja Vu moment so I picked up this book off my coffee table that I've been reading flipped open to this page of the book called When Things Fall Apart by Pema should drone and I opened up to this page and read this paragraph if you can sit with the hot loneliness for 1.6 seconds today
00:10:42when yesterday you can only sit with it for one then that is the Journey of the warrior
00:10:55and I just sat on the floor and read that and read that and read that and I thought oh my God that is what I've been doing since I was 10 years old trying to outrun the hot loneliness so when I was 10 years old as my first started having painful human feelings like fear and anger and unworthiness and doubt and unbelief longing but since our in our culture we only talked about the value of Happy Shiny feeling
00:11:24I thought there was something wrong with me I didn't know that these were just normal human feelings that everybody had and that they had something to teach me I thought they were something to hide or get rid of and the amazing thing about our world is that the second you start feeling your hot loneliness the world start showing you easy buttons to get out of it did you guys remember those Staples commercials where things would get stressful and then a red Easy Button would pop up and you can hit it and be transported out of your pain into the stress free place we all love you see buttons right we all have them food booze sex shopping snark denial now everybody is a scroll scroll scroll right the second we start feeling are hot loneliness feel like
00:12:17you know I need to do I need to check on that guy I knew in second grade and see how is chapter from you guys going
00:12:25and we feel so much better right we're numb but the problem is when we transport ourselves out of our hot loneliness we miss all of our transformation
00:12:35because everything that we need to become the people we are meant to become next is actually inside the hot loneliness of now
00:12:45rights when we easy but not at our way out we are like caterpillars who jumped out of the Cocoon before we would have become butterflies
00:12:53because pain is actually not a hot potato it's a traveling professor and it knocks on everybody's door and the wisest when say come in and sit down and don't leave until you've taught me what I need to know
00:13:08we have it all wrong we are afraid of pain but we were made for pain we need to be afraid of the Easy Button
00:13:17because the Journey of the Love Warrior is to rush towards her pain and allow her pain to become her power if we stopped hearing paying you guys we would become such a better parents so I was at this parenting convention recently and this woman raised her hand and she said Glennon
00:13:34my family is broken and there's nothing I can do to fix it it's done
00:13:40and my little boy is in so much pain and every day I look at him and I think oh my God I had one job
00:13:48my one job was to protect him from Pain and I couldn't do it and I feel like such a failure
00:13:56I said okay hold on a second can you give me three words that you would use to describe the kind of man you're trying to race
00:14:06and she said I want him to be kind and I want him to be wise and I want him to be resilient
00:14:13okay then what is it in a human life that creates kindness and wisdom and resilience it Spain
00:14:22that's it it's a struggle it's not having nothing to overcome it's overcoming and overcoming and overcoming so is it possible that we are trying to protect our children from the one thing that will allow them to become the people we dream they'll be
00:14:45and is it possible that we all feel like failures because we have the wrong job description because it was never our job nor our right to protect our children from their pay and our job is to point them directly towards it and say baby that was meant for you and I see your fear and it's real and it's big and I see your courage bigger
00:15:08and you guys if we stopped hearing pain we would become such better friends everyday I hear from a woman to whom the worst does happen she's lost a spouse she's lost a baby she's lost she's lost and then on top of that loss and evidently become the second loss which is that she loses all of her friends
00:15:31her friends just fall away one of the time
00:15:35and I've come to believe that that is not because your friends were bad people it's because her friends had the wrong job description because if you ask any of them why they stopped showing up they'll say something like this
00:15:47I just didn't know what to say to fix it
00:15:51ask if grease is something to be faked right Greece's holy just like Joy is grief is just the price of love right it's the receipt when holding the air to save the world look I paid the price
00:16:07for love
00:16:09and it's often the only thing a woman has left to prove she left
00:16:14and the last thing she wants is for somebody to come in and try to snatch it from her right
00:16:21we don't need friends who can fix our pain we need friends who are brave enough to be still with me
00:16:28tuleta Kevin Wright
00:16:31because friendship friendship is just two people not being God together right this is friendship
00:16:41I said and you guys if we stop during our pain we would finally find our purpose in our tribe so this is what I hear everyday I can't go there it'll break my heart can't meet her it'll break my car can't read that it'll break my heart but heartbreak is not something to be avoided
00:17:01heartbreak is the greatest clue of Our Lives
00:17:05right because what breaks your heart is different than what breaks your heart for you it's racism in for you at Unger and for you it's Warren for you with animal cruelty and what happens when you find that thing the brakes are hard open and makes you makes it hard to breathe and you don't Easy Button your way out but you let it be your professor it guides you towards the people who are doing that world healing work in the world
00:17:32right and there you find your purpose and then the bonus is that there you find your tribe because there's no bond greater than the bond that happens between people doing the same world healing work together
00:17:46you guys
00:17:48and girls and women if we stopped fearing our pain we would heal our nation okay we are in a sweaty ass yoga class right now
00:18:02and we have got to commit to staying on our Matt because everything we need to become the country we were meant to be to become great for the first time for all of us right is inside the hot loneliness of the car Collective pain right now okay so I need to talk to the white women for a minute okay
00:18:25we're going to talk okay
00:18:28so I know that many of us are feeling alone and ignored and threatened and abused and we're feeling like our bodies are being threatened in their children's education is at risk we can be grabbed at any minute and that are Negra Tatian and our objectification and our discrimination has become normalized I accepted in ways that are chilling in this is painful but we need to remember is that this is just a touch
00:18:58of the pain that's so many marginalized people in this country have been feeling for ages right
00:19:06are black people and brown people and trans people and gay people in Muslim people and Native Americans and four people right this is just a touch of what they've been feeling and what is it it took us being personally affected to finally show up right
00:19:25and so we can not show up for the movement and say here we are until we say we are so damn sorry it took us so long right
00:19:36and then when we are speaking against me that are not speak against misogyny if in the same breath we're not also speaking against transphobia and homophobia and racism and classism and poverty in the same breath of this is one fight it always has been and so when women say to me when white women say to me how do I lead where do I begin I say you do not lead and you don't begin anyting the right the fight for civil rights is not know we're just new to it right and the generals of Justice have always been and will always be the women of color her I ain't so what you do is you learn about Shirley Chisholm and you learned about Maya Angelou and you learn and you learn and you learn and then you learn about in follow Ava Duvernay and Carmen Perez and Linda Source are you looking out there fighting and then you fight like they're fighting
00:20:31right because it's our white feminism does not become intersectional and it will be nothing
00:20:39the beauty of this moment devices that we were asleep and separate and now we're awake and United and our Collective pain can become our Collective power it already in
00:20:59okay I'm almost done I have I mean
00:21:06listen the Journey of the Love Warrior kit stop hiding from her pain and instead turn directly toward the right and March right into it and you don't have to trust me but that works because every great spiritual leader who would ever graced our Earth has taught the same thing that you need your pain right with it was Buddha and father tried to protect him from all suffering but he had to leave and experience all of it before he could find Enlightenment or my favorite Joan of Arc 14 Letter People straight into the battle to find Victory right or Wesley from The Princess Bride who said
00:21:48who said life is pain highness and anyone who tells you differently is selling you something
00:21:55or Jesus you guys I like worship the guy okay and
00:22:02end the night before the crucifixion so we had like these 12 friends and one of them was like really slow okay his name was Peter I like Peter and he never knew what was going on but he's finally figured out the night before the crucifixion what was about to happen so we goes up to Jesus and he's like dude so here's what I heard they're going to kill you tomorrow your God so ixnay on the Ritz eviction K I feel like let's ride let's get out of here right so so basically Peters like Easy Button denial right and what did Jesus say he said no get behind me that pain was meant for me
00:22:44there is no glory except straight through your story
00:22:51and there is no Resurrection without the crucifixion first all of our problems come from trying to rise before we surrender to our own Pacific
00:23:04for us and our personalized for our relationship for our world the pattern is and always will be first the pain
00:23:12then the rising
00:23:14first star paint
00:23:17that are rising
00:23:19okay I'm dead
00:23:30I'm Oprah Winfrey and you've been listening to Super Soul conversations podcast you can follow Super Soul on Instagram Twitter and Facebook if you haven't yet go to Apple podcast unsubscribe rate and review this podcast next week for another super-soul conversation thank you for listening
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