Seeing Myself Clearly

I love how simple activities can suddenly arrest my attention and bring clarity to my journey. A song on the radio, a billboard along the highway, pulling weeds in the garden, all hold potential lessons for my soul, if I have the awareness to see. 

This morning, after a deliciously hot shower, I stepped onto the thick bathroom rug, and with hair and body wrapped in towels, caught sight of my reflection in the full length mirror. 

My reflection looked like this. I only know it was me, because I was there!

I picked up a hand towel, to wipe away the condensation, and then paused. Something important was drawing my attention inward. 

Since reading Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton, I have been thinking much about her words. The shower is a great place for me to ponder deeply. I have accepted the invitation from the Divine to own my story, to know myself honestly and completely, and to use words to share my inner thoughts, rather than remain silent. I want to see myself more clearly than I ever have before. 

I sensed a learning moment, as I peered at my hazy reflection in the steamed over mirror. I thought of the scripture that tells of seeing in a mirror dimly, and then face to face, of knowing in part and then knowing and being known fully. I realized that although Paul’s words are about a deeper spiritual truth, they also apply to my current journey of seeing and knowing myself more clearly. 

Without wiping away the condensation, I quickly fetched my iPhone, to document the truths that were stirring. 

As the room cooled and the moisture evaporated from the mirror, my image became clearer and clearer. There was still distortion at first, that hid my true self. This has been so evident in my life. I used to hide who I was. Like everyone else, I learned as a child what to do, or not do, what to say, or not say, to be most acceptable to others. I strove to please everyone and avoid confrontation. After years of hiding behind the carefully placed masks I wore, I forgot who I really was. I forgot what I really looked like, free of the distortion that being a people pleaser created. 

My journey the past six years has been about wiping away the last of that cloudiness that keeps me from not only seeing myself clearly but obscures the self that I offer to others. I have been guided, gently and surely, to the experiences, people and books that can best assist me in gaining clarity. 

Bit by bit, my honest and authentic self has been revealed, much as my image grew sharper in the mirror this morning as all distortion faded away. Who I am is coming into focus, and I am grateful for the journey, and for the simple yet thought provoking experience today. 

At last I could look into the mirror and whisper, Oh…there you are. I’ve been looking for you. I SEE you. Soon I will see and know my soulful self as clearly. 

Book Review: Love Warrior

I was recently introduced to the writing of  blogger and author, Glennon Doyle Melton, by way of a Facebook post on Elizabeth Gilbert’s page. After reading through several of her blog posts at I was intrigued enough to order her first book, Carry on Warrior. I loved it! Funny and yet starkly honest and authentic, Glennon’s book taught me much about compassion, acceptance and transparency.

Getting to know Glennon at this time was fortuitous, because as I finished her first book, a second one, Love Warrior, was about to be released. I received my copy last Thursday, two days after its release, and read it over the weekend.

Love Warrior is a memoir, written three years after her earlier work. As chronicled in Carry on Warrior, Glennon is a recovering alcoholic and bulimic, whose life changed when she found out she was pregnant. Considering her situation an invitation into a different life, Glennon sought healing from her addictions, married her sweetheart, Craig, and devoted herself to caring for their three children.

Life was hard, but Glennon learned she could do hard things. She found a way to express herself, through writing, and discovered her honest, humorous portrayal of life as a wife and mom created connection with other women who understood and shared her perspective.

Just as it seemed Glennon had life figured out, with a happy, growing family, an adoring spouse and a succesful writing career, her husband revealed that he had been unfaithful throughout their marriage. Love Warrior is Glennon’s story of her soulful journey, through pain and rage and confusion, as her beautiful life fell apart.

What she learned was that pain offers an invitation to grow and learn and go deep within, so that transformation can take place. This book is so much more than a story about one marriage, one couple, one family. It is a roadmap to soul healing, to living a fully free and authentic life, brimming with love.

This is a powerful book. While Glennon shares glimpses of humor in its pages, the focus is on transformation through the fire of pain. She writes boldly about topics such as pornography, sex, infidelity, addiction and shame. And with equal honestly, she shares that we are taught, from childhood, to survive in a messy, broken world by learning to hide who we really are. We don’t offer our real selves. We send out representatives of ourselves with the hope of finding a semblance of love, so we won’t feel the “hot loneliness” so profoundly.

I took Glennon’s words deeply into my heart, where they have ignited a fire within. I read through the book quickly, because I couldn’t put it down. I want to read through Love Warrior again, slowly, pondering as I read.

I was drawn to Glennon and her books for a specific purpose. Five years ago I faced my fears, staring them down, staying present with them, until they revealed to me the gifts that lay behind them. An amazing spiritual awakening came as I integrated who I sought to be with the self I tried to hide.

This year, desiring to heal my physical body and live a pain free life, I was drawn to Anthony William and his book, Medical Medium. This journey is ongoing, and not only am I healing, I have settled into my body, becoming very present with myself and aware of my nutritional needs.

I realized today that I have tolerated physical pain much more willingly than I have emotional pain. I don’t like pain that is felt as grief, shame, weakness or crises, in myself or in others. I shove it away, refusing to feel it or acknowledge it. I recognize that I am being invited, by way of Glennon’s words, to sit with pain, learn from it, and be made free, in ways I have not experienced yet.

It is crucial to me that I not back away from this Divine invitation to grow. I want to offer my truest, healthiest self to the world. I want to tell the story of my inner life, with my outer voice. I want to be fully known and know others. Only then can I deeply love and accept love in return.

During this year of surrender, I have been brought here, to this place now, to learn from Glennon Doyle Melton. I have been invited to expand my awareness, to receive the gifts pain offers, to feel the hurt and not run from it, to love with a whole and healthy heart.

Yes. Yes, I accept the invitation. I am becoming…a Love Warrior.