Sep 022015
 

It's Not You. It's Them.

I wrote this facebook post last month when I was losing my mind. No, I take that back. I was not LOSING my mind — my people were TAKING it. Difference. Anyway, so many people have requested copies of this rant that we decided to let it live on the blog. Here you go. Listen: there are two ways to approach parenting: CHOOSE THIS WAY AND YOU MIGHT JUST SURVIVE.

Love,
G

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Kay. At 2 am Child 3 shook me awake from a dead sleep to report with terror that: MOMMY! I JUST OPENED MY EYES AND IT WAS ALL DARK AND I WAS ALONE IN MY BED!! Once again, I explained that this was not a description of some shocking, unique horror but THE NORMAL PROCESS OF SLEEPING. “That’s just SLEEPING,” I said to my girl as she stared at me with a face that asked: “what is this “sleeping” of which you speak???? Is this something people DO?”

At 9 am I sat across the kitchen table, bleary-eyed, listening to Child 1 present a serious case for why he should get PAID by ME for, basically, breathing. Just breathing is what I gathered from him. Existing. Something about human rights. I don’t even know. I don’t know. What I do know is that I was so freaking tired from Child 3’s Breaking Sleeping News that I just picked up my coffee and said: “I need you to stop talking. Just stop talking. Now, please.”

At 10 am I took Child 2 with me to the store. There was a bird in a cage at the store. Child 2 spent ninety seconds with this bird. Upon leaving the store, Child 2 looked at me and said, “Mom, instead of buying me a horse, I’d like you to buy me a bird.” I stared at Child 2 and eventually said, “WHAT THE? I am not buying you a horse, or a bird, or even a popsicle. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, child? Get in the car.” It has been one full hour and Child 2 has not stopped talking about this bird. Apparently, I have ruined her life because — and I quote: “You say you value family, Mom. That bird was my family.”

I do not know. I just do not know.

Listen to me. Every time I go to speak somewhere — tired, worn out, wild-eyed mamas raise their tired hands and say to me, “Glennon, I feel like I’m losing it at home. I feel CRAZY.”

HOLD. UP. Okay: for obvious reasons, I am no parenting expert. But I know a helluva lot about crazy. And I want you to trust me on this one. I want you to write this down and put it on your fridge for me:

IT’S NOT YOU. IT’S THEM.

IT’S THEM.

Listen: I spent time in a mental hospital and I am here to report that everyone, every single one of the beautiful folks I lived in there with was more reasonable than the small people I live with now. All of them.

YOU ARE GOOD AND NORMAL AND REASONABLE. IT’S THEM. The crazy is not in your head. It’s IN YOUR HOUSE. We have to wait them out. Tweet: IT'S NOT YOU. IT'S THEM. The crazy is not in your head—it’s IN YOUR HOUSE. We just have to wait them out. @momastery http://ctt.ec/cI37v+ We just have to smile and wait them out. We have fought too hard for our sanity to lose it now.

Repeat after me: It’s not me. It’s THEM.

I love you. 10 hours till bedtime. Godspeed.

G



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest


Aug 262015
 

Last month, I got to spend a week meeting and talking and crying and laughing with so many of you in New England. I prepared myself for the trip by doing what I always do—I promised to show up and asked God to do the same.

On one of the evenings, I spoke at historic Old South Church on Copley Square in Boston. As Sister and I walked together to the event that night, we crossed over the square and saw, rising up on the corner in front of us, that gorgeous church building covered with rainbows. Flags waving from every doorway and every window. I’m telling you, my eyes teared up and my heart felt like it was going to escape out through my throat. I thought: THIS. This is what a church should look like. Rainbows everywhere—flying high like the promises they were meant to be. Like proof that God wants us—wants us see every part of us, wants us to come out of hiding. Rainbows freaking everywhere. Yes, this is home.

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When the Old South Church says: Come as you are, they mean EVERYONE. Grace makes no disclaimers. The price of grace for me is grace for ALL.

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EVERYBODY’S IN, BABY.

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I almost always take off my shoes before I speak. I’ve been doing this for years. I didn’t fully understand why until I was talking to Rob Bell recently and he said: “Yes. The first time I preached, I took off my sandals. It was like I knew I was on holy ground.”

YEP. THAT’S WHY.

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Every time I post a picture recently someone writes to tell me I’m too skinny. First: I love you for loving me. Second: I’m working on it. Third: I’m gonna keep showing up while I’m working on it. I’m not going to hide during the during, because I’m not a before and after story. Here’s what I’ve come to accept: Progress is not linear. We don’t go from here to there and put things behind us. Progress is a spiral staircase and we just keep coming around to the same issues again and again. But every time we face the same demons: we do so with a higher consciousness and stronger muscles and heart from the climb. So we do a little better each go ’round.

Here’s what’s gonna happen: I’m just gonna keep showing up all jacked up. Some years I’ll look too skinny and some years I’ll be a little bigger and sometimes I’ll look exhausted and depleted and sometimes I’ll look AMAZING. Who freaking knows. I can’t let what I look like keep me from showing up. I’m never going to have it all figured out. I’m showing up anyway. Because: look what happens when jacked up, nervous, imperfect people show up anyway: MAGIC HAPPENS.

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Here’s my new friend, Pauline. This woman stood up in front of 1400 people and said, “Glennon. I can’t help but notice I’m one of only a few women of color here. I’ve always loved you, but I have to say for a long while I couldn’t really find myself or my experience in your writing. Until recently. I want you to know that I appreciate that you’ve been talking about race lately. I know it’s scary, and I just want to say thank you. And I want to say that if you still want them, I’ll be one of your black friends.” And then there was a little bit of quiet. And then the WHOLE CHURCH erupted into applause. And I tried to say words back to Pauline, but I couldn’t say much. So I just said “I’m sorry it took me so long to wake up. But I’m awake now and I won’t go back to sleep. Thank you, thank you for being my friend.”

Pauline and I know that our friendship won’t cure systematic racism. We just know friendship cures loneliness. I love you, Pauline. You are kind and brave and I just don’t know what else there is to be.

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Do you know my goal for these travels, these events? My goal is not to show up and say: HERE I AM! No– I want each visit to be a chance to say—THERE YOU ARE. I want to be a leader who locates and lifts up other leaders—local leaders doing the hard work of love. So I dreamed up this dream in which every city we visited we’d SERVE, somehow. We’d do a love project or better yet, we’d find a local hero and invite her to the event and I’d dedicate some of my stage time to point to her and say: “LOOK, AMAZING COMMUNITY. Here is one of your own doing OUR KIND OF WORK! HELP HER!” I don’t want these events to just be SHOWS, I want them to be reunions. I want to say: Don’t look at me- LOOK AT YOU! Meet each other. You belong to each other!”

And so at Old South Church I stood up on the altar and said: HEY BOSTON! LOOK AT RUBY! THERE SHE IS!

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Ruby leads The City School, which develops and strengthens young people to become leaders for social justice. The City School intentionally crosses lines of race, class, gender and sexual orientation and works with young emerging leaders in the Boston area to come together, learn from each other, and then go out into their communities and make a difference.

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Ruby is a love teacher. She told us, “When we look for leaders we ask ourselves—Who would society choose? And then we choose the opposite.” YOU GUYS. OMG. WWSC? CHOOSE THE OPPOSITE!!!! Amazing fantastic revolutionary YES YES YES!! I love her and I love City Schools. Ruby and her team are creating space where the marginalized are not asked simply to join us, but to lead us. She’s helping to create the types of leaders we so desperately need right now. Because all we need for the status quo to continue is to keep choosing leaders whose best, personal interests are served by maintaining status quo. You guys, this program. THIS IS THE WORK. This is the upside down kingdom.

Love intentionally crosses boundaries. Love is a teacher who invites those stuck in the back of the line up front, not just for a better view—but TO LEAD THE CLASS. Tweet: Love invites those stuck in the back up front. Not just for a better view, but TO LEAD THE CLASS. @momastery http://ctt.ec/U2DZ9+

The City School’s Summer Leadership Program was scheduled to start at Old South Church less than one week after our event there. We asked Ruby what we could do to support them and she told us that what the program really needed for success was SCHOOL SUPPLIES. They needed markers (so many markers—many, many markers), chart paper, scissors, masking tape, and painter’s tape. So as soon as we heard this, we sent out a message to everyone registered to come to Old South Church and said—WILL YOU STOP AT THE STORE AND BRING SOME OF THESE SUPPLIES TO TUESDAY’S EVENT? Let’s create a HUGE pile of goodies and then slap a sign on it that says: LEADERS: BOSTON BELIEVES IN YOU. Let’s let THAT be the first thing the Boston youth see when they walk into Old South Church to begin learning and teaching each other. Let’s help Ruby get these youth rising so these youth can get us ALL RISING!

And—OF COURSE—you showed up.

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You sent us messages telling us how excited you were to be a part of this, asked what else you could do to pitch in, volunteered to make the (beautiful!) sign. You came to Old South Church with your arms full. We collected piles and piles of school supplies, and more markers than the summer program participants had ever dreamed of using. Together Rising joined in with support, and we gave The City School an additional $5000 for scholarships so that more kids could be part of this amazing program. BOSTON YOUTH: WE BELIEVE IN YOU!!!!!!!!

You see, my friends? THERE YOU ARE.

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And I’ll just continue on my way, like the hugging saint Amma except – I’m the hugging sinner, G.

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This beautiful couple came to see me on their WEDDING EVE. The next day they got MARRIED. Love Wins.

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This one. SHE CAME FROM DUBLIN, IRELAND to be in Old South Church on this very evening. Just for this event.

You are not too anything. Just show up.

I love you all. What a night of messy, beautiful magic. Thanks for showing up, Boston. We Belong To Each Other. Everybody’s in, Baby.

G

 

Photo credits: Brian Flahurty



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest


Aug 242015
 

Between seventh and tenth grade, I tried out for cheerleading four times.

I didn’t so much want to cheerlead—I just really wanted to be a cheerleader. I desperately wanted somewhere to fit in and peers to belong to. I wanted to stop feeling invisible. I wanted to walk through the hallways of my huge school wearing my belonging on my chest and around my waist and tied around my ponytail. So I tried out, and I didn’t make it, and then I tried again, and I didn’t make it again. But my parents always told me that could achieve ANYTHING I put my mind to, so I tried again. And again. After the fourth time, my dad found me crying in the high school parking lot and he said, “Sweetheart, we may have found an exception to that ANYTHING.”

I’d felt so shut out. So unworthy. Like a loser. I’d tried SO HARD and the world’s response was: you are simply not the right kind of girl and no matter how hard you try—you can’t be. I’d felt ashamed for believing in myself. I felt like the world had broken its contract with me which was: if you try really, really hard: everything will be amazing.

In Brené Brown’s new offering to the world—Rising Strong—she calls these facedown moments. I’ve had plenty of these. Those moments in which I Dare Greatly and then . . . I fail. I fall flat on my face. And I want to stomp my feet and say: WAIT! WHAT? Failure isn’t part of the deal! I did the right things and so what is this pain crap??? Turns out this pain crap IS part of the deal. It’s part of the dance. It’s the hardest step to master. Enter Brené—our dance teacher. She shows us how to turn failure into glory. You guys—Rising Strong is not really a book. It’s a revolution. It’s a map. It’s a lifeboat. It’s a rally cry to our generation for just such a time as this. Tweet: .@BreneBrown's #RisingStrong is not really a book. It’s a revolution, a map, a lifeboat. It’s a rally cry @momastery http://ctt.ec/q7nGc+

As I read—I couldn’t stop thinking about my 16-year-old self crying in that high school parking lot, waiting for somebody to call me worthy. And I could feel Brené trying to remind me that I’m no longer sixteen. That I’m a grown up and nobody is the boss of me anymore. That grown-ups don’t have to try out for life because there are simply no more judges in front of which to freeze. That my proof of belonging is my existence—and my uniform of belonging is the skin I’m in. And by the time I finished Rising Strong I’d decided – You know what? I don’t really like the way that story ended. I’m going to make a new ending. So I went back in time and took the hand of that little girl in the parking lot and I said, C’mon sister. Let’s get ready to RUMBLE.

Here comes my revolution. Get ready, because I have an announcement to make.

THE COMMITTEE OF ME HAS COME TO A UNANIMOUS DECISION: I NOW PROCLAIM MYSELF AN OFFICIAL HEAD CHEERLEADER. A CHEERLEADER FOR THE WORLD. I DO NOT NEED TO WAIT FOR ANYONE TO DECIDE THAT I AM GOOD ENOUGH TO CHEER. I CAN AND WILL CHEER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO NEED CELEBRATING.

This is what is happening: I am going to spend the rest of my life CHEERING ON THE ARTISTS AND LEADERS AND WOMEN WHO HEAL AND INSPIRE ME AND YOU. I am going to do actual cheers for them. My first official cheer is for my friend Brené. Brené: I love you for the work you do in the world and for the way you ARE in the world. Your integrity is a lighthouse to me. Your book is beautiful. It HELPED me. Thank you.

BRENÉ: LOOK. FOUR TIMES I FAILED. THIS IS ME, SISTER: RISING STRONG. HERE IS MY NEW ENDING.*

Rising Strong by Brene Brown
EVERYONE ORDER BRENÉ’S BOOK, PLEASE.

Order it for you and as a gift for the people you love. The only people who will like this book are people with heartbeats.

Also: WE’RE GIVING A BUNCH AWAY.

To enter the giveaway—leave a comment and tell me what story in your life you might consider writing a new ending for.

 

Here is the trailer for Brené’s beautiful new book. You guys, watch it. It is so, so good.

 

*Please note the t-shirts. I went to a CRAFT STORE and then I CRAFTED. With God and Brené, nothing is impossible. Also, I would like credit for my Rising Strong toenails.

Rising Strong toenails

Jump!



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest


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