Dec 122012


“I must learn to love the fool in me–the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my Fool.”
Theodore Isaac Rubin (born 1923);
psychiatrist, author


Friends….Feed Your Fool!  Feed her with good music, art, food, friends, rest whatever it takes! Grow her up, don’t let her die!! Invite her forward and cherish her!!  She’s precious and she’s the world changer.


And when folks suggest that you act/behave/think more wisely don’t forget. . .


1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.


That is all.

Love,  A Professional Weak Fool




PS. That picture is the cover of Alice Walker’s book of poems, and the artist is Shiloh McCloud. Aren’t the title and illustration beautiful?? Here’s a link to the book!



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  48 Responses to “To All the Fools I’ve Loved Before”

  1. […] the most obvious instance of this isn’t her recent “Celebrate Your Inner Fool” post (“To All the Fools I’ve Loved Before”— […]

  2. “I must learn to love the fool in me–the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my Fool.” – Theodore Isaac Rubin (born 1923); psychiatrist, author

    The more I’ve thought about this quote, the more I’ve come to *loathe* it. I mean, I really really dislike this quote.

    First off, there’s the part in there that reads “It alone.” Think about it—it alone—as in ALONE, as in *only*, as in there’s no two ways about it, there’s no other explanation, there’s no other possible way or route; this is it; it’s this way or the highway.


    People really ought to be careful with their words. With their choice of words. Especially a psychiatrist.

    Think about it—is this really true? Is it my inner fool who lacks self-control—the promise-making and then breaking, tantrum throwing, I want what I want and I want it now and I don’t care how much it costs and who I have to hurt in order to get it, part of me—the childishly irresponsible part of me—my “id” (in Freudian parlance)—is that the *only* thing (“it alone”) that will protect me from becoming a total killjoy and inwardly lifeless s.o.b. and control freak.

    No. Not a chance.

    Jesus said: “Do unto others as you would want done unto you.” In other words, act in a way towards others that is consistent with how you would want and expect another or others to act towards you.

    And actually, that addendum solves it. Case closed. If I add that to the mix of what Rubin said, then that will save me (protect me) against “that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility, and dignity” and it will also save others—and myself—from my Fool, as well.

    Because another variation of “doing unto others as I would want done unto myself” is reversing it: “doing unto myself what I would want others to do unto me.”

    I wouldn’t want others to treat me in an utterly controlling and tyrannical way, so why would I let myself (or part of myself) treat myself (or another part of myself) (and, yep, getting a bit confusing) that way?

    If I truly love myself, then I don’t rip myself a new one and wag my finger at myself every time I do something foolish. I don’t unleash a barrage of hateful self-talk . . . “John, you no good, stupid idiot complete failure of a human being, you did it again. You did something foolish and it bit you in the butt, you complete loser. You deserve to be unhappy and unloved and die alone and in the worst way imaginable. You’re an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable—and all mangled up and tangled up in knots.”

    No, what I do is I correct myself in a kinder and more compassionate and supportive way. . . . “Uh oh, John, you messed up this time. So let’s see what we can do to clean up this mess and make amends and repair the hurt we caused.” Et cetera, et cetera.

    That’s not my “Fool” saving myself from my inner and “utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant.”

    It’s something else saving me from both of these extremes—and from thinking in terms of either-or and falling preying to (letting my mental life be overrun and invaded by) “legions of half-truths, prejudices, propaganda” (to echo Martin Luther King Jr).

    And that something is called being truly educated, meaning learning *how* to think, and at that, how to think critically. As King put it, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.” (It’s a short but very wise essay–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay “The Purpose of Education.” Well worth the minute or two it would take to read it, and the many more minutes to really think on it.)

    Think about it: have you (anyone reading this) liked the effects of the behaviors of someone else’s “Fool”? Wouldn’t you secretly prefer that they had at times a bit more self-control and had kept their inner-Fool in check so it didn’t walk into your life and soil it all up?

    And how do you (anyone reading this) really feel when your Fool does something hurtful to others? How do you really feel? Good? Proud? Justified? Making the world a better place? (I’m just loving and honoring my inner-Fool y’all, sorry you got in her way and got hurt. Sucks to be you.)

    And looking at the state of the world today, does anyone really think that part of the solution to the world’s and society’s problems is that people in general act more foolish, make more promises without really thinking about them and then break those promises, act selfishly, thoughtlessly, self-indulgently?

    How does “universalizing” Rubin’s words and advice make the world a truly better place? (“Universalizing” means seeing how things—i.e., in this case, a piece of advice, because that is in fact what Glennon is offering up—would play out on a larger scale, meaning if *everybody* employed it or acted in alignment with it. This is a basic test of the moral-ness of an action or a piece of advice—what would the world be like—better or worse—if everyone did x or y, or if everyone lived a certain way.)

    So is this really the key to making the world a better place?—telling people to lighten up, feed their fool, conning them into thinking that this is what changes the world for the better. —It’s not. Growing and developing our consciences is what really changes the world—think Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, the Dalai Lama, Thoreau, Gandhi, even Jesus. These people were human beings of profound and revolutionary conscience. And they educated those around them and even us to this day (those of us who still read them and reflect on their words, instead of stuffing our minds with most of what is being published today) on what Love and moral goodness really looked and acted like.

    That’s what truly changes the world for the better—a profound and very humane and wise conscience.

    That’s what’s truly precious. That’s what we ought to focus on and grow and nourish and feed with good music and art and friends and conversation and whatever it takes—our consciences, our uber-ich, that still small voice within us, the voice of God within us, the Advocate, the Paraclete, our wise Inner Teacher and discerner of what is good for us and what is nonsense for us and the world.

    “It is not the tempest, nor the earthquake, nor the fire, but the still small voice of the Spirit that carries on the glorious work of saving souls.” – Robert Murray Mccheyne

    “Conscience is that still, small voice that is sometimes too loud for comfort.” – Bert Murray

    “The only tyrant I accept in this world is the ‘still small voice’ within.” – Gandhi

    “The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.” – Gandhi

    “Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.” – Carl Jung

    And lastly—

    “What are conscience! I’ll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today.” – Jiminy Cricket, in “Pinocchio”

    I agree much more with Jiminy Cricket and Gandhi and King than I do with Theodore Rubin( as well-meaning as he might have been with his advice, it still seems to me to be very misguided.

    • The thing I like about quotes like this is that we can take them and use them for our own betterment, even if our interpretation doesn’t align with the author’s. What I got from this – and from Glennon’s follow-up – is that we should be real. Like the Velveteen Rabbit. I personally have spent a lot of time being cold as stone, shutting off anything inside me that would feel anything. But life as a robot or an empty shell isn’t really living. I have to embrace the heart and soul – and dare I say it, fool – inside of me that makes life complicated and dangerous and colorful and real. That’s what I took from it. And while certainly, there could be negative interpretations of the quote, why not just use it for good?


  3. I’ve been told in the past: “If you ever want to be taken seriously, then you had better stop fooling around.” Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. And what about the hazards of taking yourself so seriously that you forget how to laugh? They say the prophet is never recognized in his own time but the fool is spotted immediately. Know why? Fool’s having fun, dammit, and we all want a piece of it. I don’t comment often however I can so relate to a few of your comments left here…I’ve been an absolute monster to my kids this week. Like, to the point where yesterday morning when I was trying to get my 3 kids out of the house by 7:15 am to get to work on time, I screeched (like a feral barn cat with its nuts caught in the bar door): “If you do that one more #$%^ing time I’m going to put my head through the wall!” To which my 6-year-son replied, straight-faced and pure: “Whoa. That must be a special head you have if you can put it through a wall. Can I see?” In moments like this, I know God’s love. That comment had me snorting like a fool for the rest of the day. It also reminded me to find joy in every goddamnawfulshittydisastroushairpullingfuckingmoment. But hey, that’s the fool in me. May God bless her big. Just not her ass. We don’t pray for such things.

    Peace out, prophets and fools. Love all pieces of you. Janita

  4. I read every post. Here and facebook. I take it all in with a deep breath and usually a sip of hot tea. I’m new to your blog, but I’ve read and read and read as if it were food to feed my soul. Indeed, it IS food to feed my sole.

    I commented, for the very first time, on your “Mastering the Mom” post. Simply put, I said how I was overwhelmed with the holidays due to being a newly single mom of four and escaping my terribly abusive marriage. And I had a Monkee reach out to me. And offer me help for Christmas. And another reach out to me and offer me hope and faith.
    An incredible woman, with her OWN family, sent emails to her friends and family and shared with them her desire to help ME! ME? Can you believe this? I can’t. I can barely see through the tears. When the first package came I was shocked. Then the next, I was overjoyed. And tonight, after working 16 hours dead on my feet tired, I checked my box and found yet ANOTHER envelope. After my “news” and my fight for my life and my new beginning I’ve had family and friends turn their back on me. And a total and complete stranger has took time from her life and family to help me. I am shaken to my core. I am a different person because of this. I always wanted to feel like love won, but my beliefs had been shattered. There was not enough glue or tape to fix them. BUt I realize I don’t need glue or tape. I need time, love, and the right people.
    So THANK YOU GLENNON. And the amazing woman who has done so much for me. There are not enough thank yous.

  5. So perfect for me right now – thank you…

  6. How? Trying so hard. Envying those who seem so much more graceful than myself. Can’t seem to see the beauty in “loving, hating, hurting, feeling” these days. It all just feels somehow like failure or chaos, so unsettling. Don’t really want to change myself, just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. How? Please teach me grace.

    • Karen,

      I’ve been thinking about your comment now for a whole day. It’s the last part that gets me…”please teach me grace.” I wish I had an answer for you. I wish there was a magical formula that your could follow to bring comfort to your own skin. I don’t think there is any one way, though. We’re all meant to be something different and unique and beautiful in this world, which means we all have our own special path.

      When I’m uncomfortable in my own skin, it’s usually because I’ve strayed from who I really truly am: who God meant me to be. Sometimes it’s because I went along with the crowd. Sometimes it’s because I wanted to plan and control something that really wasn’t controllable. Sometimes it’s because I simply forget to pray. Every time it means I have to change: that what I’m currently doing is not exactly right.

      I’ve noticed that I see grace when I’m looking for it and listening for it. When I’m paying attention, I see God’s grace everywhere. Every. Where. It’s all around you, my dear. Take a breath, listen to your heart, say a prayer and ask for help.

      When I think about the people I know who are most at peace and full of grace, it’s almost always the people who have faith in their lives. The people who have something bigger and better and lovelier to believe in than just what we see in front of us every day are the same ones who spread joy.

      I hope you find grace, Karen, I really do. It makes life so beautiful.

      • Holly-

        Thank you for hearing me, it means so much to me that you took the time to help. I see grace all around me as well, just sometimes seem to trip and fall as I am admiring it.

        I’ll get to work on the “faith” and “big picture”, I think you make good points.

        • I hear you Karen. Grace is hard. It’s my favorite though. And I’ll keep reaching for it, elusive as it may be. I definitely get how the “loving, hating, hurting, feeling” is difficult and sometimes decidedly un-beautiful. I think the beauty lies accepting and loving ourselves, and each other, with all our foolishness. Remember when you see another’s grace with envious eyes that you’re often only seeing her outside picture, and not her inside struggle. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle. Sending you warm thoughts are you fight yours today.


  7. Thanks G- just what I needed to hear today.

    Struggling a bit really…not sure if I can honestly get to loving my fool today but I’ll try & begin by at least being gentle with her:)

  8. And what should we say to Paul when later in the same letter he says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11), and “Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults” (1 Corinthians 14:20)?

    Rubin is talking about humanizing our tyrant, growing that part of us into a more benevolent and kindly (and yes, wise!) leader or regulator of ourselves. He doesn’t want us to kill our inner child (or inner fool), nor does he want us to kill our inner dictator/tyrant. Rubin wants us to integrate the two. (And actually Rubin seems to be talking to people who have a lot of self-hate brought upon by their inner-tyrant/inner-critic hating their inner-fool. He talks about this on pg. 207 of his book “Compassion and Self Hate: An Alternative to Despair”).

    Nietzsche wrote: “Man’s maturity: to have regained the seriousness that he had as a child at play.” And “I would believe only in a god who could dance. And when I saw my devil I found him serious, thorough, profound, and solemn: it was the spirit of gravity – through him all things fall. (“Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” in the section “On Reading and Writing”)

    I think that’s what Rubin is talking about. Having a sense of joie de vivre, lightness, humor, wonder, playfulness, and not losing that. I don’t exhibit that around here much, but I have it in abundance in my daily life. (Try throwing football in Target.)

    The point is integration. A childlike heart and a mature and wise mind. Not one or the other, but both.

    I hope this finds you well, G,


    • And what are we to do with Paul’s words here—

      “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7),

      And here—

      “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

      “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

      “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

      “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:13-25)

      And here—

      “This will be my third visit to you. I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.

      “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection. This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:1-11 *abridged*)

      This is St. Paul. He is warning his flock, advising them not to sin, but to aim for perfection; that way he doesn’t have to drop the hammer on them (“be harsh in his use of his authority–the authority, of course, that Christ gave him.”)
      Does St. Paul sound “nonjudgmental”? Does he sound non-critical?

      And in my estimation, St. Paul would have started off Rubin’s words like this—
      “I must learn to love the fool for Christ in me—the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, . . . “ etc., etc.

      Yes, technically, Rubin and St. Paul are both using the word “foolishness” but they are using it likely in very vastly different ways. Both of the quotes (Rubin’s and St. Paul’s 1 Cor 1:27) would benefit from being placed in proper context instead of being taken out of context and used (arguably) to rationalize who we are, and not who we might be able to become with the aid of more self-control (humane and compassionate self-control, not tyrannical despotic self-control) and perspective.

      This may be saying what a lot of people “need” (want) to hear, but it is really good for them? Not everything that feels (or sounds good) is good for us; and not everything that feels tough or bitter is bad for us. What feels good isn’t always the right thing. Life is more complex than that.

      My $0.02.

  9. I’ve been struggling with this for a bit, wherein my fool comes out and the tyrant is trying to put her back in her place….especially that last few days. It is all I can do today to keep her at least in the present moment, and not closed off somewhere in the storage closet. Some days, the tyrant wins, other days she loses, but even on the days she wins, the important part is that my fool doesn’t give up.

    Let’s hope I can do that as easy as I can type that.

    Thanks, Glennon.

  10. I’m struggling with this post a little today, though I believe I understand the intent and celebrate the fun wild side of life and absolutely love the art! I am in my fifties and love a lot of people who are in their teens and twenties. I recently lost an amazing artistic nephew to suicide (so forgive me if this is my grief squeezing out). The message many are sending out and live by is “live by your emotions”. I think we’ve lost the understanding of words like Phil 4 that tells us to rejoice in the Lord, to bring our concerns to the Him with thanksgiving ,to think about things that are good and pure and noble and lovely, and to follow those like Paul who walk in godliness. They hear words like discipline and cringe (as do I), and haven’t grasped the reality that our very wild God is calling us to take our bodies, minds and soul on a journey that leads True North. They are lost in a world of emotion that ends in heartache, and alienation from those they love. I forget who said “love God and do as you please”, how true this is! But if we do as we please without loving God we become lost in a mess of uncontrollable emotions.
    And so, with the beautiful reminder of your post, I celebrate today! I celebrate a wild, mighty, untamable God who calls me to follow Him with abandon, I will allow Him to guide my whole being on the journey of a lifetime to be transformed into the image of Christ. Not with down turned mouths and sighs, but with furious dancing!!!

    • Diane. You can squeeze your grief out here ANYtime. I am so, so sorry about your precious nephew.
      I thought your comment was quite beautiful.
      So much love and hope.

      • Diane,
        I agree with Glennon. This comment was quite beautiful. It convicted me in the very best way. Not an ounce of condemnation, just that pull of a loving God who wants me to experience the fullness of his grace. I’m so sorry for your loss, but thank you for posting.

    • Wow Diane,
      I have read your comment several times because honestly I do not think Glennon’s reply to you made much sense. She thought your comment was quite beautiful??? Huh?

      I would say your comment was thought provoking and deep and worthy of a legitimate response. It is not just your grief squeezing out …. losing someone close to us often gives us a clarity that is razor sharp. I know I lost my husband to a burst aneurysm almost four years ago and life became a lot clearer during that time.

      I truly appreciate Glennon’s ability to connect emotionally – but True North does require garnering knowledge and turning it into wisdom. “Feel good” messages are no proof of truth and can also be very emotional manipulative. Emotions are overrated and keep people lost and spinning in circles.

      In order to find TRUE true North, one needs to separate the false emotional self (with its assumptions, conditioning, expectations, wishful thinking, buffers, emotional hooks and ego desires) from the true self which is grounded in Knowledge. This is a part of growing up, and the scary thing is that young people like your nephew, who have not had a chance yet to develop that discernment are lulled into believing messages like this one above that is basically leading them down the wrong path.

      This Knowledge when connected to the small voice inside can always separate a lie from truth, using intuition and critical thinking alike. Even if the truth is not very “pleasant” and is challenging to one’s world view. In other words, honest self-work is needed in order to resonate with truth. Within and without.

      Dancing like a fool is a trap. Taking to the journey – the real journey – is what will bring lasting JOY (which is not a feeling, but a way of being).

      I will share a great quote that is chock full of truth …

      “According to the Great Work, a friend is one in which you support and encourage the other’s expansion in either the mind or the spirit.Otherwise they are people you are sentimentally attached to it because they would eat cinnamon bun with you. And they will say ‘hee, hee, hee’ aren’t we having fun”. Drug addicts do the same thing. Drug addicts want to be around people who will support them and be away from real friends. Do you know why? Because it feels good. No one ever cried striving for excellence. They only cried when their mediocrity was taken away from them and pointed out to them.”
      – Jerhoam

      Momastery is a place to eat cinnamon buns and say tee, hee, hee … aren’t we having fun. Certainly not the place for anyone searching for truth and depth.

      • Jenny,

        You said: “Momastery is a place to eat cinnamon buns and say tee, hee, hee … aren’t we having fun. Certainly not the place for anyone searching for truth and depth.”

        Sounds like you haven’t found the truth and depth you are searching for here. This may not be the place for you to find it , but I and many others have found truth and depth here, squeezed in between fun, lighthearted bits. Part of what I love about Glennon and what she’s built here is the balance.

        It is not all guts-pouring-out or God-is-almighty or foofy-girly-fluff. It’s a mix, just like life is (to me anyway). Just like I am a mix of Tyrant and Fool. It may just be the demographics of who is reading, but I think a lot of us are women who find ourselves so self-controlled and masterful over things that we become brittle and lonesome. At least that’s my challenge.

        I also think this is a community of smart, critical thinkers who understand that Glennon is not saying we should live in joy and carefree bliss at the expense of reality. It’s all about the mix

        You say “Dancing like a fool is a trap. Taking to the journey – the real journey – is what will bring lasting JOY (which is not a feeling, but a way of being).” I think dancing like a fool is PART of the journey.

        When my wife and I were in the ICU with our son for at one point we literally danced like fools next to his tiny unconscious, intubated body in an impromptu dance party when a song we liked came on the iPod we had playing music for him. The Tyrant told us it was totally inappropriate, but the Fool told us to grab whatever sliver of joy we could find in the middle of hell. One of the medical residents, openmouthed with shock, joined us and we ended up beating back grief together for 5 whole minutes. It’s one of my most treasured memories of that journey that we’re still on.

        I thought Diane’s comment WAS beautiful…

        I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and the loss of Diane’s nephew. We almost lost our son and I found things coming very sharply into focus in the way you describe during those months and years of crisis. My challenge the whole time was not to get swallowed up by the gravity of what was happening and make space for the Fool.


        • Jaime,

          Thank you for posting this reply. I agree completely. I appreciate the eloquent manner in which you expressed these feelings.

          Blessings as you continue your journey.

        • Amazing again Jaime. How long does it take you to compose such a post? I would be tripping over my words for hours, press send, and spend the rest of the day clutching my head, wishing I had said it all differently. Great job, I agree.

          While we are known here for saying “we can do hard things”, no need to make them harder than they have to be. It seems to me that it is entirely necessary, and I think, God’s will, to spend some time enjoying rather than all our time searching. It’s about gratitude.

        • Dear Jaime,
          I have thought about your response for several days now, because I waited to take the time to question myself, my initial response and to THINK deeply about why I was so angry, and what I really wanted to say to you in response to all that you wrote here.

          Diane was saying in her comment that she was concerned that too many people are encouraging others to “live by their emotions” and missing a key component – that we are should be growing ourselves in mind, body and spirit to become wise stewards of ourselves and our children.

          Glennon decided to respond, but glossed over the heart of what Diane said and simply wrote sorry, sorry and I think your comment was beautiful. I was extremely indignant and justifiably so. My anger was an appropriate response. Glennon did not at all address what Diane had actually wrote, which was something important. An important point that gets lost all too easily on this blog, in between all the patting on the back and high fives and self-congratulations and mutual validation. That living by your emotions is childish and immature and is HURTING other people – like her nephew who ultimately took his own life.

          And you say you have found truth and depth here … well, I invite you to tell me what truth and depth you have found. Because I do not see a lot of people on this blog questioning themselves, only giving themselves a place to come and feel accepted as they are – even when who they are isn’t really great. And it is one thing to be in a place where you are drowning and struggling and confused and looking for a guidance to build yourself up and grow out of that and it is another thing altogether to be applauded for that and revel in it. It’s easier than fighting through the pain, fear and loss to become healthier inside to tell yourself “hey, we’re all fools and God wants us to be that way, so keep on being a fool because it’s okay”. IT’S NOT OKAY!!!
          You think there is balance here. And maybe there is, but not in this post. And that was Diane’s point.

          And I think you tip your hand when you say that you “believe” that “a lot of us are women who find ourselves so self-controlled and masterful over things that we become brittle and lonesome” and that “a community of smart, critical thinkers who understand that Glennon is not saying we should live in joy and carefree bliss at the expense of reality” – you’re projecting. You have no idea who the other women are who are reading this. So you may find a balance here because you are uptight and the light-hearted side of this blog helps you to not take yourself too seriously all the time. But, you have to consider that there are women out there who could be reading this, or teenage girls, who are not in your shoes, who do not have your level of discernment and will take what they read and project their own illusions into it and act on that. There are plenty of examples that support the possibility of that on this blog. Just read the comments.

          You said that thought Diane’s comment WAS beautiful… well explain what was beautiful about it. Demonstrate that you are a critical thinker. Be different than the others on this blog who either rise up and jump on someone the minute they disagree or challenge something – or who just altogether ignore someone who is trying to engage in a meaningful dialogue (as in the case of Diane or John above). If there was truly balance here than we could honestly discuss these issues more deeply and see other people’s points of view and try and get outside of ourselves and encourage each other to read these posts and think about what they are saying more carefully and how they may be perceived by someone else who might be vulnerable to misinterpreting them to their own detriment.

          There is no shortage of “advice” out there in the world that will encourage women to “go easy on themselves” and “not beat themselves up” and plenty of places for women to giggle and snort about the fact that they have (as Janita says above) “been (an) absolute monster to my kids this week”. Or Karen’s comments above that says “Don’t really want to change myself, just want to feel comfortable in my own skin”.

          If this is a place full of amazing women than why isn’t there anybody here who speaks up and says GROW UP, stop being a fool.

          I truly appreciate your story about dancing next to your son in the ICU. No one is suggesting that relieving the heaviness of life by blowing off steam is inappropriate. I have had my share of harrowing seriousness … like having to tell my three children – who were 9, 7 and 1 at the time – that while they were in bed last night Daddy had a bad headache and was in the hospital on life support. That he wasn’t coming home, because the doctors couldn’t fix him and he was going to die. And then to bury my 35 year old husband – and become a 31 year old widow living in a country an ocean away from my family.

          I also know what it’s like to have parents who thought it was okay to be fools, who were stupid and self-destructive and selfish and did me no favors in life by acting out on those impulses while they tried to grow up during my childhood. And it may hurt to hear it, but that is happening in Glennon’s house right now. Whatever “The News” is doesn’t matter. The real casualties there right now are her children. Maybe Craig read on a blog somewhere that it was okay to “be a fool”, that he didn’t need to take everything “so seriously” or “be wise” or “think”.

          That is my point. Words have power. This blog has 50,000+ followers and may have even more readers than that. And with that comes a responsibility. Not just to do good deeds (which I admire the heck out of), but to make a real difference. A difference in people’s minds and hearts and character and conscience.

          Most sincerely and from my heart,

          • Dear Jenny, I feel for you. I feel for all of us. Every single one of us have a history and you’ve shared a bit of yours. The thing is, we all project. We are all made so differently and with so many different life experiences. I didn’t get out of the quote what you did. I got dance and embrace and live and don’t be serious all the time. I didn’t get to go act impetuously or irresponsibly or immaturely. You wrote that your parents did whatever they wanted and you alluded to that wounding you and I can imagine it did. I, myself, was very wounded by legalist religious people who were stern and saw a demon behind every bush and where God was strict and punishing and anything but loving.

            That was a nightmare in itself.

            This world is very diverse. We have feelers and thinkers and logical brains and artist minds and a blend of all of the above. No writer can 100% predict how a reader will interpret their words. Not everyone is wise enough to take something a step deeper without being told to or how to do it. Some people will overanalyze. That’s just the way people are.

            I loved the quote.

            I am so sorry for the hurt and heavy responsibility you have had to face in your life. My heart broke reading that part of your post. It must have been almost impossible to move one foot in front of the other. I totally get how a quote like the one above might have affected you in a negative way. If I had read it years ago when my marriage broke down, I might have had the same reaction. I hope you find some healing here.

            I think this is an amazing place with lots of grace and love and you know, the world is in a fallen state, it’s not that pleasant out there so a place that “feels” good even for a few minutes a day is sometimes the battery recharge that’s needed. People have their journeys. I believe in a sovereign God who has it under control even when it doesn’t seem like it and so I just try my best to love God and other people letting them work out their own faith because it is as diverse in its expression as God made each of us to be.

            I believe there is a purpose to everything even to a quote like this. Sometimes when something hits us hard and makes us squirm, it’s where God is meeting us ,willing to give us insight into why something is bothering us as much as it is. Sincerely, Paula

          • Jenny,
            Thanks for taking time to digest before responding, and for responding. Hopefully I say what I mean here, but encourage you to ask questions if you don’t understand or want more clarification. Here goes!
            I found this blog when a friend directed me to the post, “A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On”. As a lesbian who has been pretty critical of Christianity and Christians for most of my adult life, that post changed me. It was shockingly profound and deep for me to hear a self-identified Christian speaking her truth about how she feels about gay people and about how she feels about being a Christian. And that the truth was that, for her, she could love me and love Jesus.
            That was the beginning of the depth and truth that I have found here. Reading that post, full of Glennon’s truth for herself and reading the comments, led to me question, really question my very harsh feelings about Christianity and Christians. Knowing Glennon and being part of this community and getting to interact with other people who read this blog has helped me check my judgment and be more open-minded. I truly credit this community with that “growing up” I experienced.
            You said, “…I do not see a lot of people on this blog questioning themselves, only giving themselves a place to come and feel accepted as they are – even when who they are isn’t really great.”
            I have two comments on this. 1) I know I have done a lot of my questioning silently, not in the comments section. If you haven’t been able to see my own questioning process, I am going to guess there are others who are questioning/learning/stretching silently that you can’t see. It doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It also doesn’t mean it IS happening but, speaking from my own experience, I know it’s possible.
            2) What’s wrong with coming to a place to feel accepted as we are even if we really aren’t great? I think of myself as a work in progress. From the comments, it sounds like a lot of other people who read this blog feel that way about themselves too. I may have things I want to change, stuff I don’t like, things I’m working on. I do things as a parent I’m not proud of, have times when I’m a horribly selfish wife. Why shouldn’t I be able to admit those things out loud with friends? I don’t believe that I’m unlovable and unworthy of being accepted into a community just because I’m not perfect. Clearly there may be some folks in this community who are struggling to a degree that they need outside help. I’m not saying, “oh, wow, you just beat up your kid because you were having a bad day. Okay, well, come on in and sit down and be accepted and I’m not going to say anything or get you any help”. But I’m also not saying, “you are a horrible human being and really you aren’t that great and I don’t want to hear from you until you have all your shit straight”.
            That said, there *is* a permissiveness to Momastery. I’m okay with that. I don’t come here because Glennon is my guru and I believe that everything she says is THE TRUTH and that I’m here to get my ass kicked by a better-person-al trainer. I come here to think and feel and disagree and feel connected. Sometimes to giggle. Sometimes to cry. Sometimes to shake my fist.
            You say”…you have to consider that there are women out there who could be reading this, or teenage girls, who are not in your shoes, who do not have your level of discernment and will take what they read and project their own illusions into it and act on that.”
            You also say, “ Words have power. This blog has 50,000+ followers and may have even more readers than that. And with that comes a responsibility.”
            Yup. I totally consider that. And I don’t think Glennon can possibly be responsible for how 50,000 people filter her words through all their own damage and challenges and experiences. All I expect Glennon to do is say what SHE thinks is true. It’s up to me to decide what I want to do with it. I’m okay with people learning from mistakes, which is what it sounds like you’re afraid of people doing based on what they read here. To me, mistakes are a really unpleasant but necessary part of what being on this planet as a human is all about. And part of growing up.
            Which brings me to this question: Can you say more about what you mean when you say you want people to “GROW UP and stop being a fool”? What does that look like? What is it that you think people should stop doing and start doing?
            At one point you say, “living by your emotions is childish and immature and is HURTING other people”. I’m not sure exactly what you are referencing here. What does “living by your emotions” mean?
            I can only speak for myself on this one, but due to a variety of factors having to do with my parents and their own stuff, I grew up very consciously avoiding emotions. It felt like what I wanted wouldn’t have any impact so I basically just stopped feeling. When I went away to college and came out as a lesbian at 17, it was almost literally like I had been asleep for a decade and was just waking up.
            I was so out of touch with my emotions that when my first girlfriend asked me what my favorite ice cream flavor was, I couldn’t tell her. I was that shut down. The fear of being childish and immature, being needy or greedy is actually what kept me from touching what I was feeling. It was damage to myself. I guess I go back to this idea of balance. It’s not good, in my opinion, for anyone to live totally by their emotions or totally by their logic.
            I have known other people who have a very hard time making rational decisions, living in harmony with other people, controlling their impulses. Some of those people are no longer in my life. I do think living your life ruled WAY more by your emotions and WAY more with logic and reality-based thinking can hurt people. And there can be benefits to this ratio.
            I am like an 80% logic/20% emotion kind of person. I’m really, really good at getting shit done. I am great a solving problems. I am not good at having a vision, thinking outside the box or pushing the envelope. You do not come to me to create radical change.
            The people I know that are more ruled by emotion may be shitty partners or parents or friends but also have tended to be brilliant artists or revolutionaries or have something else they bring to society that has value. I’m sure there are exceptions to this and I don’t know what the TRUTH is but this is what I see and what I know in my own life. That’s all I can reference.
            RE: Diane’s post. She said, “I celebrate a wild, mighty, untamable God who calls me to follow Him with abandon, I will allow Him to guide my whole being on the journey of a lifetime to be transformed into the image of Christ. Not with down turned mouths and sighs, but with furious dancing!!!” I love this imagery. I’m not Christian so I just sort of tweaked the language in my head around Christ, but I love this idea of an ecstatic relationship with a cherished being, in the face of tragedy. That’s what I found beautiful.
            Okay, this last part.
            You say, “I also know what it’s like to have parents who thought it was okay to be fools, who were stupid and self-destructive and selfish and did me no favors in life by acting out on those impulses while they tried to grow up during my childhood. And it may hurt to hear it, but that is happening in Glennon’s house right now. Whatever “The News” is doesn’t matter. The real casualties there right now are her children. Maybe Craig read on a blog somewhere that it was okay to “be a fool”, that he didn’t need to take everything “so seriously” or “be wise” or “think”.”
            *sigh* I’m not even sure where to start on this because I’m feeling protective of my friend Glennon and I’m feeling protective of myself as a parent and I’m even feeling protective of Craig. So that’s my disclaimer.
            Here’s my thinking about children and pain and my role as a parent. My role is to a) be the best parent I can be (which sometimes may not be that great) and b) teach my children resilience. I am never going to be able to protect my child from all the hurts he will experience. I will make choices about people to have in my son’s life and people to build our lives around, based on my best judgment at the time. Sometimes I will make a bad decision or one of those people will make a bad decision. And we will have to learn how to incorporate that experience into our lives in a way that does not leave us on the ground in the fetal position forever. I will teach him, the best way I know how, how to survive loss and disappointment and hurt. Because it will happen.

            Yep, G and her kids are hurting. Craig screwed up. But I have a feeling the root of whatever led Craig to do whatever happened is WAY bigger than a quote encouraging folks to “be the fool”. To toss that piece into the mix of what they’re working out felt…crappy.
            Okay, that’s my best thinking right now. Eager to hear your thoughts.

      • Jenny,
        Thank you for your thoughtful replay. I have to say I find beauty to be one of Gods most marvelous gifts and in no way felt my thoughts where minimized.I think from my vantage point, I have been learning that emotions are not inherently false and analytical thinking does not always lead to truth. They are all gifts from the Creator and can be left to there own devises or harnessed for God’s glory. One of my favorite verses/prayers is jam pack with emotion…

        Eph 3:16-19 16
        I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

        King David who, dancing before the Ark of the Covenant half naked said, “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”

        And so, I will keep dancing while seeking the wisdom of God and guiding my thoughts and emotions always toward Him!

        • Hello Diane,
          I didnt think your thoughts were minimized, I just thought they were ignored and glossed over. And what you said was important and I wanted to acknowledge that.

          You wrote that “I have been learning that emotions are not inherently false and analytical thinking does not always lead to truth” and I could not agree with you more.

          And the passage you shared was exquisite, I loved it. And the Love that surpasses knowledge certainly does not circumvent it – it is something that is beyond knowledge …. meaning we need to be full to the brim with knowledge in order to truly have the capacity to understand and become that Love. Yes, to grow as much as we humanly can to the greatest extent possible as a human and then to shed that skin and and be humiliated again and half naked – like a child being born, to become something greater than we could veer be as just a human. To walk towards Godhood.

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings and insights – they are beautiful and wise!


      • Dear Jenny,

        I understand your viewpoint and, if this way of knowing you describe has brought your life into the clear, I am glad for you. However, this —

        “Momastery is a place to eat cinnamon buns and say tee, hee, hee … aren’t we having fun. Certainly not the place for anyone searching for truth and depth.” —

        feels like a huge assumption and a blanket statement. It feels like a controlling move. The reason I know that this space we have all co-created, including you, is grounded in the eternal dance of Love and Growth and Knowledge is because right now I am respectfully disagreeing with your assertions and yet I KNOW in my intangible Self and in my Sacred phycial Body that this is a space that is actually alive and supporting both of us and all of us, right here, right now.

        Blessings to us all.

        • Dear Carmen,
          You say that I am making a blanket statement and a huge assumption and that it feels like a controlling move … how so? What does that mean it feels like a controlling move?

          And feelings aren’t facts – that’s the point. Maybe I FEEL that there is no truth or depth here – and maybe that is not true – but I am happy to explain why I FEEL that way (and have done so above in my response to Jaime). So tell me WHY you FEEL the way you do. But be warned that that requires thinking – which is what this post is discouraging people to do.

          I really do not understand your comments after that because they are a bit unclear. I prefer to be grounded in a REALITY, that is embedded in the eternal dance of TRUE Love and TRUE Growth and TRUE Knowledge … you know, TRUTH.

          And others prefer to be lifted off and flittering through the clouds in the dance of emotions, wishful thinking and escapism.

          If you are disagreeing with my assertions, you should first aim to explain what you think my assertions are, because you haven’t even addressed them.

          You don’t KNOW what is alive and supporting us, you FEEL that you know, you believe that you know. But you don’t actually know. If you knew (as you say you do) than all you would know is that you don’t know anything at all.

          None of us actually Know. I have spent plenty of time in energetic circles and with people who spout off about what they know and feel, etc. And most of them are lost souls, whose personal lives are an absolute mess and who prefer to live in la la land … seeking advice from intuitive and psychics and shaman … rather than girding their loins and being actual WARRIORS.

          Here are some bits of advice from an actual Warrior, Carlos Castaneda …

          “Sorcerers say that true rebellion, and humanity’s only way out as a species, is to stage a revolution against their own stupidity.”

          “Everybody has enough personal power for something. The trick for the warrior is to pull his personal power away from his weaknesses to his warrior’s purpose.”

          “The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.”

          So thanks for your blessing, but I will pass because I take challenges in life and face them and leave the blessings and curses to ordinary men.

      • Dear sister Jenny,
        I’m so sorry for your pain. I hear so much pain and loss and sorrow throughout the words you type. And maybe that wasn’t your intention, but I heard them. And I think you’ve squeezed out your bit of grief here, as well. But I think what has caused so much “debate,” if you will, is the way that you seem to want to take your pain out on Glennon.

        She pours out a lot of her heart in crafting the essays that she posts here on her website. Each one has 50 to 5,000 comments. No human being could possibly respond to all of those. Which is why she typically doesn’t respond here to comments. But something about Diane’s story jumped out at her. The beauty she saw was that in the midst of her loss and struggle, Diane could still find a way to relate to the intention behind Glennon’s post – that even in our struggles, we have reason to celebrate. Glennon saw that, and it seems Diane did too.

        You’re right when you say that words have power. I believe with all my heart that Glennon takes her calling very seriously, and that the words she puts forth are often with great fear and trepidation. But your words have power, too. And the words you proffered here felt like they were laced with bitterness. It felt like you were condemning other women who posted comments about how they were feeling. I use the word “felt” because I understand that my feelings may not reflect the truth of the circumstances. But for someone who speaks passionately of the responsibility that comes with posting for thousands of readers, I thought you should know the impact of your words. The felt hurtful.

        You wrote that you feel this community is all cinnamon buns and foolishness, without any real depth. You are entitled to your feelings. And if this community causes you more pain that joy, I certainly would hope that you’d stay away, because that’s the last thing any of us want, is for you to be hurt by what goes on here. However, I am another person who finds community here. Not because we accept one another in our depraved, drowning states and allow each other to stay there. But instead, I find that this is place where, in a world of masks and superficial images, it’s a place to be barren, naked, and honest about ourselves and our struggles. I think it’s a rare person who is motivated to self-improvement through condemnation. Instead, I myself, and a lot of people I know, are not able to work out our own issues until we are able to take off the masks and discover them. Then, once we are able to love ourselves, brokenness and all, do we value ourselves enough to better ourselves. And that’s why this place is important to me, and people like me.

        But I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not for everyone. And we each have a responsibility to know ourselves, knowing what helps us grow, and knowing what hurts us. This place helps me. And Jaime. And a lot of people. Not everyone, though.

        Finally, I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that none of us really know. I’d like to think that’s why Jaime, in her reference to finding truth here, used truth with a lower-case t. Because there are a lot of people in this world who want to sell us an absolute Truth with a capital T. But you’re right – none of us truly know any universal, all-encompassing TRUTH. Even 2+2 is not always four! And that’s another beauty of this place, for me. That we can all accompany each other on our individual journeys to find truths.

        This was a lot. I don’t intend to commandeer a soap box. But I wanted you to know that there are critical thinkers in this community, and if you want to be a part of it, there’s a place for you too. If it’s not for you, though, then we respect that, and wish you well as you face your challenges.


  11. The fool in me was out showing off this morning and then hung her head in shame and guilt the rest of the morning. I was not patient enough and not perfect enough for my precious kids this morning. This is my confession. My promise is to find time to let the fool in me dance furiously at some point today. Most likely not at the office, but as soon as I get home with my kids. Thanks for the perfect words this morning, Glennon.

  12. I’m not a quote kinda gal nor do I make resolutions but this is for me. I’m quite certain you wrote this post just for me. This will be my mantra for the next year (today is the end of the world as we know it! 12/12/12). A whole new start.

  13. Love it, love it, love it…..thank you, thank you, thank you. Once did not seek enough.

  14. I saw this exactly when I needed to see this. I’m going through a hard time, too. Thank you for your honesty and this place.

  15. Love this G! Thank you for this :)

  16. Oh, how perfect is this book title right now!!!! We have 1/2 hour left….. please, click, register (connect to facebook) and vote!! We can do this!!

  17. Thank you, G! This is a HUGE blessing for me today! I have been in love with my dancin’ fool since day one, and this is the perfect reminder to be Who I Am!!! Love to you all Monkee Sistas!! xoxo

  18. Yes, yes, yes! My inner tyrant (and that other tyrant known as DEBT and that third tyrant known as Paying Rent and Mortgage Because That D*&^# House in Another State Still Hasn’t Sold After 19 Months) has me working at a job where I don’t get to use my particular gifts or passions, and lately I have literally felt SICK with it all. I know that what I need more than anything is to let my Fool out to do her thing! I am going to print out that gorgeous artwork, stick it on my boring office wall, and look for opportunities to dance today! Thank you!!!

  19. Upon searching a little deeper, Alce Walker is the woman who wrote The Color Purple. Such a profound woman.

  20. Terrific! I need to figure out how to teach this to my daughter, while also being able to correct her mistakes. Life is hard, and I’m loving it!

  21. G- It appears to be cover art for a book of poems by Alice Walker, maybe if someone has the book, it may be on the publisher’s page, as to the artist?

  22. Shiloh McCloud is the artist named on the inside of Alice Walker’s book cover.

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