Books on personal growth are as popular as ever, likely because it is pretty darn difficult to be a human being in the modern world. Glennon Doyle wrote one of my all-time favorite books in the category, Untamed, so I thought it would be worthwhile to read one of her older books. Love Warrior was a challenging read, though, because it is a stark reminder that growth is a gradual process.
It's a strange thing to read a book about a woman processing her marriage when you know where she winds up a few years later. But more than that, it was noteworthy to see all of the places that Doyle had made significant changes to her way of seeing the world from the beginning of Love Warrior to the end of Untamed. At times, I could feel myself getting frustrated, upset that Doyle wasn’t demonstrating the same integrity, presence of mind, and calm that made her so inspiring in her later work. But, in a lot of ways, that is exactly the point. Love Warrior shows one place along her journey, and is a worthy reminder that even the scholars on the subject of personal development see a wide variety of experiences along the way.
This book was also an interesting experience in patience. I could feel along the way that I wanted Doyle’s thinking to move faster, that I wanted to see her flourish more consistently and efficiently than is reasonable. But that, in a lot of ways, is exactly the point of this work: we have to be patient with the times when we are easily able to attain the best versions of ourselves, and also the times when it is a struggle to see clearly and thoughtfully. If I was feeling impatient with the author in her process, maybe that had something worthwhile to teach me about the way I demand progress of myself.
I did not enjoy Love Warrior nearly as much as Untamed. But I’m not sure Doyle did either. And seeing the long trajectory of growth may have actually been a better, more holistic guide in my own search for wellness, not because it made me feel good, but because I saw the kind of hard work that it takes to continually try to better your experience of life.