Discussion Questions for Glennon Doyle: The Love Bridge
1. Glennon Doyle, author of the new memoir Untamed, found traction with readers when she shared a Facebook list that was different from other people’s lists. Have you ever dared to share something different than the script that was given you? What happened?
2. “It’s amazing the things that we hide from each other… They usually end up being the things that we were probably meant to help each other carry. Right?” Glennon reflects. Tell a story about a time where you thought you knew someone and then realized there was a whole other layer to them. What insight does this story give you about what connects and divides us?
3. Glennon doesn’t know which came first: the redemption of her first marriage or writing about the redemption of her first marriage in her second memoir, Love Warrior. What do you think she means by this delineation? When have you found yourself feeling for a redemption story?
4. While preparing to promote Love Warrior, Glennon meets a woman she calls the Mockingjay. Upon seeing her, she inexplicably hears the words “There she is.” Glennon reflects now, “I knew that it was from my wild, from my real voice because I wanted her. And it was the first time I had wanted anything beyond what I had been trained to want.” What have you been trained to want? When, if ever, have you wanted something different than what was expected of you? What did your wild voice sound like?
5. Glennon was trained to believe that good mothers are martyrs not models. Then, an ordinary interaction with her daughter ignited an extraordinary change of heart about her own love life: “I thought, oh, my God, I am staying in this marriage for her. But would I want this marriage for her?” How do you understand the relationship between your duty to yourself and your duty to your loved ones? What is your ultimate duty?
6. Roles are important, Glennon says. The problem is when we accept our culture’s definition of our roles instead of inventing our own. For example, Glennon used to think a broken family was a divorced family. But then she came up with a new definition: “a broken family is any family in which any members have to kind of break themselves into pieces to belong.” What definition have you had to reject and remake for it to fit your reality?
7. “People who don’t suck are people who have felt pain,” Glennon says. And, yet, we spend so much effort trying to protect those we love from it. What is it about pain that makes not just brave, wise, kind children but brave, wise, kind humans?
8. Glennon and Kate agree that not all pain is created equal. There is the pain of being human. There is the pain that’s inflicted upon you. And there is the pain you choose. Why are these distinctions so important? Can you give an example from your own life of why they matter?
9. Kate admits that it often feels like if we hurt inside, something’s wrong with us. And yet every great spiritual teacher has told us the opposite which, in the words of Glennon, is, “There’s no glory except straight through your story.” What message has religion or spirituality given you about how to become your truest, untamed, self?
10. If there’s one thing Glennon has learned in the last few years it’s that her joy and her people’s joy is not mutually exclusive. “There is no one-way liberation.” What’s one way you’ll choose joy today?
Bonus: After listening to this week’s podcast, what part of Kate and Glennon’s conversation resonated with you most? What insight will you carry with you?
Discussion Questions written by author, editor, and facilitator Erin S. Lane.
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