Max's Notes are my personal takeaways. No background at all, just the standout usable bits I want to remember from my reading. If I write about a book here, you can know that I found it sane and useful - and most likely it made me laugh.
Use at will! Take what you need, leave the rest.
Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton
The "representative": a false self that Glennon sends to attend high school and take her real self's place in other dangerous environments. This representative eventually becomes a problem for her, especially in marriage.
Note to self: GDM may fire her representative in favor of living in a fully authentic manner everywhere she goes, but I love the notion of a representative. Personally, I have several representatives on staff. I'd never promote one to CEO, but they're fantastic for talking to bank managers and cops and the IRS.
How (NOT) to respond to someone else's calamity:
- Shovers cram your tragedy into their story, and make everything tidy. "Everything happens for a reason! You'll be fine! Off you go now! I've fixed you and given you hope!"
- Comparers got no room for your particular grief. It's just like theirs, or someone they know. "Why you acting like a baby? Nothing special about you, twas ever thus, I got more examples if you want em."
- Fixers know exactly how to clean up this catastrophe. They read a book about it and if you can hang on for a second, they'll look up the title. "No need to spend one more moment in pain if you will just do what I am telling you."
- Reporters are just connecting so they can extract the juicy details and pass them on ASAP, usually under the cover of concern.
- Victims are people who are wounded that they didn't hear news of your troubles sooner, from you. Why didn't you call them right away? "I thought we were friends!"
- God Reps (few in my world, but if you go to church, and Glennon does, I guess you're pretty vulnerable to this class of hardship vulture) need to tell you what Jesus wants you to do about your difficulties. Since God religions are mostly, by definition, patriarchal, this kind of approach is going to stick in your feminist craw.
Note to self: Obviously, there's only one way to receive news of someone else's devastation: Listen without prejudice, unless they're paying me for advice.
Very important corollary note to self: When anyone offers unsolicited advice, it is safe to assume that anything they say is about them, and not you.
^^^ This is why I read books like Love Warrior. Not for advice, but for backup.
"I'd rather lose [Craig, Glennon's husband] forever than lose myself ever again. I will never abandon myself again. That is all I know."
Takeaway, or One Thing I Will Do Different Now
Next time someone shares bad news, listen kindly and stay stumm. Repeat forever.