In case you missed the first post of my trip to Charleston to hear Glennon Melton speak, you can read that HERE. If you already read it, then welcome back! Here is the continuation of the 25 Things (takeaways if you will) from hear the fabulous Mrs. Melton’s talk.
25 Things from Glennon Melton’s Talk
13. “Laughter is proof of hope.”
This was part of the Glennon’s response on how she got started blogging. She went all the way back to when she went to AA (Alcholics Anonymous) with her sister, whom she affectionately refers to as her Left Lung. Her sister said to her she wasn’t sure if AA was going to be enough, she may need more like Triple A. And they laughed together.
Humor is Glennon’s key survival and connection tool. On her blog she wrote,
“I will keep laughing. I will joke. Because to me – laughing is not a dismissal of life’s pain, but an acknowledgement that we can live, even just momentarily, beyond pain. Laughter is proof that we walk the path we’re given any way we choose – whistling, if we’d like, in the face of perceived danger. Connecting with others through laughter is my favorite thing to do, and I will not wait until All Is Well to do my favorite thing. All is Never well. There is always something to fear. But laughter is a defiant dance in the face of fear. It’s a mocking of hopelessness. It says we are more –we are MORE – than our circumstances. This life- it is too important to be taken seriously. Our bodies and hearts might hurt, but our souls are in perfect shape, always. And laughter is from the soul. No matter how beat up the rest of our parts might be, the soul can laugh, because the soul is ALWAYS as healthy and whole and strong as it was on the day it was born.”
14. “Negative people distract you from creating–it’s like tug of war. So just let go of the rope and all the negative people fall on their asses!”
When asked about responding to negative comments, Glennon came up with this little gem. And it’s so true. Why do we get our knickers in a twist over the trolls, the people who say mean things to bring others down to make themselves feel better? In her book, Glennon relays her mantra on those that are mean on the Internet: “If you’re not kind on the Internet, you’re not kind.”
15. “I think we were meant to create and serve. If you tell me who you envy, I can tell your what to create.”
I am looking at things in a whole new light because of this and the next sentence. They are so good, they have to be separate numbers! I’m in touch with my green eyed monster: anything to do with people who have great blogs or write incredibly, who make good Christian music, or are on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. So there’s what I should create. This brings up an interesting point: we should say we’re happy or excited for a friend who gets good news but NOT that we’re jealous. Here’s why as Amiyrah from Four Hats and Frugal writes:
“Words that are used too freely: jealous and FOMO. If your friend is offered a great new job, cool media trip, or a fun opportunity, the last thing you should say is that you’re jealous. Whether you mean it or not, that word will take over your mind and cause you to indeed be jealous. Who wants to walk around with that feeling in their heart? A better phrase to say when you see your friends being blessed: ‘I’m happy for you.’ Then, actually be happy for them. Let’s see what manifests into your life when you do that, mmmkay?”
16. “If you tell me what breaks your heart, I can tell you who you need to serve.”
We all have things that break our hearts and motivate us to DO SOMETHING. For my best friend Suzanne, it’s animal cruelty and foreign adoption. Meanwhile, Donna runs and carried the torch for Special Olympics; Faith mentors a young girl who also faces life with her lucky fin as a result of ABS (Amniotic Band Syndrome); Ashlee and her husband work with Young Life. Whatever breaks your heart is the catalyst for who you need to serve.
17. Parenting is like being a dormant volcano. You know, I’ve never thought of it this way, but somehow Glennon’s analogy of being a dormant volcano when parenting makes sense. She’s sitting in the park chatting with another mom, who asks the innocent question, I feel Like a dormant volcano all day. Talk about bringing a play date to a screeching halt!
But I understand this, especially after last night when both my kids tested me in different but equally trying way. When it happens on the same night, you are convinced they are in cahoots and trying to drive you to the brink! So my teen daughter gets a really bad grade on a test, and I’m like, “You can do better. This is not acceptable.” She would say the dormant volcano just erupted. In truth, I really didn’t go off–but inside I was simmering and oozing with hot lava. But it was important for her to go to bed knowing she doesn’t have to make all A’s or that I expect that of her. I heard myself telling her what matters is that she has character, integrity and is kind, brave and walks the walk as a Christian. I told her I’m proud of her and pointed out how independent and responsible she has been about her assignments and how I don’t have to hover over her to make sure her work is done. But that I am here to help. She went to sleep knowing these things and I somehow pulled all that out of my you-know-where and the volcano went back to sleep, too.
18. People aren’t doing things AT YOU. But boy, it can feel like that. So Glennon shares this story of how she managed to get all 3 of her munchkins out the door and took them to the food court. She’s having a good day and the kids are looking around like they are at Disneyland because they’ve never been to the food court. Glennon is proud in her accomplishment because she has gotten the better of her anxiety. And then up walks another mom with her daughter with two braids. Not just one. But TWO. This is noteworthy because Glennon often can’t even get a brush through her girls’ hair, let alon a braid. The mom sits down at the table right next to them and then starts pulling something out of her bag. It’s …. an avocado. She feeds this avocado to her daughter like a mama bird would to its baby bird. And Glennon has to call her husband because it’s all too much. She says to him, “This mom is parenting AT ME.” And he replies with the technique they have learned in therapy, “OK, I hear what you are saying…” and repeats it back. Then asks her to consider if there is any universe where she can consider the fact that this mom had no idea Glennon would be in the food court that day. Silence.
The realization hits: this mom is not parenting AT ME. No one is doing anything AT ME. People who have different beliefs or politics are not doing it AT ME. It can feel like that sometimes, but we are all just trying to do the best we can. The struggle is REAL on this one.
19. The broken-hearted are doing world-changing things.
I’m the canary in the mine and you need my sensitivity because I can smell toxins in the air that you can’t smell, see trouble you don’t see and sense danger you don’t feel. My sensitivity could save us all. And so instead of letting me fall silent and die — why don’t we work together to clear some of this poison from the air?”
21. When there aren’t any words, find a way to say something.
Have you seen this before: sometimes when people hit rock bottom or lose it all, they may also lose their friends. Why is that? Glennon suggests that it’s not because these friends aren’t good people or didn’t love their friend. Rather, they just didn’t know what to say to fix it. We need to not be so obsessed with fixing it and simply be there for our friend. Glennon suggested, “All that helps is saying, ‘I see your pain and it’s real and I’m honored if you’ll let me sit here with you.'”.
22. A funny thing happens when you open the floor up to Q&A. People share their stories too and it becomes a magical moment.
A woman who is a professor at College of Charleston came forward and shared how things are in Charleston for her as a black female after the shootings. After she shared her struggles and her determination to stay and be part of progress, she got a standing ovation. Glennon jumped down from the stage and ran to give her a hug. The sense of community and sistering in the room was palpable.
23. Glennon just gets it.
She met and posed for photos with hundred of women that lined up after the event. Even when she wasn’t told beforehand there would be a VIP after party and she had to get to the airport, she still made time to stop by and give more hugs and speak to everyone. Class act!
24. My friend and I met Glennon’s parents afterwards, and she comes from good stock.
Bubba and Tisha are charming, friendly and so proud of both their daughters. They drove down from Virginia to hear Glennon speak, then were headed down to Florida to stay with Glennon and see the grandkids. Just talking with them for a few minutes, I got the sense that they were the foundation that helped cement their girls’ success.
25. If you follow Momastery or Glennon or have read her book, you should move heaven and earth to go hear her speak. That goes DOUBLE for people who don’t know her.