Becoming a Love Warrior

February 14, 2018

I love meeting members of the Greatness community. Whether it’s during my event (the Summit of Greatness), book launches or other events, my favorite thing to do is give them a hug. I believe in the power of connection, loving people and showing up. It makes them feel appreciated, and it also fills me up. 

This was not always the case when I was growing up. I was an athlete, and it was all about dominating the other team, not loving them. Communicating was hard for me, so when I launched the School of Greatness podcast, I had to work on being present when having a conversation. It was intimidating because I didn’t have sports to mask my insecurities. 

When I had Glennon Doyle on the podcast for the second time, we dived into her memoir, Love Warrior, and she brought up some really great points that made this all make sense to me.

During our conversation, we talked about love. Love in a marriage, love through addiction and love in general. She opened up about her struggles with love and how hitting rock bottom was actually the best thing for her and her marriage. What resonated the most with me was when she talked about how men and women interpret and give love differently.

Related: 17 Timeless Love Quotes

Women love with their minds and souls. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a woman, whether it was as a partner, a mother, a sister or a friend, you may have noticed that some of them thrive on having deep conversations. It’s how they show love. Glennon made an excellent point that when girls are growing up, they are taught that their bodies are meant to be given away, rather than respected. That leads to a lot of resistance when it comes to physical love.

Men love entirely differently. We love with our bodies. Growing up, especially as an athlete, I always remember being taught by society that if I’m vulnerable, I’m weak. We aren’t taught how to communicate our feelings. It’s a big problem and was the topic of my book The Mask of Masculinity. In it, I talk about all of the different types of masks that men wear to avoid intimate conversations and vulnerability, from the stoic mask to the sexual mask and everywhere in between. Some men avoid these conversations with their partners, their parents and their friends. 

Women sometimes feel threatened by physical intimacy. Men sometimes feel threatened by deep conversation. With men and women having different perspectives on love, it can be hard. And I don’t just mean in an intimate setting. But it doesn’t have to be. 

As Glennon says, “Love is about relentlessly showing up.” It think that is so powerful because it applies to more than just love. It’s true with life and business as well. And showing up could simply mean being honest and doing whatever it takes. When you start showing up, you may find that the other person starts showing up, too.

Related: The Secret to Happiness Is Just Love​

Here’s a powerful question to ask yourself: How can you show up for your partner and your friends?

For Glennon, she found that when life and love got the hardest, being willing to go the extra mile supported her the best. She saw it in other people, too, and it eventually ended up making her better. It made her whole. It’s what she calls being a love warrior. 

Life and love isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work.

When things weren’t easy, Glennon was given a little push to pursue her dream of being a writer by her sister, Amanda. It was in that time that she committed to writing every day, which eventually led to her blog, Momastery. She started sharing her struggles and fears with other women, and the support and the stories she received changed her life.

Years later, as her marriage was crumbling and she and her husband were in therapy working to save it, she again turned to writing to express her thoughts and feelings. Through this process (and learning new ways to open up and communicate in her marriage), Glennon created an entirely new kind of relationship with her husband, her family and herself.

I’ve always loved Glennon’s example of being a “love warrior,” of choosing to show up even when it’s tough, and in telling her story authentically. It’s this kind of example that allows me to find the courage to do the same in my own life.

What I have found as a result is that showing up is worth it.

Listen to the entire conversation with Glennon Doyle here

Related: 8 Traits of Healthy Relationships

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