U is for Untamed

When people ask my opinion on must-reads, Glennon Doyle’s memoir, Love Warrior makes my list. It’s the inspiring story of a woman who has overcome bulimia and alcoholism and then faces her husband’s infidelity. It’s about the healing process and finding trust in self. Love Warrior is one of those books that I marked up, and as promised, it changed my life.

Since 2016, I waited patiently for Glennon’s next memoir Untamed. I follow her on Instagram, so I knew the premise to come. My friend of forty-years Pamela follows her, too, and mailed me a copy. When the book arrived, I pulled a yellow highlighter from the kitchen-miscellaneous drawer and started reading and highlighting. 

Between memoirs, Glennon fell in love with a woman—Abby Wambach, soccer icon, speaker, New York Times bestselling author, and activist for equality and inclusion. Untamed tells their story and launches into more activism—racial justice, refugee rights, and women’s ability to live and work without the threat of sexual harassment and violence. At times, it feels preachy. I like Glennon most when she sticks to her story. Regardless, she is insightful and funny, her relationship with Abby loving and faithful, and her truths universal: 


“In the past eighteen years, I have learned two things about pain.

First: I can feel everything and survive. What I thought would kill me, didn’t. Every time I said to myself: I can’t take this anymore—I was wrong…

Second: I can use pain to become. I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever” (51).


“There is a life meant for you that is truer than the one you’re living. But in order to have it, you will have to forge it yourself. You will have to create on the outside what you are imagining on the inside. Only you can bring it forth” (64).


“A few years ago, Alicia Keys announced to the world that she was done wearing makeup. She said, ‘I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles…Nothing.’

A while later I read an interview with Adam Levine. He said that while they were filming a show together, he poked his head into Alicia Keys’s dressing room. She had her back to him, and she was leaning into the mirror, putting on lipstick.

He smiled and said, ‘Oh, I thought Alicia doesn’t wear makeup.’

She turned around, looked at him, lipstick in her hand. She said, ‘I do what the fuck I want’” (101).


“I have spent the last decade of my life listening to women talk about what they most desire. This is what women tell me they want:

  • I want a minute to take a deep breath.
  • I want rest, peace, passion.
  • I want good food and true, wild, intimate sex.
  • I want relationships with no lies.
  • I want to be comfortable in my own skin.
  • I want to be seen, to be loved.
  • I want joy and safety for my children and for everyone else’s children.
  • I want justice for all.
  • I want help, community, connection.
  • I want to be forgiven, and I want to finally forgive.
  • I want enough money and power to stop feeling afraid.
  • I want to find my purpose down here and live it out fully.
  • I want to look at the news and see less pain, more love.
  • I want to look at the people in my life and really see them and love them.
  • I want to look in the mirror and really see myself and love myself.
  • I want to feel alive (121).


“I will never promise to be this way or that way, I will only promise to show up, as I am, wherever I am. That’s it, and that’s all. People will like me or not, but being liked is not my One Thing; integrity is. So I must live and tell my truth. Folks will come around or quit coming around. Either way: lovely. Anything or anyone I could lose by telling the truth was never mine anyway” (200).


“I think of the words of Dr. Maya Angelou: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better’” (219).


“After a decade of listening to women, I’m convinced that our deepest fears are:

  1. Living without ever finding our purpose
  2. Dying without ever finding our true belonging” (267).


“I’m a clinically depressed inspirational speaker. I am a diagnosed anxious person whose main job is to convince people that everything’s okay. Please note that if I can be these things, anyone can be anything” (275).


“I’ll tell you this: The braver I am, the luckier I get” (296).


“Glennon shows us the clearest meaning of ‘To thine own self be true.’ It’s as if she reached into her heart, captured the raw emotions there and translated them into words that anyone who’s ever known pain or shame—in other words, every human on the planet—can relate to” (Oprah Winfrey, Untamed book cover).

Today I’m thankful for the Untamed perspective, the ability to make up my own mind, and a platform to pass along my thoughts. Next book—Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient.

Thank U for visiting my A-Z blogging challenge. If U stumbled onto my post by chance today, I’ve been sticking to a theme of gratitude this month and working my way through the alphabet. Past posts are linked below 😊:

A is for Apple and B is for Boozer and C is for Champagne and Chanel No. 5 and D is for Dad and E is for Epiphany and F is for Faith + Gratitude = Peace + Hope and G is for Great _______ and H is for Hatbox and Honeysuckle and I for an I and J is for Jesus and K is for Kody and L is for the Lovely Lauren and M is for the Marvelous Misti and a Dirty Martini and N is for the Numbers and O is for the Oversized Owl and P—Prayer and My Grandmother’s Pearls and R is for Ripples Colliding and S is for Siblings and T is for the Tomlinsons

A to Z Challenge

55 thoughts on “U is for Untamed

  1. This was really touching. It’s not a book I want to read so I’m glad to have this perspective.
    I just joined Instagram. Not sure if I’ll keep it or not. What’s your thoughts? And about using your real name (I did, but getting contradictory advice. And I need tutorial 101 a hundred times 🙂 )
    Love, light and glitter


    1. Hi Eliza!

      I’m crystal_lea_b on Instagram, but I have mine linked to crystalbyers.com so it’s not that private. However, there are privacy settings, and I usually don’t accept follows from people I don’t know. Especially men. If you use #hashtags people other than followers will see your posts.

      I know a number of people who don’t post, only follow.

      I’m happy you liked the quote collection. At one point I started a quote journal. I need to find it. I didn’t remember in time for the Q post. ❤️


      1. Oh that’s really good to know – about hashtags.
        So I opened 2 accounts but will probably delete one. One with my full name (do people say that’s unsafe?) And one for my blog.
        Really I just want a place to post my pictures of nature… I’m sure it’ll end up other things to. I’m thinking I’ll delete the blog one because I don’t want one of my sisters to ever connect to my blog (one day I may show my other sisters my blog). For now it’s public – nothing on there, not sure whether it’ll be private.
        I hate that I have so much to learn. And really I hate that I’ve been influenced by my sisters outlook- above – which is so unhealthy. I think it’s beautiful to be raised without social media and one of the things that has given me is no need for it. Most my friends whether jewish or not don’t use social media much. And it’s an advantage that I’ve no clue anything (keep on pep talking to yourself on Crystal’s blog E 🙂 )
        If you find it I’d love to see your quotes.


      2. Yup, glitter 🙂
        I managed to change it 🙂 though had to double it in the username as all variations were taken.

        Do you use a picture of yourself as the profile or something else?


      3. 7th of April. But really only a week or so ago – last Monday. Because we celebrated our hebrew birthday. Usually we laugh because I tell my brother we have different birthdays as I usually celebrate my english and he the hebrew. With the lockdown for some reason we only celebrated the Hebrew one. Which is 4 days after pesach. This year that fell out on the 20th. Long rambling explanation over 🙂


      4. Onto why I asked. A friend who shares our birthday (same as one, day earlier on other) suggested on one of gratitude posts that we do * 1000 gratitudes for each year of our lives during this year. And we split it in two so each only have to do half. I calculated we need to do 50 a day – because we have to minus 52 shabbatim, really we shouldn’t have to do fridays either but that will be too much. And chaggim and we started late… so we started on thursday which makes today day 3 (Thursday, Friday/shabbat, sunday). I just thought it’s something you may like to do. You can times your birthday by 100 to make it easier. Then by the end of the year you’ll have that many different gratitudes all written down. So if it were sometime soon or was recently I was gonna suggest you see if it interests you.
        Ramble over 🙂


      5. More power to you and your friend, Eliza! Knowing myself, that sounds impossible. The last few years I’ve tried journaling three a day for the month of November. It’s a challenge to keep up. Not to feel grateful, just to write it down. I only accept what I know I can do, and I know I can feel grateful everyday without worrying about numbers. Thanks for thinking of me.


    2. I found the other missing reply in my spam, but for some reason I still couldn’t reply to it. By the way, I saw the Jojo Moyes book on your night stand. I love her.


      1. 🙂 I’m not sure what the other comment said. I loved her books! You actually may like a memoir, hang on, just was googling it, a million little pieces by James Frey, seems like a lot is fiction and a lot truth.


      2. Hmmm. That’s tough. I love Maya Angelou. I usually don’t read the same author over and over. Have you ever read John Green? He’s always good.

        Also, do you use Goodreads by chance? I keep track of books I’ve read and want to read there.


      3. I read fault in our stars and liked then began turtles all the way down and found it triggering so stopped. I’ll have to look up Maya.

        Have you read Ali McNamara?


      4. I didn’t read Turtles, but Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska and of course TFIOS. I have not read Ali McNamara. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is probably my most favorite ever. It’s a memoir.


      5. I want to read that last book. I’m not sure your style so don’t know what books you’d want to read.


      6. I’ll have to get her books from the library after lockdown. They look really good…
        I’ve never used goodreads. How does it work? Sounds good so you know what you’re looking for


      7. Google Goodreads and sign up using your email. I use it when I’m in the library or bookstore to remember what I want to read. My list is long and growing. It’s like other social media platforms where you can follow other readers or authors.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I was going to say I don’t like historical fiction but actually I love some and hate others depends on the writing. Gone with the wind is probably historical (I don’t like the book. I cried for days and was sad about the end for years…)


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