Happy Festivus, Momastery!


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Ah, Festivus! That non-holiday holiday for the rest of us that features “the airing of grievances.”

And on this Festivus Eve, I have a grievance that I want to air:

Glennon Doyle Melton doesn’t really love Jesus.

She claims to, but in actuality she doesn’t.

(–And am I any better?  I don’t know.  I don’t know if I am in actuality loving Jesus.  But I’m trying.  I don’t know if I’m succeeding.  I don’t know if I’m getting it right.  But I am trying.)

Glennon is a very sensitive person.

She knows this, but she’s trying remedy this by trying her hand at living out loud, daring greatly and living vulnerably.  But in actuality she’s not really doing any of these things.  She’s not actually grasping what the concept of “vulnerability” is all about.

Living vulnerably doesn’t mean merely claiming (or saying) that this is what you’re doing–“hey, look at me, I’m daring greatly and living vulnerably!!  Yippee!” while in actuality, in deed and behavior, walling out those who do not agree with you and banishing all dissent and contrary opinions.

That’s not vulnerability.  That’s living safely immured behind a walled fortress, surrounded by like-minded mirrors who will reflect back to you only what you want and are willing to see of yourself.

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

It’s not vulnerability; it’s the pride, ego, and self-delusion that reinforces our faults and blind-spots.  And it does the same for those who are being our mirrors.

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I don’t agree with all of what Glennon writes.  Some of it is very good; but frankly I think some of it is just plain bad advice–advice that actually doesn’t lead to the betterment of society or her followers, but only makes her followers (her “monkees” as they are eager to be referred to) feel better temporarily, and only reinforces and perpetuates emotionally reactive living.

Case in point: her “Don’t Carpe Diem” post — her lack of perspective rant against the idea of living in a way that is more appreciative of what one has, and that aims to be more appreciative of what one has and not take it for granted.

Carpe diem–appreciating what we have, not taking it (what we have; life itself, our own life and others’) for granted, not wasting the day out of pettiness and blindness and anger and irritability but instead living more deeply and courageously–is a really good message.  A much needed message.  A *MUCH* needed message.

But, granted, it’s a hard message to hear–a so-called bitter pill to swallow.

It’s hard (difficult) because it means not living in denial, but rather actually being *truly* vulnerable, facing our own (and others’) vulnerability–i.e. fragility, brevity, perishability.  That’s part of what real vulnerability is all about: exposing ourselves to what most frightens us and what might overwhelm us and / or undo us.

So carpe diem is difficult because ultimately it means facing and wrestling with our own and others’ (those we love’s) mortality, death, extinction.  And that’s a painful / terrifying thing to realize, consider, reflect on, deal with.

It’s a lot to haul.

As in A LOT to consider and emotionally (and not just intellectually) metabolize and digest.

Carpe diem is also difficult because it means learning how to try and control/manage our emotions, moods, attitude.  In other words: CHANGE.  Carpe diem is a clarion call–an unmistakable imperative–to change, as in the end line of Rilke’s profound and potent poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo”–“you must change your life.”

Change is terrifying, and growth–growing up–even more so.  Giving up our patterned ways of responding, facing our own inner demons and darkness and wounds and past, is daunting endeavor to say the least.

It’s easier to just stay as we are and rationalize it and make excuses for it.  Especially when thousands of other people are living just as irritably and ungratefully, and are looking to rationalize their own lack of perspective and emotional immaturities.

We all know what the vast majority of people do when given the choice between changing their life and habitual patterned responses and moods and actually growing, versus staying the same and proving there’s no need to grow and or change.

Nearly everyone gets busy on the proof.

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — John Kenneth Galbraith, “Economics, Peace and Laughter” (1971), p. 50.

On Monday, I wrote a piece challenging Glennon’s thinking once again (I challenged it the first time when her original “Don’t Carpe Diem” post came out back in early Jan of 2012).  I challenged it because she wrote a post “Vigil” that seemed fairly obviously to contradict much of what she had written in her regrettable “Don’t Carpe Diem” post.

In “Vigil” she wrote about her reactions to the Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter.  She wrote about realizing how precious her family and children and friends are.  She wrote about just wanting to be with them and to love and be loved by them.–

“Hi Friends.  In an hour, the kids and I are heading to the airport. Back to Virginia to be with my people.  I just booked the flights yesterday. I couldn’t spend another day without my Sister and my (her) baby. Can you blame me?  Bubba and Tisha will pick us up at the airport. I just want my mom and my dad. Don’t you? I want my friends. And more than I want my friends, I want their kids. I need to hold and smell and pray for each one of them. I need to check in to make sure the things I love are real. . . . I just know I want my mom and dad and Bobby and Sister and Brother in law and I want to hold my friends’ babies. That will have to be okay for now. I’m going home. To love and be loved.” — Glennon Doyle Melton

And she also wrote about how much she has grown and matured this year–about how she is both stronger and softer; about how she is better able to stay in the moment and not be overwhelmed by controversy and disagreement; and about how people criticizing her doesn’t send her into depression and despair like it used to.–

“I can tell I’m getting softer. I’m so grateful to God for that. There were comments made on our FB page that a year ago would have sent me into a rage and a deep depression. Not anymore. Folks need to say what they need to say. The expression of grief and anger are so unique to each of us. I’m just glad we can hold a safe space for people to express their pain. It’s okay. We can handle it.  I hear the humanity and desperation and ultimately, the LOVE, behind the comments of EVERYONE this time around. . . . These are serious times and they call for serious people.  I think if never before, now is the time to admit that the problems we have are very,very complicated and multi-layered and desperate. And to solve them, it’s going to take all of us. Right now, we cannot scream at each other for peace. I can’t anyway. If we’ve done what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’re always gotten. We’ve got to try something else. . . . We need everybody’s very best, very highest self to step forward. ” — Glennon Doyle Melton

And so in light of this–in light of what she wrote, in light of this crack in her armor that she seemed to be showing–I challenged her once again on her “Don’t Carpe Diem” post.

And . . . long story short, her monkees took great umbrage with both my message and my tone and style of message.  A great angry hornet’s nest of flying monkees was stirred up and unleashed on me!

Go out and exxorcise this demon, my little monkees!

Go out and exxorcise this demon, my little monkees!

Bitter angry upset monkee after bitter angry upset monkee came after me and called me names, told me I wasn’t welcomed there, proclaimed that my ideas and standards were unrealistic, and that I was a meany–a snotty meanie!!

Off to go and get the snotty meanie who dared to challenge the great and powerful Glennon!! “Go get him, my pretties; go and get that mean man!”

Long story short, without even having a chance to respond to my many critics and detractors, I was accused of posting under a false alias (because my wife had happened to post a response to all of the mean angry monkees, and because that response came from the same IP address as my comment, so they thought they had caught me in a trap and that I had been duplicitly posting under a false name!).  Glennon and her sister, Mandy / Amanda posted this accusation–

It was just one man, lovies; just one man.

“In other words, Monkees:

“Finkle is Einhorn. Einhorn is FInkle.”

“I have exxxxxxorcised the demons.”

-Ace Ventura” (a.k.a Glennon Doyle Melton & Amanda Doyle)

They were giddy, they were elated.  There was singing, there was dancing.  They were celebrating as if ding dong the wicked witch were dead.

Yet they hadn’t done anything to legitimately deal with what I wrote.

And since their allegations were false, their celebration was of course very premature (as well as misguided).  But it did start to show the world their true colors, their character, what they actually stood for, and what they were really about–pride, soft-mindedness, avoidance, comfort, escape).

And so I responded by letting Glennon know that she was wrong in her accusations. And meanwhile my wife messaged Glennon on facebook and gave her our number so she could verify for herself that I was not posting as two people.

But the cowardly / avoidant Glennon and her cowardly avoidant sister never called, and they never retracted their false allegation! (Predictable.)  Instead they BANNED me from posting on Momastery, while Lilliputian little monkee after Lilliputian little monkee tried to take cheap shot after cheap shot at me.  And then I employed a few countermeasures of my own and bypassed their little ban and I posted several brief yet brilliant and extremely civil and munificently magnanimous comments (considering the comments that these monkees had made to me) to several of my detractors.   The brilliance and munificence of my additional comments was clearly too much for them to handle, and so in order to save face, they did what any weak organism would do: they swept the whole shebang under the rug: they deleted their posts, my comments (including my original and incredibly wise and perceptive comment), as well as many of the angry little monkee’s furious little posts of fury.

The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people, and now, you're gonna hear about it, beginning with you, Melton.  So I hear you think you’re a Christian and a warrior, well let me tell you something about warriors.  I knew Martin Luther King, Jr., Glennon.  He was a warrior and a Christian.  And you, Glennon are neither a warrior nor a Christian . . .

The tradition of Festivus beginning with the Airing of Grievances.

Now I got a lot of problems with you people, and you’re gonna hear about it.
Kruger, my son tells me your company stinks! You couldn’t smooth a silk sheet if you had a date with a hot babe!
And as for you, Melton, I hear you fancy yourself as a Martha Stewart soccer mom version of a Christian and a warrior.  Well let me tell you something, missy; I marched with a real soccer mom warrior and Christian by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr., and you, Melton, are no Martin Luther King Jr. . . .

 

The ultimate measure of a human being is not where he or she stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where a person stands at times of challenge and controversy. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

And it was right then and there that Glennon Doyle Melton showed the world her true colors, she showed everyone her character, what she really stood for, what she was really all about, and that she didn’t actually love Jesus.

Ultimately, what Glennon showed that she stood for was pride and comfort and avoidance, taking the path of least resistance–the easiest of the easy ways out.

She auctioned off a little more of her soul and her self-respect and self-esteem to the lowest bidder.

And in doing so, she showed that she actually wasn’t really a Christian.  She was a white-washed tomb–beautiful and well-dressed (in comfy yoga pants and namaste t-shirt) on the outside but compartmentalized and fragmented and dissonant (saying / aspiring to one thing, but actually doing another) on the inside.

She did unto another human being what she clearly wouldn’t want done unto her.  She ran and hid, instead of step up, admit she was wrong in her accusation, and ask for forgiveness.

I don’t hate or dislike Glennon.  But I do think that what she did was foolish and sad and unsavory.  I do think it was gutless and cowardly.  That it wasn’t right or just or moral.

But I don’t dislike her.  I have nothing against her.  She’s a sister from another mother (and father).  I want to see her grow up and be able to admit it when she makes a mistake or falsely accuses someone of something.  I want to see her grow and learn how to be a more centered and emotionally self-controlled person.  I want to see her grow and learn how to legitimately deal with criticism and a different and dissenting opinion or point of view (instead of running away from it and trying to avoid it, and going to the lengths she has to wipe it away).

I’m doing to her what I would want done unto me if I were to have done to me what she has done to me–falsely accused me of something, walled me out, et cetera.

I started this post by throwing down the gauntlet and accusing Glennon of not really loving Jesus.

Have you figured out why that accusation might actually make sense?  See if the following passage helps to clarify things . . .

The Judgment (The Sheep and the Goats)

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did unto one of the least of least of these my brethren, you did for me.’

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do unto one of the least of these my brethren, you did not do for me.’

46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

(Matthew 25: 31-46)

Christianity–claiming to be a Christian, claiming to Love Jesus and be a follower of Jesus / Christ–is a big claim.  It means a lot.  Or at least it ought to.

And it requires a lot (of us).  Or it least it ought to.

And Matthew 25:40 cuts to the chase of what it means to truly be a Christian, what it means to truly love one another as we love ourselves, to do unto others as we would want and approve of having done unto us if the situation were reversed.  Everyone is Jesus.  no one gets excluded.  Everyone ought to be treated and loved as if he or she were Christ or had Christ hidden within him or her.

The mask that each man wears may well be a disguise not only for that man’s inner self but for God, wandering as a pilgrim and exile in His own creation. And indeed, if Christ became Man, it is because He wanted to be any man and every man.  If we believe in the Incarnation of the Son of God, there should be no one on earth in whom we are not prepared to see, in mystery, the presence of Christ. — Thomas Merton, “New Seeds of Contemplation,” pg. 296.

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There are no ordinary people

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It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

And it is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself is truly hidden.

– C. S. Lewis, from “The Weight of Glory

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So in this season where there is talk about the Birth of Christ–then this ought to be a large part of it: the birth and growth of this intention in us: to Love others as if they were Jesus, and to Love them as Jesus loved his disciples and as he loves us.  This is how a Christian makes his or love for Jesus apparent to the world: by loving the least of his or her brethren and sistren, by loving our enemies, our critics, our detractors, those who malign and do wrong to us.

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Glennon Melton, I love you in this way and I forgive you.

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  .   M E R R Y    C H R I S T M A S

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About John

I am a married, 46-year old, Midwesterner, with four children. My primary interest is in leading a very examined and decent and Loving life; my interests that are related to this and that feed into this include (and are not limited to) -- psychology, philosophy, poetry, critical thinking, photography, soccer, tennis, chess, bridge.
This entry was posted in "Don't Carpe Diem", "The Weight of Glory", C.S. Lewis, Carpe Diem, Glennon Melton, Gratitude, Immature Love, Matthew 25:40, Momastery, Real Love, Spiritual Growth, Thomas Merton, Truth, Uncategorized, Waking Up, What is Love? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Happy Festivus, Momastery!

  1. patricemj says:

    I didn’t even know about Momastary …. well, now I do. I just read her piece about not wanting to sieze the day to see why you were challenging it. Your debate is interesting to read and I appreciate the thought put into it, very rare. But I did thinking and reasoning, always have…but I’m also very emotional.

    One thing I’ve noticed about blogging is that it’s more about support, which is fine, and less about critical thinking. But blogging is so personal, it seems; once people become friends or followers the purpose of most exchanges is more to “cheer each other on”, it seems….I’m just thinking out loud. I’m thinking of the people who’ve been critical of me on my site and how inappropriate it felt to me, even though I value critical exchange. On my blog, I had pretty low tolerance for it (interesting). I think it’s because I see my blog as an intimate space. I feel on the defense in so much of my life, I felt I couldn’t be free to express my honest self if I couldn’t feel safe. That’s really just basic brain chemistry. I agree vulnerablity is about facing opposition, but some of us can’t birth our thoughts and concerns while feeling too much threat. Most of us can’t.

    In the work I do, as a therapist, i wait a long time before I start calling people on their stuff. I could do it in the first five minutes, but I know most wouldn’t hear it. If they could, they wouldn’t be seeking me out. So we spend a lot of time “building rapport” or “working on the alliance” or “creating a strong attachment”. The idea is that once you feel someone is good and you can trust them, you will also trust them when they have to point out stuff that might be hard to hear.

    By the time I do finally start to guide people or offer my opinion, they are ready for it because they know i only want the best for them. The relationship we share opens their hearts to truth. It’s sort of beautiful. Today I met with a woman who is raising her kid poorly. I met with her over a year ago and now she had found me in a new location and was seeking my services again. She says to me, “Frankly, you were kind of hard on C, and you were hard on me to, but the other person we saw didn’t help.” This interested me, because I do not recall being “hard on them” at all…matter of fact, I am sort of a softy therapist, I feel, because I feel so deeply with my clients (mostly teens), but I also ask more from them (eventually) than just about anyone they’ve ever met. When you feel loved you want nothing more than to seize the day.

    • John says:

      Thank you for reading and for the very thought-provoking comment, Patrice.

      First off, have you read any of David Schnarch’s books (“Passionate Marriage,” “Intimacy & Desire”) or Murray Bowen’s book (“Family Therapy in Clinical Practice”)?

      Bowen came up with this novel way of looking at and gauging people. He concluded that one of the fundamental ways that people differed from one another was in terms of something he called their level of “differentiation” or “differentiation of self.” A person who was fairly well-differentiated was someone who, in times of stress and discomfort and vulnerability, didn’t lose their cool, didn’t flood emotionally, was still able to think and reason and integrate principles into their behavior, and was able to insert a gap in between stimulus and response.

      Most people, according to both Bowen and Schnarch (who has expanded on many of Bowen’s ideas), are not very well differentiated. They tend to be fairly immature emotionally and in terms of their thinking, fairly dependent, and need a good amount of emotional (and other forms of) support in order to function well (Schnarch aptly describes this as “borrowed functioning”).

      Part of becoming better differentiated means learning how to act independent of feelings, or to act based on principle and to put action before feeling, instead of what usually occurs for most—feeling preceding action (most people act out on their feelings and moods and emotions). In other words, most people expect to feel safe and accepted first, prior to opening up and being vulnerable.

      But the better or more differentiated (emotionally mature and able to soothe ourselves and metabolize stress and anxiety) we are, then the more often we are able to set aside our want of feeling safe and validated/accepted first before opening up and or expressing our deeper thoughts, and the more adept we are at just saying what’s really on our minds and not worrying about other people’s approval, validation, or if they like us.

      Another way of looking at level of differentiation is that it speaks of the balance between how much core or solid self a person has developed (core beliefs and values, well thought through and deeply internalized) versus how much pseudo-self a person has and is maintaining and running on (pseudo-self is our chameleon self—it’s everything that we pretend to be in order to get what we want. It’s not our real self, but a mask. It’s the accommodator / people pleaser in us.) And again it also speaks to how emotionally stable we are in times of stress—including when we’re being vulnerable / intimate, or when we’re being criticized or being subject to a different opinion.

      Most people don’t have a lot of solid self motivating or fueling their behaviors and their thinking. Which means that if they’re not running on solid self (core beliefs, principles, conscience), then by necessity they’re running on something much less internalized and much more external to themselves or surfacy—they’re running on (motivated by) lower order needs (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—acceptance, self-esteem, other-esteem, belongingness, love [lowercase l]) and wants (ease, avoidance, comfort, pleasure, instead of higher order (self-actualizing and self-transcending) needs—beauty, awe, wonder, Truth, Love, conscience, community, spiritual and psychological growth.

      So that is the way I look at differentiation of self, and I share it as a way of helping to frame my comments in response to what you wrote.

      You wrote, Patrice, that you feel on the defense in so much of your life. Why is that?

      And I certainly understand (and can appreciate) what you wrote regarding therapy and building a relationship with those who see you (especially if they are teens). Criticism (constructive, discerning) or “more objective feedback” or a differing opinion are all difficult things to deal with. As a generality, most people do not think very critically or deeply. That’s just the way most people are. And the only way to legitimately deal with criticism / a different and opposing point of view is by thinking critically and honestly about it. There’s no other way of dealing with it legitimately.

      We are a very critical thinking averse society. And that’s why so many people think that the problem with society is that people aren’t kind enough or that people are too judgmental. If a person doesn’t know how to think critically, then, yes, of course, the problem with society must be that people are too mean and judgmental and harsh and need to be kinder.

      But that “solution” (people are too judgmental and need to stop judging and just be kinder and more accepting) stems from their weakness / deficiency / inabilities and only serves to support them and enable them and perpetuate them.

      To me it’s crystal clear that one of the things we as a culture need to begin embracing and improving is our critical thinking skills—thinking critically, honestly; and being able / willing to examine our own thinking (meta-awareness / meta-cognition).

      Because what’s also becoming crystal clear is that people who can’t / don’t deal with criticism very well also happen not to be able to love others (or themselves) very well either. Our ability to love is inexorably link to our ability to deal with criticism legitimately. That’s just becoming more and more obvious to me.

      And, in regards to Momastery and Glennon—she’s got 50,000 plus pseudo-friends and supporters and cheerer-on-ers and wound-lickers, so she’ll be OK. And her sister will protect her and help build the wall as well. So I’m not really too worried about Glennon. And what’s true of her is true of most—truth in soft touches and kind words doesn’t stand much of chance of making it through. It has to be snuck in through some story or fable or parable (as if in a Trojan horse) or it has to be said in a very straightforward way and you let people get angry and defensive and you see if they maybe get a clue and actually see their own defensiveness and escapist tendencies.

      The real problem with Momastery and that “Feed Your Inner Fool” post as well as that “Don’t Carpe Diem” post is that it’s just bad advice. It’s actually not going to be helpful for most people. And that was the precipitator of my “Do Carpe Diem” post. What if someone who just recently lost a spouse or a child had read that “Don’t Carpe Diem” post way back in Jan of this year (2012), and had thought to herself, “Wow, this really nails it for me. It’s okay for me to be moody and ungrateful and unappreciative. It’s okay for me to not want to learn how to be a better parent; I’m okay just as I am. And it’s okay for me to want to check out and put my kids to bed early, and get a glass of wine and check out to Bravo reality TV shows, and not actually give my kids attention or interact much with them, or pay attention to them and give them corrections and consequences—it’s ok for me to be asleep at the parenting wheel.

      How much regret and guilt would a such person feel if that’s how they had lived for the last 10 months and just recently lost a child? Guilt and regret come from doing bad things, or from realizing that we didn’t really do our best or near best, or that we were taking life and other people for granted and not really appreciating them.

      And that’s what carpe diem is all about. Living in a way such that our regret and guilt would be very minimal / nonexistent if someone around us were to suddenly die. We would have told that person how we feel (so they would know it) and we would have acted in way towards that person that expresses just how much we care about that person and appreciate him or her (so the person would know that we loved him or her and really cared deeply about him/her). We’d have a clear conscience. And we would have lived better because of it and the other person’s life would be better because of it as well.

      So I agree, when we truly love and care about others, we don’t them—or our time with them—for granted and we don’t waste it—because of foul moods, moodiness, irritability, et cetera. Quickly dealing with and working through our foul moods and irritability / crankiness is one of the ways that we make our love and care for others—as well as ourselves—visible / demonstrable / real / actual, and not in word only.

      Kindest regards, Patrice, and thank you again for reading and for your very thought-provoking comment. And Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      John

      • Jenny says:

        Another great post and response John … and really open and interesting comment by patrice. 🙂 So much here to ponder and reflect on!

      • patricemj says:

        This comment has given me a lot to think about this morning. I thank you for sharing. Best, Patrice

      • biologymad says:

        Patrice has made some very good points. The differentiation of self stuff is also interesting, though I’m not sure where I am on the ‘differentiated scale’. I’m a very emotional person, & I believe this is something I cannot change; it’s the way I am. But what I am trying to change is how I manage my emotions, so that they don’t hold me back or control me. ‘Most people expect to feel safe and accepted first, prior to opening up and being vulnerable’- is that necessarily a bad thing? It’s probably not good to tell the whole world all your deepest darkest secrets. But where do you draw the line? I am a very open person, & some people think I’m too open. But others are blessed by my openness, & feel more comfortable to open up because of it. So I have a hard time working out how open is too open…

  2. momtofour says:

    As a “monkee,” I have to say it seem bizarre you would spend time on your blog ripping up someone else’s blog. I agree wholeheartedly with Patrice. TheMomastery space is intended to be an intimiate friendly, hold each other up, sort of thing. Glennon has the right to run it as she pleases. I absolutely am aware she is not perfect nor does she hold some magical answers/solutions/insight. But she possesses a skill few have….the ability to bring so many people together in the pursuit of something kinder, better, more honest.

    We are all changeable and our feelings fluctuates. It appears she shares her feelings as they come. If you asked me how I feel today on my walk with God, my answer might be very different from another day. and that’s ok. Glennon encourages people to just “show up.” And that advice is good. If you are a seeker, a person going through rough times…whatever…just show up. God will guide. We know this.

    And her carpe diem was spot on. As a mom and social worker, its unrealistic to think we should carpe diem every moment. There is nothing more gratifying, more important, more fulfilling or more enfuriating than raising kiddos. Grab the good moments and try to get through the tough ones gracefully. I remember going to the store with my girls when they were little and there were times I cried by the time I got home. Doesn’t make me a bad mom. and I didn’t want to treasure the moment in the store my three year old hid and security had to be called.

    I suggest you step away from Momastery and write about your own ideas. You sound intelligent and thoughtful. Share yourself and experiences from your life.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was reading your post totally interested, until you said she doesn’t really love Jesus. What? You have a real problem with her, and that’s where you go? Why bother?

    • John says:

      Why go there? Because the point is legitimate and the satire is brilliant. If Glennon (or anyone) actually does love Jesus, then as Glennon (or anyone) does to me, she does to Jesus.

      And as I do to Glennon, I do to Jesus.

      It’s all very straightforward. And there really is no wiggle room in it (though most people will try to make quite a bit of wiggles room in it).

      And as for my choice of tone, the Jesus I know from the Gospels had some very tough things to say to people who were hypocrites and those who were very showy with their faith, and he said as much in some very cutting ways.

      You really should read through what I wrote. It makes *a lot* of sense–A LOT.

      Kindest regards to you, anonymous reader & commentor,

      John

  4. Anonymous says:

    Until today I had never heard of, Glennon Doyle Melton.
    Sir with all do respect, who are you to judge her? No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and we all have weakness. For us to point out another’s imperfections, mistakes and weakness in such a way simply isn’t fair.
    The Fruit of the Spirit is, Love Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and self control. Just because someone, anyone does not always hit the mark does not mean they don’t love Jesus, it is between them and God. I am sorry for what has happened between you two, and the way in which it has or hasn’t been dealt with. Our war is not against one another 🙂
    As a Godly man yourself, I am sure you believe He is more than able to do the work that needs to be done in all of our hearts. I have only commented because I would hate if any mistake I made was brought down to my love for Jesus.
    Our love fails… His love never fails.
    Blessings x

  5. Gilly says:

    Hi there, Love covers a multitude and does not accuse or keep any record of wrong. This is a public ‘record’ for the world to see . I am wondering if you perhaps are needing to forgive Glennon and her sister? What you have written seems laced with hurt and un-dealt with reactions to what happened on momastery. Just sharing how it comes across as I read it. It seems you are still smarting and I pray that you are able to forgive and let it go, if that is indeed what is going on. Bless you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Matthew 7:1-5

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

  7. Cat says:

    Interesting. I don’t understand your line of reasoning throughout this post in the least. Your conclusion that Glennon doesn’t love Jesus? You, who have never spoken a word to her in person, never walked with her through her struggles and joys – who in the world are you to make such a bold claim about her love for Christ? Your words reek with the pride and ego that you decry in Glennon. Since you seem familiar with at least a few passages of Scripture, then maybe you should remind yourself of Paul’s words to not think of yourself more highly than you ought. I just don’t understand…are you so blinded, or self-deluded, that you cannot see any hint of your pride in this post? I do not claim to be a better person than anyone. But I think it’s apparent to any who reads this that the tone of your message here is not love, even though you sprinkle the word throughout. Childish, more likely. No turning of the other cheek. Wanting to get the last word in. I’m just incredulous.

    • John says:

      Hello Cat,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond.

      Two quick comments/observations:

      1. I don’t think that you have any genuine interest in understanding my line of reasoning or my perspective.

      My line of reasoning is fairly lucid. But if you are a “fan-girl” of Glennon, if have swallowed her kool-aid, if she is your light, then your emotions will automatically prejudice you and blind you to understanding any point of view other than Glennon’s. You have a have confirmation bias.

      2. More alarming is that what you against me also applies equally to you in the way that you are trying to dismantle my points. Is the tone of your rebuking of me one of “love”? You may not claim to be a better person than anyone, but your actions and words here speak differently — they speak of pride and ego.

      It’s alwasy much more effective (and productive) when debating something that someone has said or written to stick to dealing with what was actually said/written, and not invoking the whole “who are you to judge?” line of nonsense. If I am in no position to judge, then my argument should be full of holes and fallacies. But it isn’t. Glennon showed her true colors two years ago during all of what was written about here. It’s no big deal to me one way or another whether you care to live reality or continue drinking kool-aid like it’s going out of style.

      Kindest regards,

      John

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