Maybe I’m a Cheetah After All

Last night I made the mistake of reading a Facebook comment thread on a controversial political post.

It infuriated me.

And, then it infuriated me that I fell in the trap once again. I hate political posts and largely hate the people who comment on them. I don’t understand the screaming, the finger-pointing, the self-righteous surety that you are right and everyone else is wrong. So, why, oh why, do I read them? Why do I give it energy?

My fury required a long talk with my husband who is generally more level-headed about things. He asked me why I care. I didn’t have an answer except that these days, I feel like a big, shapeless dough of raw emotion. I care about everything. My emotions are intense. My thoughts are wild. My reactions are extreme. This is who I am right now.

My husband encouraged me to reduce the energy I’m giving to social media and he’s right. It’s too much effort for a not-so-great product. There’s no return on investment. So I deleted my Facebook app to make it just a smidge more difficult to take a hit on the divisive drug of negativity.

But, I was still angry. And out of sorts. And, out of the medication that turns off my mental anxiety treadmill so I can sleep. So, hello, insomnia!

Instead of sleeping, I stayed up all night and read this book.

Glennon Doyle is a masterful writer. She has a way of reducing big thoughts and feelings down to very simple analogies. The thoughts/feelings don’t lose their grandeur, they just become digestible and easier to take in — like a small, buttery bite of a thick, sumptuous steak. I felt heard and understood. I felt like I wanted to paper my walls with the pages of this book to reference them always. Most of all, I felt like I wasn’t a lump of raw emotion so much as I was a cheetah. (And, if you read the book you’ll understand why.) Cheetahs are meant to be cheetahs, you know.

Women need more of Glennon Doyle and women like her who are fearless, who can make sense of the world and who can point the way to wholeness.

I want to give myself over to being a cheetah, give myself over to being exactly who I am and no other version, give myself over to building an island of safety and love for my family, give myself over to truth and understanding, give myself over to equality and compassion.

I thought about deleting yesterday’s post if only because I don’t know that you can have a clear perspective when you’re in the midst of the crisis. I think I need space from the problem to figure out how I really feel and what that means for myself and my family.

But, ultimately I decided against deleting it… I want to remember exactly how it felt to be me in this moment. I want to remember these torrents of emotions – even the furious, imperfect, complicated, untamed ones.

Right now, I am fully alive. And, that’s something to be proud of.

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