Throwing the Word ‘Love’ Around: What It Takes to Truly Love Someone

Maria Shriver sat down with best-selling author and founder of Glennon Doyle Melton on Tuesday, October 4, for a thought-provoking conversation about her new book, Love Warrior. Their discussion was part of Shriver’s conversation series, Architects of Change Live, in which she talks to inspiring individuals who challenge what is, imagine what can be and move humanity forward.

Doyle Melton’s first book, Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, captivated millions by humorously and poignantly sharing her stories of finding her voice. Now in her new book, Love Warrior, Doyle Melton reflects on the infidelity and betrayal of her marriage and how she used crisis to find her true identity and a better life.

In her conversation with Shriver, Doyle Melton opened up about the process of finding her voice and how learning to use it, confidently, improved her relationship with herself and with others.

Showing Up in Life

“Everything in the world, all the good done in the world … is done by people who just stand up and show up before they are ready,” Doyle Melton said.

“But they see something in their life as an invitation?” Shriver questioned.

“Exactly. But everything is an invitation,” Doyle Melton responded, recalling her own “aha!” moment.

Doyle Melton realized her invitation from the universe to “sho -up” came after 15 years of battling addiction and finding herself on the bathroom floor with a positive pregnancy test. In that moment, she knew that to be the best mother she could be, she needed to start “showing up” in life and find her voice and her own path.

Finding Your Internal Voice and Not Betraying Yourself

“I just know whenever a woman says she doesn’t know what to do next, that she’s lying. We always know what to do next. So we just call all our friends and we’re like what should I do?” Doyle Melton said.

The author said she found her deepest wisdom telling her what to do next by sitting in silence for a few minutes each day.

“[That voice] never tells you the five-year plan,” she said. “But if you just do the next right thing, one thing at a time, you end up where you’re supposed to be.”

But with her wise voice came the fear voice. The voice telling her she isn’t good enough, telling her what she isn’t supposed to do and all the people she is going to hurt.

“So for me, this is a book not about betrayal within a marriage but my decision to never betray myself again,” she said. “And what that means to me is I will listen to the still, small voice and do what she tells me to do next and I will not let fear be the boss of me ever again.”

Women Trusting What They Want

“It would be an amazing thing if women started trusting what they want. Right? Because we’re always told that what we want is bad,” Doyle Melton explained.

“How do you do that? I mean, there’s a lot of I don’t know, I can’t do that,” Shriver questioned.

“It’s a shift, first of all, of saying could it be possible that what’s best for me is also best for my people? Is that possible?” Doyle Melton said.

The author then explained her “coin trick” she has started using on women of all ages. She assigns two choices that the woman is struggling with in a decision and assigns one choice to “heads” and one choice to “tails.” With a flip of the coin, the woman always ends up choosing the choice they want by the time the coin lands.

“You practice with the little things. ‘What do you want for dinner?’ And eventually you find that self, rising up and it’s this practice thing. And then you know what you want with the big things. Like ‘I don’t want to be in this unhealthy relationship anymore.’ [Or] ‘I want to go back to school.’ You like, practice with the little things and suddenly you have a voice.”

Bringing Men and Women Together

A few weeks before the presidential election, Doyle Melton and Shriver spoke about how the race has become divisive not only for Democrats and Republicans, but for men and women.

“We are at a moment where no matter what happens in five weeks, this country is going to need some serious healing,” she said.

“This is also being viewed through a gender lens… How do we get together?” Shriver questioned.

Doyle Melton explained that men must have permission to be vulnerable and soft, while women must have permission to be big and strong.

The Word “Love”

Shriver and Doyle Melton discussed the overuse of the word love and how often people say they love someone or something.

“We throw this word around… How do people go out and be a love warrior and explain to people what that actually means,” Shriver asked Doyle Melton.

“To figure out what love means to you in your own life is a super important exercise. To love means that I am going to see you, like its seeing someone for who they really are,” Doyle Melton explained. “So it can only be done between people who are willing to actually show themselves.”

Doyle Melton also touched on the difference between admiring someone and actually loving someone.

“When we’re like shiny and perfect, then that’s admired. And when you’re real and honest and vulnerable, that’s being loved,” she said. “You can only be loved when you’re truly truly seen.”

Watch Maria Shriver and Glennon Doyle Melton’s full Architects of Change Live conversation here:

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Kelsey Ducklow is the Social Media Manager at Shriver Media. She'd love to hear your ideas and feedback for the Architects of Change digital community! Connect with her here.

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