Tuesday, January 23, 2018
News Roundup

Buckling up for some riveting truth-telling

CLEARWATER — Glennon Doyle Melton turned Temple B'Nai Israel into a virtual reality ride Sunday evening.

She didn't need 3D glasses, Disney animatronics or elaborate lighting to pull off the feat. The best-selling author took us through the highs and lows of her life by literally kicking off her heels and guiding us down a path of truth-telling that drew from the crowd warm laughs, knowing nods and rousing applause.

Doyle Melton's renown has extended beyond her best-selling memoirs Love Warrior and Carry On Warrior. Her Momastery website has millions of followers and her nonprofit, Together Rising, has raised more than $4 million.

But her captivating messages all stem from her unvarnished admissions and engaging humility. She captured the audience at the very beginning by explaining that after years of battling bulimia and alcoholism, she found herself in 2002 lying on a bathroom floor and holding a positive pregnancy test.

At that moment, we checked to make sure our seat belts were fastened, preparing for a gut-wrenching ride.

Yet with the comedic timing and voice inflections that rival the world's best stand-ups, her speech rose and fell with emotion.

In one moment, she delivered such humorous self deprecating observations about her struggles, the crowd howled. And then, seconds later, she softened her voice and reduced the audience to murmurs of appreciation with prescient observations.

"I really think addiction is just a hiding place where sensitive people go so we can kind of shield ourselves from pain and from love, which is so risky," said Doyle Melton, who explained that her problems with bulimia began at the age of 10.

"But the problem is the only things that grow us are pain and love. So when you hide, you don't grow."

As that thought sunk in, she quickly took the crowd up through more laughter and down into a series of funny observations before delivering another pearl. She said she rose from that bathroom floor looking to model successful women, and she determined the most successful women in the world wear scarves.

Yes, scarves.

"If you are the type of woman who gets up early enough in the morning to get completely dressed, and then you look in the mirror and you're like, 'You know what, this outfit needs a scarf.'

"And then you have bought a scarf at some point and you know where to find the scarf, so you go to your scarf drawer or hanger or whatever you people do, and you get the scarf and you know how to tie the scarf, you are just, like, crushing life."

Doyle Melton actually found her brand of truth-telling through writing. It started innocently enough when she followed the lead of others and listed 25 things about herself on Facebook. While others listed such benign observations as, "I like hummus," Doyle Melton offered something far more poignant.

I'm a recovering food and alcoholic addict but I still find myself missing booze in the same twisted way we can miss those who repeatedly beat us and leave us for dead.

She joked that her sister left six voicemail messages — the "Bat Signal" that she had written something inappropriate — but in the responses she found supporters willing to share their fears and pain. It spurred her writing, her way of diffusing the shame life can impose, and rose to her current stature.

You come to realize that the pain of her failures — addictions, a failed marriage, doubts about her parenting ability — have sparked her success.

"The problem with transporting ourselves out of our hot loneliness ... is that we miss all of our transformation. Everything we need to become the person we're meant to become next is inside the hot loneliness of now.

"So when we transport out with those easy buttons, we're like caterpillars jumping out of the cocoon just before we're supposed to become butterflies."

And so it went, the crowd laughing hysterically and then quickly quieting to receive another gift from the woman who has appeared on Oprah Winfrey's Supersoul Sunday. She spoke about parenting, addictions, marriage, relationships and faith, and she offered a message about not allowing these troubling times to divide us.

Becca Tieder, who co-chaired the Temple B'Nai event with Katie Blaxberg, brought Doyle Melton in to start a time-critical dialogue and strip back the pretense that can impair relationships.

"Glennon was a perfect unifier for her fearless approach to the truth and our temple was the perfect location for its commitment to inclusion," Tieder said. "In 2017 there is no space for hate or distance and in this time of rising hate crimes there is no better time to open your doors to all people to break down barriers and begin building bridges."

Truth-telling? I walked in worried about missing the Giants-Packers game. Now I'm promising myself to save and savor all of Doyle Melton's wisdom.

I can't begin to fully capture how she's fueling my thoughts about being a father and husband and about grappling with life's inevitable pain. But I feel blessed to have attended and a bit closer to those who joined me.

That's all I'm saying.

Comments
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is all right.And, believe it or not, so is the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was the unlikely hero in Monday’s streak-snapping 2-0 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center.Vasilevskiy, 23, played like the...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

New York TimesWASHINGTON — Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young un...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Male bicyclist struck, killed by vehicle in Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — A male bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle on U.S. 19 on Monday night, according to Pinellas Park police.The incident took place at about 8:30 p.m. along the 8000 block of U.S. 19 N, near the Walmart Supercenter.The driver wa...
Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 22

Monday’s scoreboardBoys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Clearwater 0Boca Ciega 3, Indian Rocks Christian 1Girls soccerClass 4A, District 10: Countryside 7, Clearwater 0; Dixie Hollins 2, East Lake 0Class 3A, District 10: Osceola 14, Gibbs 0...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., Jan. 22, midday:49 851 5049e_SRit11446Mon., Jan. 22, evening:05 733 5365e_SRit06330Fantasy 5Mon., Jan. 22...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

ST. PETERSBURGThe bay area’s thriving glass art scene adds another member to its ranks today when the Imagine Museum officially opens in downtown St. Petersburg.Dedicated to the movement of studio glass, the museum is the brainchild of benefactor Tri...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Facebook vows progress in halting election meddling

Facebook said Monday that it fell short in preventing the social media network from being used for foreign meddling in the U.S. presidential election.New blog posts written by Facebook executives appear to be the most critical self-assessment yet of ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Judge: Victims of sports doc are ‘sister survivor warriors’

Judge: Victims of sports doc are ‘sister survivor warriors’

Associated PressLANSING, Mich. — The judge overseeing the sentencing of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar said Monday that more than 120 girls and women who had given statements so far at the five-day hearing were "sister survivor warriors....
Updated: 7 hours ago
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severs contract with CareerSource Pinellas

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severs contract with CareerSource Pinellas

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severed his agency’s contract with CareerSource Pinellas on Monday after learning that the jobs center told the state it helped 624 sheriff’s employees get hired since 2014.The sheriff said he has no record of CareerSou...
Updated: 7 hours ago

TexasVoter-fraud panel targeted Hispanics, documents showPresident Donald Trump’s voter-fraud commission specifically asked for records identifying all Texas voters with Hispanic surnames, according to newly released documents. Records made public by...
Updated: 7 hours ago