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Welcome back to We Can Do Hard Things. We have our bestie here back with us today, the Love Monk, the just- I love that. Just incredible force of vulnerability and love and friendship and one of the dearest people that has ever walked the Earth. To us, yes. And to so many people. To the world. And to whom you all have to go back and listen to the previous podcast that we just aird with Liz to understand this one. But what we're doing is we're talking about this way of life, spiritual practice, part of recovery that Liz has embarked upon herself. As she always does, she figures shit out. Then we watch her do it. Then fucking millions of people start doing it. It's just. I feel like you're doing a startup I'm watching all these Netflix startup, these documentaries that are all over the place. But I feel like I'm always like, I'm employee number two with Liz. I come on right after. Then Anyway. It's a pyramid scheme of love.


It's a pyramid scheme of love. Oh, my God.


I love that so much. But it's really interesting when you think about the fact of if you're going to be somebody who thinks they're looking for love everywhere, you call it this intense love hunger or insatiable love hunger, you might do something like become one of time's most influential people in the world. You might become a person who is called beloved by millions and millions of people all over the country. You gave it the old college try to get love from the man. If it were going to work, it would have worked for you, right?


Yes. I am here, so you don't have to do all this. I'm here to tell you. But look, we know this because how many people who are called beloved by the world take their own lives.




Being loved by others, whether those people are your most intimate friends, family, support system, lovers, partners, or millions of strangers, is not an inoculation against self-hatred. It's not an inoculation against waking up at three o'clock in the morning just in the grip of existential fear. It's not an inoculation against shame. It doesn't matter how many people tell me that I do not need to walk around being ashamed of myself. This was programmed into me. For whatever reason, whether it's karmic, whether it's biological, whether it's psychological, whether it's an ancestral wound, whether it's because of capitalism or Christianity, I don't know, and it doesn't really matter, but I carry an enormous shame wound, and only love can heal it, and not someone else's. No matter how good they might be at it, no matter how earnestly they may mean it, no matter how much I may believe that they may mean it, it can't reach that place. This is the only practice that I have ever had that reaches that place. Abby, on the last episode, read the letter that she wrote to herself from love. I meant to ask you what your physiological state was like after that, because this practice does something to my nervous system that nothing else can really do.


It stills me at a level that nothing else can do. It calms me.


That's right. I think that that is true. I sat there and it just, boom, came out. It was like breathing. Like, I was breathing. You know, they say God is in breath. I felt like I could breathe. When I think about it, even reading it, I am a very anxious public reader, and I killed reading that letter publicly. Because it wasn't from me. It was from love.


Isn't that amazing? Yeah, it was. I was like, What the hell is happening? My sister was like, What would love have you read today? Well, you know how in the prayer of St.


Francis, it says, God, make me a channel of thy peace. For something to be a channel, it has to be empty. Because something has to come through it. There's like something of Abby stepped away so that this thing could come through. That's right. That's what we try to do with art. It's what we try to do in sports, I'm sure. It's like, we don't need you out there with your head in the game. We need you not there so that this thing can flow. That's right. It's this beautiful story. I met this woman one time who was a dancer, and she was in her 50s when I met her. When she was a teenager, she came to New York, and Martha Graham, the greatest modern Dance, a choreographer of the century, loved her and was like, Oh, I'm going to choreograph a ballet for you. It's Joan of Arc. Here you are, 18 years old from nowhere, and you're going to debut my ballet, Joan of Arc, at Lincoln Center. You're going to be Joan of Arc because that's how I see you. This dancer told me that the night of the debut of this thing, the opening night, she was standing in the wings at Lincoln Center with all of New York's dance mafia there to watch this debut of this Martha Graham dance.


She's supposed to be fucking Joan of Arc. She said she was shaking so hard with fear that her knees were literally knocking. She's like, How can I dance? I can't even stop shaking. She said she did this earnest, earnest prayer. She said, I meant every word of it. I prayed to God, please open up a hole in the earth and swallow me. So that I don't have to be here and I don't have to exist. She said, And God did that. A hole in the earth opened and I was swallowed and Joan of Arc walked out on the stage.


Chills all over my body. That is the best way to explain how athletes do impossible things. That is the only way to explain it. It's like you have to surrender and let love- The thing do.


You let the thing do.


People are like, How did you do that? Oftentimes, my answer was, I don't know.


I wasn't there. Yeah.


Because I do black out. I don't remember those moments.


I don't remember writing the signature of all things. I remember writing all my memoirs, but I don't remember writing my novels. I wasn't there. I was there for the research, but I wasn't there for the writing. I don't know. I just wasn't there. It's incredible. I wanted also, because some people don't know what Substack is, and I thought I just wanted to take a second and say what that is because we keep saying that word I didn't know what it was until very recently. But many of us have been looking for an alternative way of communicating with each other that is not social media because social media started off really fun. It's a little bit like all drugs. It started off really fun. Then we found out, Oh, this algorithm was made to make us addicted to it. Also, it's destroying democracy, and also it's destroying women and girls. This is a really dangerous, and it's turned into this venom, teethed monster, where also I no longer feel comfortable being vulnerable on social media because I don't feel like that's a safe place anymore. It used to feel like that, but it doesn't feel like that anymore.


But I miss communicating with my readers. There's this company called Substack that started up a few years ago where a lot of writers are migrating over to it. What I love is it's a reverse technology. It's essentially a blog. We're going back to Monastery. We're going back to, I'm going to send you an email. You're going to sign up for my email, and I'm I'm going to send you an email. In this email, I'm going to tell you stuff. I love that we're backtracking. We're like, That seems to maybe have been the better idea.


The reason it's such a wonderful community is because you have to sign up for it.


Nobody signs up for something to be a troll. I know. The community itself is safer. I've been thinking for years about doing it, but until I came up with this idea like, Oh, I want to teach letters from love. Then I created this thing on Substack that's the Letters From Love Community. People People are signing up, and they can share the letters that they're writing, and it's a safe space because there's no internet trolls there. That's another reason why it's working is because people can be vulnerable in public, but within a walled garden. That's how I think of it. It's like a walled garden. That's what that thing is, just in case you're like, What is that thing?


It's a pretty easy to do. I don't know any of those things, and I could sign up really easily.


You can see people comment. It's easy. There's a lot of great writers doing stuff. George Saunders is there teaching about Russian literature. Everyone's moving their passion projects over there because it's a safer space.


Jen and Watts is there doing her thing. Nadia is there. Nadia. Nadia is there. I would like to just give a big thanks to Liz's Letters from Love Substack community because you wrote and said, Who do you want to write a letter from love? They said that they would like for me to write a letter from love. Is Is that correct?


They did. You were the most named person that they wanted to hear from. But I will also have you know we got a lot of calls for Sister. We got a lot of calls for Abby as well. So, Sister, you're up. But I'm coming for you.


Love is coming for you, sister. I will surrender, maybe not to love, but I will surrender to Liz Gilbert. Well, you have to create your higher power that you can deal with. So Liz could be your higher power. Oh, my God.


I will say it's intellectually honest.


I'm a skeptic mind, but I feel like if people think, Oh, you're just listening to voices and then letting them tell you what to do. Also, that is what we do all day. That's right. We just listen to our thoughts who are telling us- Literally all day. Yes. You're a piece of shit. Your person isn't doing what they're supposed to do. You're stupid.


You're unlovable. Yeah.


We're letting those thoughts direct our behaviors and feelings all day long. So this is just really like a replacement theory. Wow. Yeah. Good point.


Let's just listen to- Get better voices. That's what it would be called. Get better voices. You're going to be listening to them anyway. I'm in. I'll do it.


Liz asked me to do this. I said no. But then when she told me that the community wanted me to do it, then I was flattered. Then I said, Oh, shucks. Okay, I'll try. So... Oh, Abby's laughing because I just, Liz, as I told you, I was exhausting to love. I was exhausting for this process because first I had to figure it out. You know how I do this, right? So I had to figure out how to do this. There was no just like, Abby just sat down and was like, Surrender to love. No, I was like, I need to plan this. So So I picked a day that was far enough away that I was going to surrender to love. And then I was like, I'm going to surrender to love. I had it blocked out seven to nine, right? Seven to nine, I'm surrending to fucking love, okay? So 7:00 to 9:00 on a Thursday, I'm surrending to love.


Just real quick question, Glenn. From 9:00 to 10:00, do you have that blocked in for spontaneous activities? Exactly.


Yes. That's That's when I'm creative. I've got a lot going on in here. I got to reel it in. I got to put guardrails up. That channel you were talking about, she's got a lot to clear out of that channel before anything is coming through. Okay. I sit down at 7:00. I can't channel love from upstairs in the kitchen. It's not working. Then I go to the office. I try to channel love from the office. Love is not fucking coming. Then I get in bed. I'm like, Maybe love needs me cozy. Okay. So I snuggle into bed with my computer, and I wrote a letter from love, and I just didn't like it, and I didn't think it was really from love. So then I sent it to Liz with the subject line, Here's my stupid, fraudulent letter, right?


Which is a... That's a voice she believes, by the way. Yeah, exactly. Witness that.


Get better voices.


I'm stupid and fraudulent. Yeah.


Right. What I want you to know is that I understood that that wasn't the experience you were trying to have me have. I did know based on your text, even though you were being encouraging, that I had not nailed it. I stepped away from Thursday knowing I had not nailed it. But I'm not going to disappoint God. I'm not going to disappoint Liz, but I'm really not going to fucking disappoint Margaret.




Margaret's my best friend who I do this newsletter with.


I was like, Doyal, you will figure this out. I knew I would if I just stuck with it. Stuck with it? Stuck with it. Stuck with it. Here's what I figured out, Liz. If anyone needs to use this framework to approach Letters From Love, please feel free to borrow it because this is how I was able to make it real for myself. To the point where I feel like now it's going to be utterly life-changing. I felt like I was sitting down trying to channel this outer being, and I feel like I was just acting or something. I was just trying to act out somebody that sounded a lot like the letters that you write or the letters that Abby writes. I just was like, I had a lot of honeys and stuff in there. It didn't feel real. Then I realized I'm doing a lot in therapy with IFS, with internal family system stuff, where I'm figuring out, okay, there's a lot of different parts of me, voices, whatever, all these different... I'm more of a community than an individual inside of me. I can understand myself more as a community, a part who wants to control, a part who wants to hide, a part who wants to...


But there is this self capital S, which is the wisest... It's like if I'm sitting at a conference table and all of my selves are at that conference table, and all of my little sweet parts are trying to get control or trying to hide or trying to be seen, there is a person at the head of the table that's listening to all the other parts and is taking in all that they need, but is the wisest of us, is like the part of me that is not traumatized, the part of me that is not needy, the part of me that is just whole and wise and will gather information and make the best decision based on the fact that she knows a little bit more than everybody else at that table, and that that self is connected to this bigger communal self in the whole world. It's like that part is like a little bucket of the ocean that was scooped out and put in me, but it's like also the whole ocean. So there's a God part in me that is connected to a God part outside of me and in everybody else. And somehow I know everything in that, because if I tap into that little part of myself.


And it's the same God part in me that's in Abby and in Sister and Liz and in every single person that's listening. So that's why it all sounds the same. So I'm tapping into the God in me that is also the God without me and in you, and that I'm able to write from that place.


That makes sense.








How else would it be? I don't know. How else would it be? That's a good Well, I think that when people think of I'm talking to God, there's some outer voice that we think we're waiting for, that people in church told me it sounded a certain way. If I'm listening for God 20 years ago when I'm sitting in the evangelical church, it would say certain words like what I've put on your heart or what I've convicted you to do, it has certain language. So we're manipulating it to sound the God that other people taught us it would sound like. Like an imitation. An imitation, right. I put away the imitation and just asked for myself at the head of the table, my wisest self, my godiest self, the one who knows inside of me to speak. Then I a different letter and sent it to you, and you were like, Okay, that's it.


I think what I said was both of them sounded like love to me. There was nothing in that first letter that wasn't loving. There was nothing in that first letter that didn't sound like truth. That was all love. That was all loving truth. There was nothing in there that was wrong. But the second letter sounded like God dwells within you as you. The second letter sounded God speaking through Glennon as Glennon to Glennon. That's the magic spot right there, because that's the only trustworthy voice, I think. Anything that doesn't sound like that isn't yours. That's how you know it's yours because it's your voice. But it's just a little bit wiser and a little bit kinder and a little bit more generous and a lot calmer than the voices that you're normally listening to. I liked when you just said it just knows a little bit more. It doesn't have to know everything. It just needs to know a little bit more than the other parts to be the leader of those parts. That's how I felt. It was like, Oh, this is... I had said before, I said it in last episode, too, nobody should ever surrender to a God who was forced upon them.


Why would you give your life to something that was forced upon you. But you can give your life to something that wells up organically from within you, knows you so intimately. Nadia Boltz-Webber once said that a friend of hers was asked one time, What does God's presence feel like? And they said, to be with God is to feel the feeling of relaxing completely in the presence of somebody who's incredibly fond of you. And I don't think many people were raised with that idea. You could stop and just relax completely.


Yeah, that. That's just not even the rest of it. Be on guard in the presence of someone who thinks you're evil.


That is... And is going to punish you if you make a single mistake, right? Like, It's what James Joyce called the hangman God. That's not who could relax in the presence of the hangman? And so that feeling of like, I'm with something right now that is so fond of me. It knows everything I've ever done. It knows every mistake I've ever made. It knows every malicious, petty, bullshit thought I've ever had. There's no hiding from it because it's within me. It's perched there within me just like, Oh, how much I just love being with you. I also love, Glenn, that what didn't feel authentic to you was a God who is full of tender endearments. One of the tricks that I offer to people when they're writing letters from love is to write to themselves with endearments because that seems to work for me. That softens my heart to myself. My little honeyhead, but I talk to everybody that way. My little honeyhead. The other day, God was like, My little crumpled up piece of gum wrap er, I love you so much. Like these really sweet little tender things, right? There's a part of you that's very suspicious of that, and therefore that God part of you knew better than to come at you with treacle and sweetness because your skeptical mind would reject that as false.


It doesn't feel authentic. So your God's probably not going to talk to you that way. Yeah. Your God's going to be like, Listen, I'm going to break it down for you. This is how everything works. Yes. Because that's what you long for. I long for, am I loved? Am I safe? Glenn longs for, how does everything work? So you have a higher power who's like, I'll show you. Yes. This This is what this, Oh, you have this intractable problem? I'll tell you. Here's how it works. You want the whole encyclopedia. I just want the great mother. And the day may come when you need the great mother and when love then appears to you in that really soft, nurturing way. But for now, that's not what you're longing for. You want answers. It sounded like in that second letter, you got some. You got some answers.


Well, I wrote to love the first one, and then basically I was like, Stop patronizing me, love. Okay. I'm going to read you the letter. I mean, Love For Me just started with, Okay. There was no...


That tracks. That's how blood and love shows up. Okay. Cool. Stop.


Okay. Let's talk about forgiveness, in quotes, which I was thrilled and delighted about because I have been dying For someone to explain forgiveness to me for so long, right? What are the chances? I know. Okay, anyway. Okay, let's talk about, quote, forgiveness. I love that you're still chasing this idea. I love that you absolutely refuse to pretend to understand it. I love that you let ideas you don't yet understand drive you absolutely nuts. These big ideas like forgiveness, they flash around on the periphery of your mind like the sliver of silver on a fish's back or a shooting star you think you saw or a firefly that was right there. Wait, now it's over there. Wait, where'd it go? Some are okay with these glimpses. They go on. But you, Glenn, you can't go on until you've chased down and trapped the firefly of an idea in a jar, and you've stared at it so long that you know it's real, that you understand it in your bones, that you testify to it even. Sometimes the firefly idea suffocates to death in your jar. That is true. But still, I love this about you. It's what makes our relationship so promising because you're always right on my heels, Glenn.


It's It's funny, though. You've never before invited me to stop. You just keep chasing me. You've never before said, Wait, sit down with me so I can ask you my questions and you can tell me what you know. You actually don't have to keep chasing and killing fireflies. We can just talk and I'll tell you all about them. Let's start with forgiveness. You're right not to believe in forgiveness, but not because it's not real. It's just never once been explained to you correctly. You just don't believe in the wrong version of forgiveness. Well done. Let's first review all those forgiveness ideas you've rejected because they died in your jar. You're right. It's not about letting go. It's not about finally understanding. It's not about deciding if something someone did to you is right or wrong. It's not about not feeling mad anymore. It's not a gift to bestow or withhold. It has absolutely nothing to do with decisions or feelings or actions or relationships. It's not about being a bigger person or a good person. Or morality. Forgiveness is about distance. It's about perspective. It's about zooming out. Remember those highlight magazines you used to read over and over again when you were little because it was the only reading material at the babysitter's house?


Remember the pages at the end that had those little puzzles? One was called something like Magic Picture, and the idea was you'd study a picture of something indecypherable, impossible to identify. There was one magic picture you stared at for hours to try to figure out. It was swirly and glimmery with tiny silver lines flashing throughout. It looked to you like magical crystal and purple mountains or hills with rivers traversing them. You finally turned the page to see the follow-up picture, which was the big reveal, the answer, the key, which was simply the exact same image but zoomed out a thousand times. You saw now that it was an entire forest with one human humongous tree, with one massive leaf upon which one dragonfly was perched, attached to which there were two beautiful wings made up of those shimmery purple mountains that were actually the scales of a dragonfly's wing. It's been 40 years, and you still remember both of those images like they were the most important pictures you'd ever seen. Here's why for today. So I could use them to help you understand forgiveness. Forgiveness is not deciding whether your father's anger was right or wrong, okay or not okay.


It's looking at one of those moments. You are 13. He is yelling. You are afraid. A magic picture. Then, if Eventually, after you've looked at that moment for years, decades maybe, however long it takes to let that scared little girl speak, to say every last thing she needs to say about how confused and lonely she was, about how she wishes it were different, about what she needed and didn't get after she said every last thing she needs to say and assures you that she feels heard and safe and can promise you that. After all of that, it's turning the page. It's zooming out a thousand times. It's seeing the same image, but now it's an entire timeline you're seeing. Maybe now you also see him when he was 10. It's him and his father, and it's not just yelling, it's hitting two. Then it's his father with his father, and he's small and hungry and afraid. Now it's his father, and they're on a ship, fleeing a famine, and it's his father with his father, and none of it is okay or not okay. You see, it's all just what is and has been. You just see all of what is and has been.


If you want to know what God is, God is just a better view. Forgiveness is just zooming out a thousand times until you have my view. My view is just... You know that thing you have called Google Earth? You can Google one address and zero in on it, and then you can zoom out till you see the street, and then the neighborhood, and then the continent, and now the planet from a point in outer space. My view is It's like I can Google Earth, every last one of you, and then zoom out forever until I see not just your planet, but the entire universe, and then the beginning of time, till the end of time, all at once. I promise you, from where I stand, every single last one of you makes perfect, perfect sense. That's why you people have to think of heaven as so far above, because you know that heaven is just It's just a perspective. Someday, you'll have a perspective like mine wide enough to hold the whole world, and you'll forgive everybody then. It'll be automatic. It's just what happens when you can see. For now, you just keep zooming out.


Just stand back and see everybody, and especially yourself, as wide and as high as you possibly can. You make perfect sense. Your father makes perfect sense. Every last one of you does. Every single one of you is just a magic picture. I get to see the second image, and that is forgiveness.


I'm just crying over here like I did on the plane.


I know this is an audio format, and we probably shouldn't be silent.


I take off my shoes. It's some holy shit we're doing right now?


Oh, wow.


Your magic.


That was something else. I did feel... You know what What's interesting is I was like, I should just ask for my wisest self to write more often.


I mean, I wasn't going to say anything, but I was like, Is it time for a book about this? Is this a chapter?


Well, it is. I mean, you know that I've been scared to write again. I just... Lots of reasons. But I did think, Oh, my God, I could just have my... Why is this self write. But then I could also have parts right.


Everybody's invited. I mean, that's what I heard in that letter. Nobody's excluded.


I do want to thank you because that's what I want to say. I just felt very reopened, and it made me trust myself in writing again. It made me feel like I could write from a different place. Is that the best way that I can say it? For so long, I started to feel very scared of writing. I don't feel scared in a way of, Oh, a bunch of people read Untamed, and now I'm scared to write again. Not like that at all. I felt like I had taken such great liberties for so long in writing. I had taken the people in my life and pinned them down like they were butterflies, said, This is what it means, and this is what you mean, and this is what… I started to feel like… It's why the podcast became so important to me because I felt like I wasn't pinning anybody down. I was just exploring ideas, and I wasn't deciding anything for anybody. This made me feel like maybe I could just write with such generosity that it would be okay again. I don't know.


Most of us think you've always written with a lot of generosity, just so you know. A. And two, How did your body feel reading that letter right now?


Well, it did feel completely calm, unafraid. I mean, it felt as magical as it did when I wrote it.


I just can always tell when she's written something that it comes from that place. It's the way she looked for her while writing Untamed. So this isn't a place you've never gone to. This is where you go. You just haven't visited this place in a while. So she has this... I don't know. You are literally radiating I can see it. She was sitting in the middle seat on a Southwest flight. We were flying to Phoenix on a soccer trip with Emma. She pulls it out and she's just pounding on it. And then she just goes.


She doesn't even look at me. Proof that God could show up anywhere, even on a middle seat of Southwest flight.


That's right. She just puts the computer on my lap and she's like, I did it different. And just read this.


I did it different. Yeah, you did. Yeah. I'm just thinking about, Amanda, when you asked, How do I know whether this is me or God or this thing called love? How I know. I often am told in this practice, it is by the impact on your body that you shall know I am here. Because I'm not easily relaxed. I don't think any of us are in this conversation. I don't think any of us are super relaxed. It's not easy to still me. It's really not easy to quiet my anxiety or my hyper thinking or my racing heart, or my jacked up, cortisol drenched nervous system. I'm a lot of things, but I'm not a calm person. And anything that can calm me is a higher power than me because I can't calm me. I've been trying my whole life to figure out how to settle down, and I really have a lot of trouble doing it. This instantly does it. I just pick up, here's my current notebook, but I just pick up the notebook and I write the question in the morning, dear God, what would you have me know? And I never know what it's going to say.


That's the other thing that I find so extraordinary. I'll wake up and I'll start writing it in my head. I'll start gaming it. I know what this is going to be about. I know what this is going to be about today. And the pen starts and I'm like, wow, I didn't know that that's what we were talking about today. And instantly I settle. And I I love that you did it in the middle of a Southwest Airlines seat, because one of the things that I'm trying to do, I have this new phrase that I say all the time, the supernatural is supernatural. Like, nothing could be more natural than the supernatural. Nothing could be more natural than the supernatural. Nothing could be more natural than you getting to talk to God. This is not some esoteric thing where you have to light a bunch of incense and purify and cover your head You can do all that if you want to, if that sets the scene, if that helps you get there. But I've written these letters in funeral homes, in hospital rooms, on busses, on no sleep, when I had COVID. I can say this truly, there has not been one moment since this voice was revealed to me that I have reached for it, and it has not been there.


It doesn't care where I am. Why would it not be right there? I think sometimes we make spirituality overprecious, and we're like, I need the right meditation mat, and I need the right yoga shoes.


I I was going to say. There will be now. There are now.


I need the right crystals. I need the right incense. And look, I love all that shit. I love material. I love all the accutumal. But you don't need any of that. You just need the question and the earnestness to really just want to know the answer.


Does it feel like for you now that the door is open all day? I relate to what Abby said about you felt like you opened a door just for that little time. And then you're like, Okay, the door shut again, and now I'm listening to my mean voices, but I'll check back in with you again tomorrow morning. Do you ask a lot during the day? Is it just like- I do. Okay.


I do. I don't just write it. I ask. But also it's a door like... I was just picturing the diner where I used to work in Philadelphia, that swinging door between the kitchen and the dining room. It's like, flings open and then flings shut. Then it flings open and it flings shut. One of the things I love so much about when I was in India, in the ashram where I studied the brand of Hinduism, of mystical Hinduism that they taught was something that is embodied in this idea that I love so much because I find it so endlessly exciting and thrilling and joyful. It's called the splendor of recognition, which, first of all, is such a beautiful phrase, the splendor of recognition. The way that the splendor of recognition is like an ancient, ancient idea that came out of the Himalayas, is that God's omniscient, and that's boring. What do you do once you can create anything, once you know everything? God's like, I'm going to play this incredible game of hide and seek with me because there's nothing that I'm not. So there's nowhere that I'm not. But I'm going to see if I can hide myself so thoroughly from myself that I forget that I am myself.


And where better to do it than the mind of a human being, which is the most chaotic arcade game of consciousness. I always think it's so funny that of all the species on Earth, many of which are extremely calm, consciousness was given to the great apes who are violent and territorial and all about status and anxiety and swing. It's like, why didn't you give it to like, elephant? I mean, probably did. Elephant and dog. So God's like, I'm going to hide my God consciousness, the last place anybody would ever look for it inside a fucking batshit crazy human mind. And then I'm going to see whether the me that is in there can find me because it's so unlikely that I ever will. But if we do, the miraculously of it will be so extraordinary. It's like a game of peekaboo with a baby. It's like, oh, my God, I forgot. I forgot that I'm divine again. You know what And then it's like, that's the splendor of recognition. It's like, oh, my God, there you were the whole time, the whole time. Oh, my God, that's such a good game. Okay, now I'm going to forget about divine consciousness again.


And I'm going to go back to being this compressed, angry, anxious, controlling ego. And then I'm going to hate myself so much, and I'm so lost, and I'm going to reach for all these things, and I'm going to look for relief in all these ways. And then I'm going to get so broken. And then there's going to be this little tiny moment where I'm like, wait a minute. There was a thing. There was a thing. I forgot there was a thing. Oh, There was this thing. Dear God, what would you have me know right now? God's like, I was right here the whole time.


L-o-l. L-o-l. God be like, L-O-L.


I forgot. I was I. I forgot thou was thou, and I was I, and I was thou. I forgot. I forgot. And then it's like, you play that game so many times that that becomes the joyful game that God plays to keep God entertained in omniscience. Because it can be argued that the only species on Earth that doesn't know that it's God is humans. Like, Because we have this relentless self-consciousness and ego that separates us. But everything else knows isn't walking around separate from its experience. The poet David White talks about that. Like, humans are the only species in the world that can wake up every day and decide to not be themselves, to not be what they are. Like a kingfisher bird can't wake up and be like, You know what? I've just had it up to my teeth with being, I'm not going to be this thing anymore. I'm going to be something. They're all fully what they are. And we're just this chaotic thing where God is constantly hiding to entertain itself. And because the joy of the finding and the rediscovering and then the losing and then the finding and then the rediscovering and the losing, what God said in your letter, Glenn, about this is why our relationship is so promising, because you're always on my heels.


You're always on your own heels. You're always on your own heels to almost remember what you really are. You're so close. How exciting is that? And then when you Find it. It's so exciting that it genuinely makes up for all the suffering. Yes. And many of us, myself included, would say, wow, I would never wish what I went through on anybody, but I found the thing in there. I found the doorway in there. I would never, ever want anyone to feel what I felt when I am so far from God and so far from self. And yet it was in there that something remembered itself. And then there's this familiarity. Do you hear the familiarity in Glenn's letter, how much this thing knows her, even knowing to just start with like, okay, let's go. You want to talk about forget? It's right there. It never went anywhere. We just forget. And then we remember, and then we forget. And that's the dance. And that's worth living for, I think, because it's incredibly exciting.


That is so fucking beautiful. And it helps me so much because Like describing it as a dance, and that's how it's supposed to be. I feel like a scientist who is discovering things, but the thing I'm discovering is always the same freaking thing I discovered a million times before. And you're like, eureka, eureka. And then I'm like... But it feels like I just... When I'm talking to you about this new situation where I figured out God is in me, I've probably written this six times before.


That's the splendor of recognition. This is the gesture that goes with it. Podcasters, you can't see, but we all have our hands on our heads right now because we're like, Ailey, Ailey, Ailey. Oh, my God. There it is. It's like this delight. It's this giddiness. That's the thing. It's like, I don't think there's enough. In our culture, there's not enough. They get this in Hindu Shaivism. They get this in the East. They get how funny it is. It's funny. There's not enough humor in the spiritual search in the West. But in the East, it's like all those gurus, they're just laughing all the time. They're like, This is the greatest joke in the entire world. This is the greatest joke. I am God hiding from myself. And then I just remembered, and now I'm enlightened, and then I just forgot, and my enlightenment is gone. And then I just remembered. And it's hilarious. It's funny. So that's how I'm living. No, I'm not constantly in a state. I mean, if I were constantly in this channel, I would never suffer. But that's not what I am. And also, maybe that would be boring.


Liz, can you try to get my sister to commit to doing this in a public way?


She's already committed. We had this arranged many, many lifetimes ago.


Can I tell you my honest fear about my writing the letter? Is I am afraid, knowing myself, that I will be trying to make something that's good or impressive, that those will be my blocks. Do you have any suggestions for how to unblock yourself from outcome so you're not just like, Well, I got to end up something super great. So.


Well, I think this is a stance you're taking.




This is a stance you're taking that this is how it's going to go. And that's what fear does. Like, fear is a stance that just says, I already know how this is going. I know how I am. I already know what I am. I already know how I am. I try to control everything. I'm going to try to make this thing really good. So before you even tried this thing, your fear, which is the separation from God, is like, you know what? I tell you right now, this is going to go, Amanda. You're not ever going to be able to open yourself up to something organically and intuitively like this. And the only thing I can say to it is, Give it a shot. Can you do without knowing? This is like such a big part of the spiritual journey. Can you do something without knowing how it's going to go? Not so far, Liz. Not so far. I have a feeling that love will probably tell you something about that and about how that's okay. I have a feeling that love might very well be like, Yeah, it's okay that you're trying to game this.


It's okay that you're trying to perfect this. I'm here anyway. I'm here with you even as you're gaming me. You can try to do this wrong, but opening up the door with this magical question, let me see. But But I would say, and I'll send you the instructions. On the sub stack, I've got these instructions. They're really simple, simple, simple guidelines. One of the things that is helpful the first time you're doing it is that you open the door by reading something that feels like divinity to you. That can be an existing spiritual text. For me, it's poetry. Like, Walt Whitman does it for me. Emily Dickinson does it for me, Mary Oliver does it for me. Rumi and Hafees do it for me. I feel like they were directly channeling the divine. They were mystics who were directly channeling the divine, and they were generous enough to leave the door open behind them. So you're almost drafting in on them. So you prime yourself into that state of being by reading something that feels to you like it comes from that place. And then right when you're in that, you get to the last line of reading that and you just write, Dear love, what would you have me know?


And Now that door is open, and you can even ask those people to help you. To me, Hafees and Rumi and Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver are saints. They're great saints. You can just say, Hey, can you show me how to get in here? You can ask for help from great beings. Then the other thing is, I think Abby articulated it beautifully, be curious, what would unconditional love tell you? What What would it say? Would it say, You've got to do this perfectly. You can't be what you are. I mean, look how love arrived for Glenn exactly as Glenn knew it was totally different from arriving for Abby, exactly how Abby is arriving for me, exactly how I am fitting itself to our form. I have a feeling that love is going to show up in the shape of Amanda and is going to have no problem with what Amanda is. That nothing about you needs to change to do this. Nothing about you needs to be healed. Nothing about you needs to be better or calmer. It just wants to be with you because it just loves you. Just exactly the way you are.


And as God says to me very often, I love you exactly the way you are and far too much to let you stay that way. And that's what we're doing here. So I will help you You and I made this appointment. There's this beautiful poem by Hafees, the great Persian mystic who said, Long ago before the Earth's crust cooled, is how long I think it was. Long, long ago, God circled this place on the map where you are standing right now. You are just exactly where you're supposed to be. People want you to do this. They're calling for you. They're like, We want sister because they identify with you because so many people out there are sisters. They're like, I can't relax. I can't trust. They want to see how love comes to you so they can believe that it can come to them. I think that you're going to find it a lot easier than you think.


Lizzie, if people want to community where they can be vulnerable like this? I mean, it's so brilliant. How do they find you? How do they find Substack? Is it like a website?


They can just go to substack. Com and look for my There's a name there. It's like a website that they can look for. Or if you just Google Substack, Elizabeth Gilbert, it'll come up. It's on my website. There's a link. Yeah, it's really simple. I wanted to keep it as accessible as possible. Part of the reason that Substack I've got two tiers. There's a free tier because I want to make sure that nobody is excluded from this. There's a free tier where everything that I create, I share. You can see my videos and my comments and all of that for free. Then for the lowest, I was like, What is the lowest price we can do to join Substack? Because they have to cover their fees to not be social media because they're not getting social media money. It's the lowest they would allow me to charge is $50 a year or $5 a month, which really turns out to be $4.80 a month. For that, there's a paywall. Behind that paywall, you can see the videos of my special guests. Also, you're allowed to comment. I I wanted to make sure that the comments were behind a paywall because people don't pay to hate.


That was so smart of you.


Yeah, it keeps the haters away. I have never seen a single word on there that is not loving and kind. People are supporting one another, and they're cheering each other on. They're like, two and a half months in, every week, there'll be somebody saying, I've been watching this and reading these letters for the last two and a half months, but this is my first one. This is the first time I felt love was talking to me. Then they'll share theirs, and people will respond encouragingly and lovingly. It really reminds me of early days, how I felt Facebook was in the early days, which was like, We're all this beautiful community here, loving each other. That's how you can find it. One of the most beautiful letters responses I've seen was from this woman who said she's got severe anxiety, and she also has severe chronic pain. She's finding that when she writes herself a letter from love right before she goes to bed, because night time is always worse for people who are pain, emotionally and physically. When she writes herself a letter to love before she goes to bed, she's able to go to sleep.


That's why I keep asking you how you felt in your body after you did this, because it really does something to you physiologically. It's not just a cute little game we're playing. It's really about saving our lives and bringing ourselves back to our true natures and being together safely while we do it.


I love you, Lizzy. I love you so much.


I love you guys.


Okay, pod squad, we need to- The most of the most. We need to let Liz get back to her velvet womb that she's in right now.


We'll be in touch, Amanda. Yes.


Yes, we will.


And can I just say to Glenn and Abby, thank you both for doing something that seems so impossible before you do it. And then after you do it, it's like, why did I ever think That would be hard. But just thank you for doing that and for sharing people. It's going to help so many people.


Anything for you, Liz, really.


That's for sure. We love you, Pod Squad. We will see you back here next time. Bye. If this podcast means something to you, it would mean so much to us if you'd be willing to take 30 seconds to do these three things. First, can you please follow or subscribe to We Can Do Hard Things? Following the pod helps you because you'll never miss an episode, and it helps us because you'll never miss an episode. To do this, just go to the We Can Do Hard Things show page on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Odyssey, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and then just tap the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner or click on Follow. This is the most important thing for the pod. While you're there, if you'd be willing to give us a five-star rating and review and share an episode you loved with a friend, we would be so grateful. We appreciate you very much. We Can Do Hard Things is produced in partnership with Cadence 13 Studios..