Book Reviews

Glow in the F*cking Dark by Tara Schuster

I loved Tara Schuster after Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies. It was a book that came to me when I needed it, and somehow Glow in the F*cking Dark did the same. If I had enough money to purchase a copy of this book for everyone in my life (well…the women, mostly), I absolutely would.

The Book

The author of the runaway hit Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies shares honest and practical lessons for healing your past and owning your future so you can radiate strength, bravery, and joy when life gets dark.

For the past decade, Tara Schuster worked like hell to repair the emotional wounds inflicted during what she refers to as her neglected, mess-wreck disaster of a childhood. She brought radical self-care, healing rituals, and self-love into her life, and on most days, she was a grateful, happy, and stable adult. She even wrote a book about it!

But then she lost her job, the one on which she had staked her entire adult identity. Cue an out-of-body-panic-attack-doom-spiral and deep depression that brought her harshest childhood traumas to the surface. Isolated at home during a global pandemic, she experienced piercing loneliness and a lack of purpose like she had never known. Finally, after a particularly dangerous dissociative episode while driving down the highway, she realized that enough was enough; she needed to slow down and pull over, to stop the relentless hustling that had gotten her this far, and to recover her innermost self.

This book is a guide to healing your deepest soul wounds, getting off your “good enough” plateau, developing habits that will give you lasting courage and resolve, and creating the spectacular life that you actually want. Full of practical, free baby-steps we can take today, it’s for people who are ready to liberate themselves from their emotional suffering, discover their purpose, and finally sit in the driver’s seat of their experience. It’s for anyone who is tired, hurting, and feeling like their essential brightness is gone. It’s for people who are ready to glow in the f*cking dark.

My Thoughts

Generally, when it comes to “self help” or personal development books, I have an issue with reading them if I feel the person writing it isn’t “qualified” through some sort of schooling or degree. I trust people like Brene Brown or Glennon Doyle to write personal development books. I also now trust Tara Schuster as well (I trusted her after the first book, but now she has me hooked).

I trust that her books are written like that one friend you have that has experience and has lived a life and learned a lot. Someone who is self-sufficient and tries to learn as much as possible when adversity comes up. I believe that she knows the chemicals that are released in our bodies when we feel different ways, but don’t trust her to diagnose me. Trust Tara Schuster like a friend.

I had the absolute joy of being part of Tara Schuster’s launch team for Glow in the F*cking Dark. There was an entire community of (mostly) women who read the book and came together to talk about it, with Tara herself. Maybe that’s why I loved this book so much, but I also think that it’s just amazing.

With that being said, this was a five-star read for me. Linked as such in my Amazon Storefront (along with a bunch of other goodies, so enjoy shopping!).

This book might not be for you, or it might not be for you right now. However, if you need a little pickmeup or tough love or general support, I can’t recommend it enough.

Bits that Smacked Me in the Face

I wore my page flags OUT as I was reading this book. Make sure you have some with you cause this book will stay on your shelf and you will want to reference it. Keep in mind that this is a non-fiction book, so the parts that resonated with me might not be the same that resonate with you. I read this book as I was coming through a breakup, the loss of my grandmother, and a whole slew of other things.

If it’s hysterical, it’s historical. That framing hit me like a shock wave. I could instantly think of times when I responded to something with panic that wasn’t warranted by the situation.

Glow in the F*cking Dark, Page 10

“Trauma is not what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you . . . the wound that you sustaned, the meaning you made of it, the way you then came to believe certain things about yourself.” He also points out something that is often missed: “Trauma can also be inflicted not by what happens to you but what doesn’t happen that should happen . . . Even if you weren’t overtly hurt, you’re still wounded by not having your essential human needs met.” What makes something traumatic, then, is not the event itself but being totally overwhelmed in that moment, finding a coping mechanism to get you through it, and then using that coping mechanism in similar situations forevermore regardless of the reality of the situation.

Glow in the F*cking Dark, Page 13-14

Note: The quotes in the above passage are properly cited in the book, but come from Gabor Maté, the “father” of trauma research.

The best consequence of keeping a journal is that it gives us a sense of power. Every time you sit down to write, you are saying, “I am worth time,” “I have a voice,” “I matter,” “My story is important,” “This time is for me.”

Glow in the F*cking Dark, Page 36

This next one absolutely wrecked me. Where I was in my life when I read this . . . the tears were running and I have sent it to almost everyone in my life since I read it.

Your emotions aren’t curses to be avoided. They aren’t bombs you can drop. They won’t kill anyone. A feeling expressed calmly and without attack is SIMPLY A FEELING. It’s got no power to hurt anyone unless you bottle it up, press it way down into the well that is your soul, and let it alchemize into something that wakes you up every morning, ten-out-of-ten anxious. That is dangerous. To you, to your family, to everyone you know.

Glow in the F*cking Dark, Page 79

Do me a favor. Put a hand on your heart. Think of the person you love the most in the world, really see their face and look into their eyes. If you can’t heal for your sake, can you heal for theirs?

What I am about to say to you I mean with every ounce of my soul: At your core, you are totally pure and totally good. Stop thinking about yourself as some individual person with faults who’s made so many mistakes, and recognize that your most essential stardust self has no faults, no problems, and is enough. Stardust is enough and that enough is fucking fantastic. Now you have the change to grow, and the opportunity to decide how you want to glow. Are you ready?

Glow in the F*cking Dark, Page 111

If you’re counting the days until everything calmly falls into place, you’ll be waiting on the sidelines of your life for a long time and I don’t want that for you. Do you?

Glow in the F*cking Dark, Page 233

This is now how I like to think of love, not as one person merging into another, but as two stars who have been through their own pressures and turmoils and triumphs, coming together to shine side by side, no matter how long it takes to get there, each giving light to the other and then to us all.

Glow in the F*cking Dark, Page 264

Note: This post contains affiliate links, so I may receive a small commission from sales generated (at no extra cost to you).