Anne Lamott musings.........

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by recoveringenabler, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Anne Lamott is one of my favorite are some of her recent thoughts that seemed to fit what we talk about here........
    I've seen her in person and she is wonderful, warm, inclusive and very funny.......easy to relate to......


    It is okay to need a lot of help. Like most American girls, I was raised to be a flight attendant to my family and to the whole world, and to use my life force so that others might not flag, or feel empty, or embarrass themselves. Then that got blown to hell when the first issue of Ms Magazine came out in 1971, and the process of restoration began. It has gone a tiny tiny bit more slowly that I would have hoped. When I got sober, 28 years, a lot of the missing pieces were filled in by other female drunks, who loved me until I could love myself. Plus, I have hardly missed church in the 29 years since I converted. (You can see that there was a sort of Gap year there, between conversion and getting sober. God works in mysterious ways, Her tum-tum to perform.) Still, it takes so long to become our truest, deepest, juiciest selves--in fact, let's face facts--a lifetime.

    Still, all these years of healing, recovery, and radical self-care later later, I woke up yesterday, with one day off from the Small Victories book tour--although I was doing a huge fundraiser in SF that night--and I was just mad as a hatter. I'd had a nightmare, and it took me a while to re-group. (When I was still drinking, it used to take a cool refreshing beer first thing in the morning to get all the flies going in one direction.) I prayed, and yet I "knew" I could not do the fundraiser that night, or go back on the road to seven more cities today. As my Liverpudlian mother used to say, "It's all over for England." But Grace, that mysterious spiritual WD-40, spritzed me, and I did the only thing that ever really helps. I picked up the 400-pound phone, and called a girlfriend. I asked for help. She listened; I was close to tears. I told her all my scary truths, both narcissistic and full of terrible self-esteem. And she said the great, chemotherapeutic words: "Me too." She did not try to save or fix or rescue me, because only Love or Goodness or Howard--or whatever you want to call God--can do that. But then we started laughing. Then she prayed on me, and we talked some more, and she told me to have a huge bowl of my hippie health food cereal, and perhaps a tiny fistful ful of M&M's, which I did--when all else fails, follow directions--and I had one of the happiest days I can remember.

    Anyway, bless you, bless this day, and here is a funny little interview I did in London, with pretty much everything I now about anything.

    31 OCTOBER 2014. by Psychologies

    Facebook seems an unlikely place to encounter words that leave a lasting impression on your life, but that’s where I first found the New York Times-bestselling writer Anne Lamott. Anne is the author of seven novels, and this month, a new collection of her essays is published in the UK. Now 60, Anne lives in California where she flouts convention online, as in real life, by sharing heartfelt essay-style posts which are deeply refreshing in a virtual world of same-y status updates. Anne’s name is not widely known in the UK, despite having 85,000 followers on Twitter and more than a quarter of a million fans on Facebook, but those who are familiar with her work often respond to the very mention of her name with reverence.

    We asked her to share her wisdom with Psychologies…

    How can we connect with our spirituality?

    By getting in touch with our own human spirit; the part that is touched by suffering throughout the world. Most people were neglected, shamed or disciplined as children in ways that stifled their creative soul and their spiritual truth. All you have to do to get back in touch with that is to want to. Start little by little; with hikes and walks, art and music.

    How should we deal with judgement – of others and ourselves?

    In my case, it took a lot of therapy to recover from perfectionism. And as you get older, you realise everything precious that gave you a sense of wonder and laughter came from messes and mistakes, and from people helping you get back up. I’ve lost so many people way too young that you start to realise the sword of Damocles really is hanging over your head, and if you’re going to live this one precious life you have, then you sure as hell better get started on it.

    How can we find purpose?

    Sometimes purpose is enduring situations that we hope not to be in forever, in order to get to somewhere more creative or that might pay out more in terms of laughter, friendships or sense of accomplishment. If you don’t know what your purpose is, tell someone. Or write a note to God and say, ‘I am adrift. Could you get back to me?’ Then try to keep your sticky fingers off the controls of your life, and set your intentions – to have peace of mind, keep your sense of humour, get some exercise, and eat less sugar!

    Wise words from Anne Lamott

    ‘Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back.’
    ‘Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.’
    ‘Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person.’
    ‘It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight-training for life.’
    ‘The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.’
    ‘The road to enlightenment is long and difficult and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.’

    Anne Lamott