Before start reading all Anne Lamott Quotes, you can learn more about Anne Lamott from Wikipedia if you don't know too much about this legend.
Oh, my God. What if you wake up some day, and you're 65 or 75, and you never got your novel or memoir written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools or oceans because your thighs were jiggly or you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen.
You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
Close friendships are one of life's miracles - that a few people get to know you deeply, all your messy or shadowy stuff along with the beauty and sweetness, and they still love you. Not only still love you, but love you more and more deeply. I would do anything for my closest friends, and they would do almost anything for me, and that is about as spiritual a truth as you can get.
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
Again and again I tell God I need help, and God says, 'Well, isn't that fabulous? Because I need help too. So you go get that old woman over there some water, and I'll figure out what we're going to do about your stuff.
Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.
Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.
Some people have a thick skin and you don’t. Your heart is really open and that is going to cause pain, but that is an appropriate response to this world. The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams.
Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.
Sometimes I think that Jesus watches my neurotic struggles, and shakes his head and grips his forehead and starts tossing back mojitos.
My best teachers were mess, failure, death, mistakes, and the people I hayed, including myself.
Honesty is not necessarily interesting. I don't want to hear about your dreams or your acid trips, probably unless you make them really interesting.
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
The reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day.
You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves in your heart--your stories, visions, memories, songs: your truth, your version of things, in your voice. That is really all you have to offer us, and it's why you were born.
Help" is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn't matter how you pray--with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, "Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.
E.L. Doctorow said once said that 'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.
Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down.
Dogs are the closest we come to knowing the divine love of God on this side of eternity.
It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools - friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty - and said 'do the best you can with these, they will have to do'. And mostly, against all odds, they do.
Laughter is carbonated holiness.
I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.
I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me--that 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.
But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home.
You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.
I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.
You were loved because God loves, period. God loved you, and everyone, not because you believed in certain things, but because you were a mess, and lonely, and His or Her child. God loved you no matter how crazy you felt on the inside, no matter what a fake you were; always, even in your current condition, even before coffee. God loves you crazily, like I love you...like a slightly overweight auntie, who sees only your marvelousness and need.
Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.
You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren't. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don't think your way into becoming yourself.
Nothing heals us like letting people know our scariest parts: When people listen to you cry and lament, and look at you with love, it's like they are holding the baby of you.
Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life - it gave me me. It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life...I not only get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side.
A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal.
The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.
Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means that you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back.
Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds. This happens more often when we have as little expectation as possible. If you say, "Well, that's pretty much what I thought I'd see," you are in trouble. At that point you have to ask yourself why you are even here. [...] Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time. Let it be. Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business.
Hope begins in the dark.
A nun I know once told me she kept begging God to take her character defects away from her. After years of this prayer, God finally got back to her: I'm not going to take anything away from you, you have to give it to Me.
But grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you want is clarity and resolution, what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on.
I didn't need to understand the hypostatic unity of the Trinity; I just needed to turn my life over to whoever came up with redwood trees.
I think joy and sweetness and affection are a spiritual path. We're here to know God, to love and serve God, and to be blown away by the beauty and miracle of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don't have time to carry grudges; you don't have time to cling to the need to be right.
What’s the difference between you and God? God never thinks he’s you.
Everything was coming together by coming apart . . . It is the most difficult Zen practice to leave people to their destiny, even though it's painful - just loving them, and breathing with them, and distracting them in a sweet way, and laughing with them . . . if something was not my problem, I probably did not have the solution.
You can either set brick as a laborer or as an artist. You can make the work a chore, or you can have a good time. You can do it the way you used to clear the dinner dishes when you were thirteen, or you can do it as a Japanese person would perform a tea ceremony, with a level of concentration and care in which you can lose yourself, and so in which you can find yourself.
Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors.
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.
It turned out this man worked for the Dalai Lama. And she said gently-that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born-and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.
Human lives are hard, even those of health and privilege, and don't make much sense. This is the message of the Book of Job: Any snappy explanation of suffering you come up with will be horseshit.
Intelligence, goodness, humanity, excitement, serenity. Over time, these are the things that change the musculature of your face, as do laughter, and animation, and especially whatever peace you can broker with the person inside. It's furrow, pinch, and judgement that make us look older - our mothers were right. They said that if you made certain faces, they would stick, and they do. But our mothers forgot that faces of kindness and integrity stick as well.
You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn't nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.
Love falls to earth, rises from the ground, pools around the afflicted. Love pulls people back to their feet. Bodies and souls are fed. Bones and lives heal. New blades of grass grow from charred soil. The sun rises.
People help you or you help them and when we offer or receive help, we take in each other. And then we are saved.
This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds.
The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
I was reminded of the Four Immutable Laws of the Spirit: Whoever is present are the right people. Whenever it begins is the right time. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened. And when it's over, it's over.
When faced with a crisis, do three things: breathe, pray and be kind.
Expectations are resentments under construction.
Rule 1: When all else fails, follow instructions. And Rule 2: Don't be an asshole.
I do not know much about God and prayer, but I have come to believe over the last twenty-five years, that there's something to be said about keeping prayer simple. Help, Thanks, Wow.
We are not here to see through one another, but to see one another through.
I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do - the actual act of writing - turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.
Small is how blessings, healing, progress and increase occur.
This is one thing they forget to mention in most child-rearing books, that at times you will just lose your mind. Period.
Here are the two best prayers I know: Help me, help me, help me and Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.
I don’t know why life isn’t constructed to be seamless and safe, why we make such glaring mistakes, things fall so short of our expectations, and our hearts get broken and out kids do scary things and our parents get old and don’t always remember to put pants on before they go out for a stroll. I don’t know why it’s not more like it is in the movies, why things don’t come out neatly and lessons can’t be learned when you’re in the mood for learning them, why love and grace often come in such motley packaging.
Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.
You can either practice being right or practice being kind.
Most humbling of all is to comprehend the lifesaving gift that your pit crew of people has been for you, and all the experiences you have shared, the journeys together, the collaborations, births and deaths, divorces, rehab, and vacations, the solidarity you have shown one another. Every so often you realize that without all of them, your life would be barren and pathetic. It would be Death of a Salesman, though with e-mail and texting.
I'm human, you're human, let me greet your humanness. Let's be people together for a while.
I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.
It is unearned love--the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It's the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.
It helps to resign as the controller of your fate. All that energy we expend to keep things running right is not what's keeping things running right. We're bugs struggling in the river, brightly visible to the trout below. With that fact in mind, people like me make up all these rules to give us the illusion that we are in charge. I need to say to myself, they're not needed, hon. Just take in the buggy pleasures. Be kind to the others, grab the fleck of riverweed, notice how beautifully your bug legs scull.
The problem is acceptance, which is something we're taught not to do. We're taught to improve uncomfortable situations, to change things, alleviate unpleasant feelings. But if you accept the reality that you have been given- that you are not in a productive creative period- you free yourself to begin filling up again.
How do you begin? The answer is simple: you decide to.
Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity.
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.
Never compare your insides to everyone else's outsides.
Butterflies and birds are like one perfect teaspoon of creation.