In her writing, Anne Lamott has a wry and gentle way of pointing me in a good direction. She doesn’t want to be the object of attention, although she garners radical amounts of positivity when she posts. Rather, she is like a signpost that says “try going over there instead.” In her first TED talk, she identifies 12 things she knows to be true, as informed by her 60-plus years on earth (which she celebrates, she says, because she’s glad to know longer be in the death throes of late-middle-age). Here are the truths that mean the most to me:
- Insisting on helping people all the time is the sunny side of control. Stop helping so much. Stop getting your helpfulness and goodness all over everybody.
- Nothing outside of you will fix you. It’s an inside job. (Her parenthetic exception: unless you’re waiting for an organ.)
- Food: try to do a little better. “I think you know what I mean.”
- Almost everything will work again if you unplug it in a few minutes, including yourself.
- Quoting Ram Dass: When all is said and done, we’re really just all walking each other home.
- Earth is one big forgiveness school. (My parenthetic truth: I’m pretty sure I’m not a star student.)
- Grace bats last. I read this in an essay and I don’t know what this means. Even so, I hope it’s true.