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Anne Lamott quotes (showing 1-30 of 577)

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”
Anne Lamott
“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.”
Anne Lamott
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
Anne Lamott
“And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.”
Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.”
Anne Lamott
“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.”
Anne Lamott
“You can either practice being right or practice being kind.”
Anne Lamott
“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one 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 circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
Anne Lamott
“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“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.”
Anne Lamott
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
“A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal.”
Anne Lamott, Joe Jones
“You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won't really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we'll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won't wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“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.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“Hope is not about proving anything. It's about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.”
Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
“I don't remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child.”
Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
“It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life.”
Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
tags: life
“Laughter is carbonated holiness.”
Anne Lamott
“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town”
Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith
“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.”
Anne Lamott
“When God is going to do something wonderful, He or She always starts with a hardship; when God is going to do something amazing, He or She starts with an impossibility. ”
Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
“Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived...Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation... Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist's true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“Part of me loves and respects men so desperately, and part of me thinks they are so embarrassingly incompetent at life and in love. You have to teach them the very basics of emotional literacy. You have to teach them how to be there for you, and part of me feels tender toward them and gentle, and part of me is so afraid of them, afraid of any more violation.”
Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
tags: men
“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.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
“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. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare...”
Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
“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.”
Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
“No" is a complete sentence.”
Anne Lamott

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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life Bird by Bird
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Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith Traveling Mercies
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Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith Plan B
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