pathwriter’s note: I love Anne Lamott. I am in awe of her open heart and her willingness to be so uncomfortably honest and so perfectly imperfect. She posted this (complete with typos) on her Facebook page just a few minutes ago.
Oh, all of you who have sustained hardship today, I am so sorry. i wish all of us at this site who are just watching could rush to help you. We really would if we could. Tell us if there is anything we can do, beside the obvious–donate, pray, breathe, wait for the water to recede, and be exquisitely kind–especially to ourselves. That’s the hardest thing.
I’m probably writing this to myself as much as to you, but it is okay to be having any inappropriate feelings and responses and obsessions you may be experiencing. If you still feel obsessed with the election, even in the face of these images of destruction, it’s really okay My mentor, Horrible Bonnie, would say that something beautiful is being revealed in the current weirdness, in brokenness and the not-knowing. I always say back, “Oh, yeah? REALLY?”. Then I swear I’ll never call again.
But it is, every time, no matter how huge the family mess, or loss, or in this case, nature’s terrifying power and force. Truth is revealed. People’s natural outpouring of generosity will be revealed, & their ability to sacrifice for the common good, which you don’t see all that often without darkness. How resilient and loving we are. How we ALWAYS end up getting our senses of humor back, which to me, is one of the ways we know grace is real.
I’m not suggesting that the next few days are going to be easy for the people with no power or damaged houses and lives. That is almost unimaginable. It’s going to be hard enough for the rest of us to watch helplessly. But there are going to be lots of small miracles and grace in the next few days, Goodness and Love and Good Orderly Direction, and Gifts of Desperation, are going to abound. God is such a show-off. Our minds are going to be just as blown by the greatness of the response, the private outpouring of goodness and hope, the exquisite way gvernment agencies respond, as they are by the TV images.
The thing this is useless is to shame anyone else for their feelings, or to let ourselves be shamed by our own erratic needs and obsessions. This is all part of the human condition. You can’t let anyone correct or judge you: this just pulls you into their suck-hole of drama, or fear. That’s when I become pretty useless to everyone. I need to stay as centered and positive as I can. More will be revealed. So tonight, I’m going to donate more, and practice radical self-care–exhale, first of all, and then remember to breathe–put clean sheets on my bed, eat a little Halloween candy (still working on the mini packets of candy corn) and watch last night’s Good Wife. Horrible Bonnie also always says that god will restore what the locusts have taken away–whether that means storms and hurricanes, fires,disastrous childhoods or marriages, and it my experience, this is always true. Keep the faith.
~Anne Lamott, 10/29/12