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A collection of quotes by Anne Lamott on grief, loss, recovery, books, reading, writing, God, humor, idolatry, truth, life, spirituality, depression and healing.

100 Thought-Provoking Quotes By Anne Lamott That Will Make You Tick

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Also Listed In

Famous As
Writer, Novelist

Born On
10 April 1954 AD

Born In
San Francisco

Age
63

Anne Lamott is an acclaimed American non-fiction writer and novelist. She is also renowned as a political activist, teacher and public speaker. She attended Drew School and then studied for a while at Goucher College, but she did not complete her degree. She started writing for a newspaper while she was still at Goucher College and realized that her true calling was in writing. Most of the her works have been inspired from personal experiences and have touched subjects like single parenthood, alcohol dependence, experiences with Christianity and depression. Most of her political activities are rooted in progressive issues and she is counted among the most influential activists in the United States. In addition to being a political activist, Anne Lamott is also a public speaker and is known to make several public appearances in a year to express her thoughts and views on causes close to her heart. Read on the compilation of some notable and inspiring quotes and thoughts by Anne Lamott that are sure to win your heart.

To be engrossed by something outside ourselves is a powerful antidote for the rational mind, the mind that so frequently has its head up its own ass.

- Anne Lamott

For too long, and despite what people told me, I had fallen for what the culture said about beauty, youth, features, heights, weights, hair textures, upper arms.

- Anne Lamott

There is ecstasy in paying attention.

- Anne Lamott

Writing is about hypnotizing yourself into believing in yourself, getting some work done, then unhypnotizing yourself and going over the material coldly.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

One thing I know for sure about raising children is that every single day a kid needs discipline.... But also every single day a kid needs a break.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

... the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. [pp. 65-66]

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

And as it turns out, if one person is praying for you, buckle up. Things can happen.

- Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Anne Lamott

These are the words I want on my gravestone: that I was a helper, and that I danced."

- Anne Lamott

It is a violation of trust to use your kids as caulking for the cracks in you.

- Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son, Anne Lamott

Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity.

- Anne Lamott

I smiled back at her. 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.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

...one of the worst things about being a parent, for me, is the self-discovery, the being face to face with one's secret insanity and brokenness and rage.

- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, Anne Lamott

If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you'll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you've already been in.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

It is hard to remember that you are a cherished spiritual being when you're burping up apple fritters and Cheetos.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Write as if your parents are dead.

- Anne Lamott

There is nothing more touching to me then a family picture where everyone is trying to look his or her best, but you can see what a mess they all really are.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Everybody thinks their opinion is the right one. If they didn't, they would get a new one.

- Anne Lamott

If your wife locks you out of the house, you don't have a problem with your door.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

And she is going to dance, dance hungry, dance full, dance each cold astonishing moment, now when she is young and again when she is old.

- Anne Lamott

I think we're all pretty crazy on this bus. I'm not sure I know anyone who's got all the dots on his or her dice.

- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, Anne Lamott

I’m probably just as good a mother as the next repressed, obsessive-compulsive paranoiac.

- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, Anne Lamott

I remember staring at my son endlessly when he was an infant, stunned by his very existence, wondering where on earth he had come from.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Who was it who said that forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past?

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Rule 1: When all else fails, follow instructions. And Rule 2: Don't be an asshole.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Sometimes grace is a ribbon of mountain air that gets in through the cracks.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Jealousy has always been my cross, the weakness and woundedness in me that has most often caused me to feel ugly and unlovable, like the Bad Seed.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Sam said to me the other day, "I love you like 20 tyrannosauruses on 20 mountaintops," and this is the exact same way in which I love him.

- Anne Lamott

Mine was a patchwork God, sewn together from bits of rag and ribbon, Eastern and Western, pagan and Hebrew, everything but the kitchen sink and Jesus.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Then the singing enveloped me. It was furry and resonant, coming from everyone's very heart. There was no sense of performance or judgment, only that the music was breath and food.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Trying to reason with an addict was like trying to blow out a lightbulb.

- Anne Lamott

Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Having a baby is like suddenly getting the world's worst roommate.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

Peace is joy at rest. Joy is peace on its feet.

- Anne Lamott

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

Teenagers who do not go to church are adored by God, but they don't get to meet some of the people who love God back.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Being enough was going to have to be an inside job.

- Anne Lamott

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.

- Anne Lamott

Here are the two best prayers I know: 'Help me, help me, help me' and 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.

- Anne Lamott

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.

- Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Anne Lamott

It's so awful, attacking your child. It's the worse thing I know, to shout loudly at this 50 lb. being with his huge trusting brown eyes. It's like bitch-slapping E.T.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

It was not facing what life dealt that made you crazy, but rather trying to set life straight where it was unstraightenable.

- Blue Shoe, Anne Lamott

I don't think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won't be good at it.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

So how on earth can I bring a child into the world, knowing that such sorrow lies ahead, that it is such a large part of what it means to be human? I'm not sure. That's my answer: I'm not sure.

- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, Anne Lamott

Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

I'm here to be me, which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Never compare your insides to everyone else's outsides.

- Anne Lamott

[S]he believed that the Buddhists were right–that if you want, you will suffer; if you love, you will grieve. (68)

- Crooked Little Heart, Anne Lamott

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.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

You can tell if people are following Jesus, because they are feeding the poor, sharing their wealth, and trying to get everyone medical insurance.

- Anne Lamott

Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic...but better to feel it and talk about it and walk through it than to spend a lifetime being silently poisoned.

- Anne Lamott

The opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s certainty.

- Anne Lamott

...the three things I cannot change are the past, the truth, and you.

- Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Anne Lamott

Don't look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

It's better to be kind than to be right.

- Anne Lamott

My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

This is one thing they forget to mention in most child-rearing books, that at times you will just lose your mind. Period.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Certainty is missing the point entirely.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Sometimes grace works like water wings when you feel you are sinking.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

The depth of the feeling continued to surprise and threaten me, but each time it hit again and I bore it...I would discover that it hadn't washed me away.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Perfection is shallow, unreal, and fatally uninteresting.

- Anne Lamott

I liked those ladies! They were helpers, and they danced.' These are the words I want on my gravestone: that I was a helper, and that I danced.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

...since you can't heal your own sick mind with your own sick mind, I needed to consult somebody else's sick mind.

- Anne Lamott

...most of the time, all you have is the moment, and the imperfect love of the people around you.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

We all know we're going to die; what's important is the kind of men and women we are in the face of this.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

I've given guys blow jobs just because I've run out of things to talk about.' Oh, Rae. Who hasn't

- Crooked Little Heart, Anne Lamott

If you have a body, you are entitled to the full range of feelings. It comes with the package.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

I worry that Jesus drinks himself to sleep when he hears me talk like this.

- Anne Lamott

If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

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.

- Anne Lamott

...because when people have seen you at their worst, you don't have to put on the mask as much.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

You don't always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it too.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

My heart was broken and my head was just barely inhabitable

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

She said to go ahead and feel the feelings. I did. They felt like shit.

- Anne Lamott

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.

- Anne Lamott

The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

The difference between you and God is that God doesn't think He's you.

- Anne Lamott

Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.

- Anne Lamott

I am all the ages I've ever been.

- Anne Lamott

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

Expectations are resentments under construction.

- Anne Lamott

My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone.

- Anne Lamott

No" is a complete sentence.

- 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.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Laughter is carbonated holiness.

- Anne Lamott

You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

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.

- Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

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.

- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, Anne Lamott

A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal.

- Joe Jones, Anne Lamott

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

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.

- Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

You can either practice being right or practice being kind.

- 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

Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.

- Anne Lamott

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

Joy is the best makeup.

- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.

- Anne Lamott