December 05, 2012


And this is the post where I take all my whining back.

I've been slowly making my way through Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies, and not so slowly falling in love with her writing and story telling all over again. With my whining and self pity still heavy on my mind last night, I curled up in bed with this book and read with my heart in my throat the whole time. 

You know those days where you really just want to feel sorry for yourself? That was my day yesterday.  I think I've been ignoring how exhausted I am, which has made everything else seem a lot more overwhelming than it normally would. Even though everything I was feeling was real and true, I gave it way too much power over my life and my mind. Anne talks about her "Bad Mind" kicking in and doing some pretty decent, self-inflicted damage---100% me, yesterday. And in one chapter, she talks about a man who worked for the Dalai Lama, speaking to an overwhelmed woman who sat by him on the train: 
"He 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"

Now I don't think that a lot of things were necessarily going wrong in my life, but sometimes it certainly feels like it--especially when I let it feel that way. Anne later talks about a particularly terrible day and how it was resolved, saying, 
"Back in the saddle again, I thought to myself, the story of my life. I still did not know what was trying to distract me so it could get itself born, but I felt happier than I had in a long time"

Heart in throat, tears brimming my eyes, Anne Lamott totally called me out. I really don't have all the answers, or everything planned out, or the best way to deal with stress in my life, or any idea what to do "next" in life...but I have had so many lovely things already born, and many more to come in my life.

Everything I complained about has a positive flip side and I just chose to ignore it, yesterday and on so many other occasions. I just love the raw honesty that I've encountered in Traveling Mercies, and how it plucked me out of the self pity party that I threw for myself yesterday. 

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