I love, love, love writer Anne Lamott. Her ability to write about life’s adversities with searing honesty and self-deprecating humor has helped me get through some of my own canyons of despair and confusion. I was digging through my files the other day and pulled out an article from O Magazine. It was called “How to Become the Person You Were Meant to Be” and it featured several writers sharing their thoughts on how one goes about this intrinsic task. Anne Lamott’s entry is called “Where Do I Start?” and you can find it in its entirety here.
I kept this article because it not only has to do with Gift-y stuff like becoming the person you were meant to be, but it also is about grief-y, resilience-y, change-y stuff, too. In true Lamott style, she begins,
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. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? (My emphases.)
She goes on to say that, everyday, she tries to figure out something she no longer agrees to do.
Wouldn’t that be great? One day you could say, “I no longer agree to go along with the world on how I am ‘supposed’ to look.” The next day you could say, “I no longer agree to keep quiet about my own Giftedness. It is for my community and I bring it forth with gladness and a shout!” On the third day you could say, “I no longer agree that some of my emotions are ‘bad.’ I can be enraged, grief-stricken, or silly just as I can be joyful, loving, or funny.”
If you wanted to gently stop being who you aren’t, what would you no longer agree to?