A friend just loaned me the latest Anne Lamott book, Some Assembly Required. For those of you that aren’t Anne Lamott fans … why the heck not? She’s brilliant and sassy and real in a guttural way that makes me both adore her and want to refer her to a nice counselor.
I’m only 20 pages into the book, but already I’m taking notes. Here’s a brief excerpt:
…So I sat in the parking lot, engraged, bereft, empty, fit to be tied, watching the bad movie in what my spiritual mentor Bonnie calls Theater B. Theater A is where we see goodness in everything, beauty and generosity or, conversely, someone’s need for love. Theater B is where I watch a movie about how this exquisite baby [Anne's 19 year-old son Sam has just become a father] could ruin Sam’s academic career, if the baby even lives, and how Sam would end up at the rescue mission and so on. Finally I thought to pray – it had completely escaped me that I believe in divine mind and comfort. I’d forgotten that if I said the Great Prayer – Help – I would experience that God was with me.
And then Anne has a little communion service with herself, and follows it up with a call to a dear friend she can trust to provide just the right amount of comfort without allowing her to continue wallowing in self-pity.
Oh, Theater B. How many days of my life have I wasted watching your crappy movies?
You know those movies: the music is ominous, the screen is blurry, and your feet are stuck to the floor with gum.
It’s hard to turn Theater B off once the film starts playing, but Anne hits on two smart ways to do so: prayer (Help!) and phone a friend. Brene Brown calls this sort of behavior, intentionally turning away from negative self talk and turning instead to a trusted friend, Everyday Courage.
Now there’s a good name for a movie playing in Theater A.
Photo credit: Tvol via Flickr