Feeling bruised and battered by events beyond your control? Wondering how long you can hold on if things don't change in the economy and in the workplace? Help is on the way. In her second book of spiritual remedies for coping with hard times (see also Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers), Anne Lamott continues to speak to the feelings of disappointment, frustration, and anger people have about the uncertainty afoot in the nation.
As a good Christian, the author states: "I do believe there is ultimate meaning in the chaos, and also in the doldrums." Although there is suffering, there is also new life. That is why people with big hearts volunteer to clean up beaches after an oil spill or make casseroles for neighbors when they are mourning the loss of a loved one. Stitch by stitch, we try to patch things together, says Lamott.
Or, as Ram Dass once put it, we are all just walking each other home. Not a bad summation of the impulse we have to do the right thing and to be of service to others. Lamott shares a moving account of a friend who died of Lou Gehrig's disease, of her own recovery from addiction thanks to all the help she received from others, of her fumbling attempt to explain the Newtown shootings to her Sunday School class, and of a community that shows love for the local teenagers who set a fire.
The author quotes Emily Dickinson who wrote that "hope inspires the good to reveal itself." Now there's one to chew on for a while and see what happens. When we are knocked down by troubles, hope provides the energy to help us get back up and start all over again. With all the bad news of greed, violence, corruption, and anger; the good needs a chance to reveal herself through our actions in repairing the world.
Anne Lamott has a knack for sniffing out and then addressing the peculiar moods and challenges of our times. In this collection of essays, she suggests spiritual remedies for dealing with chaos, anxiety, sadness, and suffering.