91+ Best Anne Lamott Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Anne Lamott is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. She is also a progressive political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher. Profoundly inspirational Anne Lamott quotes will challenge the way you think, and help guide you through any life experience.

If you’re searching for beautiful quotes by authors that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes by Audre Lorde, best Bell Hooks quotes and greatest Charles Bukowski quotes.

Famous Anne Lamott Quotes

Oh, my God. What if you wake up some day, and you’re 65 or 75, and you never got your novel or memoir written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools or oceans because your thighs were jiggly or you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. – Anne Lamott

Love is so much bigger than our ignorance. – Anne Lamott

Thirty years ago, my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. – Anne Lamott

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. – Anne Lamott

What fills us is real, sweet, dopey, funny life. – Anne Lamott

I am a terrible and lazy Christian. I do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. I just skip about a third of it. I love the parts I love so much, but I find a lot of it just appalling. When a right-wing person quotes a passage in order to attack and stigmatize another person–or group of people–I just roll my eyes. – Anne Lamott

Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you. – Anne Lamott

But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home. – Anne Lamott

I don’t know much, but I understand how entirely doomed I am without God. – Anne Lamott

I have a terrible time during elections. I am way too politically involved. I absolutely never argue politics with anyone, as it makes me crazy and full of judgment and hostility. I have two very conservative friends, whom I cherish and would entrust my life to; we avoid politics like the plague. So, in a certain way, it limits how completely we let ourselves know each other, but this is just the way it is and it is the best we can do. And I am secretly convinced that God is a progressive Democrat. – Anne Lamott

You can either practice being right or practice being kind. – Anne Lamott

You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves in your heart–your stories, visions, memories, songs: your truth, your version of things, in your voice. That is really all you have to offer us, and it’s why you were born. – 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

Radical self-care is what we’ve been longing for, desperate for, our entire lives-friendship with our own hearts. – Anne Lamott

Radical self-care is quantum, and radiates out into the atmosphere, like a little fresh air. It is a huge gift to the world. When people respond by saying, Well, isn’t she full of herself, smile obliquely, like Mona Lisa, and make both of you a nice cup of tea. – Anne Lamott

Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare. – Anne Lamott

E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard. – Anne Lamott

You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp. – Anne Lamott

If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there… When nothing new can get in, that’s death. – Anne Lamott

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it. – Anne Lamott

Sometimes I think that Jesus watches my neurotic struggles and shakes his head and grips his forehead and starts tossing back mojitos. – Anne Lamott

I don’t know why life isn’t constructed to be seamless and safe, why we make such glaring mistakes, things fall so short of our expectations, and our hearts get broken and out kids do scary things and our parents get old and don’t always remember to put pants on before they go out for a stroll. I don’t know why it’s not more like it is in the movies, why things don’t come out neatly and lessons can’t be learned when you’re in the mood for learning them, why love and grace often come in such motley packaging. – Anne Lamott

People help you or you help them and when we offer or receive help, we take in each other. And then we are saved. – Anne Lamott

How do you begin? The answer is simple: you decide to. – Anne Lamott

Once an old woman at my church said the secret is that God loves us exactly the way we are and that he loves us too much to let us stay like this, and I’m just trying to trust that. – Anne Lamott

This is a very violent place to live, the Earth, and we’re a very violent species. Cain is still killing Abel. We see that every day. – Anne Lamott

Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. – Anne Lamott

The problem is acceptance, which is something we’re taught not to do. We’re taught to improve uncomfortable situations, to change things, alleviate unpleasant feelings. But if you accept the reality that you have been given- that you are not in a productive creative period- you free yourself to begin filling up again. – Anne Lamott

I’ve known for years that resentments don’t hurt the person we resent, but they do hurt us. – Anne Lamott

Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. – Anne Lamott

Some people have a thick skin and you don’t. Your heart is really open and that is going to cause pain, but that is an appropriate response to this world. The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams. – Anne Lamott

Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory? On some days. That’s why it’s such a blessing I’m not left to my own devices. Because the truth is I have amazing friends and a deep faith in God, to whom I can turn. I have a cool kid, a sweet boyfriend, darling pets. I’ve learned to pay attention to life, and to listen. I’d give up all this for a flatter belly? Are you crazy? – Anne Lamott

Help is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn’t matter how you pray–with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago, I wrote an essay that began, Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom. – Anne Lamott

Or you might shout at the top of your lungs or whisper into your sleeve, I hate you, God. That is a prayer too, because it is real, it is truth, and maybe it is the first sincere thought you’ve had in months. – Anne Lamott

I’m human, you’re human, let me greet your humanness. Let’s be people together for a while. – Anne Lamott

Dogs are the closest we come to knowing the divine love of God on this side of eternity. – Anne Lamott

Again and again I tell God I need help, and God says, ‘Well, isn’t that fabulous? Because I need help too. So you go get that old woman over there some water, and I’ll figure out what we’re going to do about your stuff. – Anne Lamott

It is in many people’s best interest for you not to find yourself, but it only matters that it is in yours, and the whole world’s, to proceed. – Anne Lamott

Try to write in a directly emotional way, instead of being too subtle or oblique. Don’t be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done. – Anne Lamott

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

It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life. – Anne Lamott

You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don’t think your way into becoming yourself. – Anne Lamott

I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do – the actual act of writing – turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward. – Anne Lamott

Do you mind even a little that you are still addicted to people-pleasing, and are still putting everyone else’s needs and laundry and career ahead of your creative, spiritual life? Giving all your life force away, to help and impress. Well, your help is not helpful, and falls short. – Anne Lamott

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something anything down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head. – Anne Lamott

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are. – Anne Lamott

Life is like a recycling center, where all the concerns and dramas of humankind get recycled back and forth across the universe. But what you have to offer is your own sensibility, maybe your own sense of humor or insider pathos or meaning. All of us can sing the same song, and there will still be four billion different renditions. – Anne Lamott

Expectations are resentments under construction. – Anne Lamott

The reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. – Anne Lamott

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, this snaggly faith of mine, or maybe it’s Miles Davis saying, don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there. – Anne Lamott

My idea of absolute happiness is to be in bed on a rainy day, with my blankie, my cat, and my dog. – Anne Lamott

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

Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, We told you not to tell. But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on. – Anne Lamott

Close friendships are one of life’s miracles – that a few people get to know you deeply, all your messy or shadowy stuff along with the beauty and sweetness, and they still love you. Not only still love you but love you more and more deeply. I would do anything for my closest friends, and they would do almost anything for me, and that is about as spiritual a truth as you can get. – Anne Lamott

I just can’t get over how much babies cry. I really had no idea what I was getting into. To tell you the truth, I thought it would be more like getting a cat. – Anne Lamott

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

This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we’re most sure that love can’t conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds. – Anne Lamott

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

Love falls to earth, rises from the ground, pools around the afflicted. Love pulls people back to their feet. Bodies and souls are fed. Bones and lives heal. New blades of grass grow from charred soil. The sun rises. – Anne Lamott

One of the immutable laws of being human is that the people who show up are the right people. [p. 65] – Anne Lamott

A big heart is both a clunky and a delicate thing; it doesn’t protect itself and it doesn’t hide. It stands out, like a baby’s fontanel, where you can see the soul pulse through. – Anne Lamott

Small is how blessings, healing, progress and increase occur. – Anne Lamott

Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds. This happens more often when we have as little expectation as possible. If you say, Well, that’s pretty much what I thought I’d see, you are in trouble. At that point you have to ask yourself why you are even here. […] Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time. Let it be. Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business. – Anne Lamott

When we agree to being part of something bigger than our own wired, fixated minds, we are saved. – Anne Lamott

It helps to resign as the controller of your fate. All that energy we expend to keep things running right is not what’s keeping things running right. We’re bugs struggling in the river, brightly visible to the trout below. With that fact in mind, people like me make up all these rules to give us the illusion that we are in charge. I need to say to myself, they’re not needed, hon. Just take in the buggy pleasures. Be kind to the others, grab the fleck of riverweed, notice how beautifully your bug legs scull. – Anne Lamott

Publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is. – Anne Lamott

Getting into a new relationship is like pouring Miracle-Gro on your character defects. – Anne Lamott

Most humbling of all is to comprehend the lifesaving gift that your pit crew of people has been for you, and all the experiences you have shared, the journeys together, the collaborations, births and deaths, divorces, rehab, and vacations, the solidarity you have shown one another. Every so often you realize that without all of them, your life would be barren and pathetic. It would be Death of a Salesman, though with e-mail and texting. – Anne Lamott

All I ever wanted since I arrived here on Earth were the things that turned out to be within reach. The same things I needed as a baby – to go from cold to warm, lonely to held, the vessel to the giver, empty to full. You can change the world with a hot bath, if you sink into it from a place of knowing that you are worth profound care, even when you’re dirty and rattled. Who knew? – 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. – Anne Lamott

What’s the difference between you and God? God never thinks he’s you. – Anne Lamott

I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you; it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day. – Anne Lamott

The truth of my experience is that we are all a lot more alike than we are different. – Anne Lamott

The movement of grace toward gratitude brings us from the package of self-obsessed madness to a spiritual awakening. – Anne Lamott

When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens. – Anne Lamott

The thing about light is that it really isn’t yours; it’s what you gather and shine back. And it gets more power from reflectiveness; if you sit still and take it in, it fills your cup, and then you can give it off yourself. – Anne Lamott

I was reminded of the Four Immutable Laws of the Spirit: Whoever is present are the right people. Whenever it begins is the right time. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened. And when it’s over, it’s over. – Anne Lamott

Intelligence, goodness, humanity, excitement, serenity. Over time, these are the things that change the musculature of your face, as do laughter, and animation, and especially whatever peace you can broker with the person inside. It’s furrow, pinch, and judgement that make us look older – our mothers were right. They said that if you made certain faces, they would stick, and they do. But our mothers forgot that faces of kindness and integrity stick as well. – Anne Lamott

If you asked me, parents were supposed to affect the life of their child in such a way that the child grows up to be responsible, able to participate in life and in community. – Anne Lamott

Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance. – Anne Lamott

Grace means you’re in a different universe from where you had been stuck, when you had absolutely no way to get there on your own. – 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

You are not your bank account, or your ambitiousness. You’re not the cold clay lump with a big belly you leave behind when you die. You’re not your collection of walking personality disorders. You are spirit, you are love. – Anne Lamott

Age has given me the gift of me; it just gave me what I was always longing for, which was to get to be the woman I’ve already dreamt of being. Which is somebody who can do rest and do hardwork and be a really constant companion, a constant, tender-hearted wife to myself. – Anne Lamott

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. – Anne Lamott

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. – 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

Honesty is not necessarily interesting. I don’t want to hear about your dreams or your acid trips, probably unless you make them really interesting. – Anne Lamott

I’m a terrible Christian and meditating is very hard for me, and I do it. I do it badly, like I do a lot of things. I believe in doing things badly. – Anne Lamott

The world is always going to be dangerous, and people get badly banged up, but how can there be more meaning than helping one another stand up in a wind and stay warm? – Anne Lamott

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

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