Mindrolling – Ep. 188 – Rediscovering Mercy with Anne Lamott

Rediscovering Mercy

Anne Lamott visits Mindrolling to talk about her new book, “Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy.”

These days, the need for rediscovering mercy is more important than ever. Anne Lamott shares a fresh way to look at mercy and the importance of showing it to ourselves as much as we do others.

Show Notes

Grace into Action (Opening) – Mercy is grace put into action. Anne’s book “Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy” is all about learning to recognize the presence and importance of mercy. It highlights how mercy can be used to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and a more honest connection with each other.

Anne and Raghu discuss the growing need for mercy in our lives and in the world. She reminds us that even though we are all thirsting for mercy, it is ever present. We just need to open ourselves to the grace in the world.

“Mercy for me means loving kindness, grace, generosity, and forgiveness.”

Wise Words (18:00) – Anne shares the inspiration she finds in the words of Old Testament prophet Micah, “What doth God require of thee but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.” Like many wisdom traditions, Micah’s teachings remind us to practice humility and generosity.

Mercy is a loaded term in western culture. Raghu and Anne talk about the true components of mercy and its deeper meaning.

Mercy for Everyone, Including Ourselves (25:00) – The hardest person to show mercy to is ourselves. So often, we are overly hard on ourselves. Anne reminds us the importance of sharing as much mercy with ourselves as we would give to others.

“I came into sobriety thinking I was a hotshot. I learned and was taught slowly how to be a servant. That is where I found happiness; where I found myself and union with God.”

Unfolding (34:15) – We spend so much time pretending that we are ok for our friends, family, and especially strangers. Anne shares some of the ways in which our real selves are all folded up. She reminds us that we don’t need to please everyone and how opening ourselves expands our capacity to serve others.

“I know why I’m here, I know what I have to offer. I can get you a glass of water, that’s really all I have to offer.”

Mercy as a Cloak (46:40) – Mercy is like a cloak that can protect us from the darkness of ourselves. Anne shows how mercy can offer us a moment of respite from ourselves. This can create enough space to come back to ourselves with equanimity.

Find Annie on Facebook and be sure to check out her last visit to the Be Here Now Network.

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Photo via Salon