You are probably familiar with her as she has written many books and magazine articles and often appeared on television. Her latest book, “Hallelujah Anyway” is described by Gloria Steinem as being a book about how you can find mercy and also be merciful.
Lamott is in unconventional person who writes in a flip, pithy style that some regard as sacrilegious. She often has a way of simplifying the complicated, of helping people see situations, themselves, and others in a new light.
What is mercy anyway? It seems the two main components of mercy are forgiveness and compassion, with empathy a third. The best way to find mercy is by being merciful.
How can you be merciful to yourself? Perhaps you are doing something in your current life that you know is wrong for you. Perhaps for a long time you have been carrying around guilt about something you have done. Forgive yourself. For real. Don’t judge yourself so harshly. And don’t push yourself so hard. Take time out of busy-ness to feel joy, experience calm.
How can you be merciful to others? Regard them – both individuals and groups – with forgiveness and compassion. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t be so judgmental. And reach out in small ways: a smile, a kind word, listening ear.
The book title, “Hallelujah Anyway”, comes from an old gospel song of that title by Candi Staton. Through the lyrics she encourages people to remain positive despite disappointments, hurt, and discouragement. Say “Hallelujah Anyway!”
Dorothy C. Judd (c) 2017
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