Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott 

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott 

My favorite passages from such a real and deep author. Thank you Eric Grant for recommending her to me.

“I read all afternoon in bed, peaceful as a cat. There was only me, the book, the space I was reading in; hands, and the whisper of pages, eyes, and a place to sprawl. The wrinkly flower of my heart was opening in slow motion. I  felt one with everybody. Well, except Romy. I felt about one and a half with her, even as I knew deep inside that she was part of the reason that I would never be the same. And I wasn’t.” 

“This was the day I pecked a hole out of the cocoon and saw the sky of ingredients that would constitute my spiritual path. This was the day I knew the ingredients of the spiritual that would serve me—love, poetry, prayer,  meditation, community. I knew that sex could be as sacred as taking care of the poor. I knew that no one comes holier than anyone else, that nowhere is better than anywhere else. I knew that the resurrection of the mind was possible. I knew that no matter how absurd and ironic it was, acknowledging death and the finite was what gave you life and presence. You might as well make it good. Nature, family, children, cadavers, birth, rivers in which  we pee and bathe, splash and flirt and float memorial candles—in these you would find holiness.” p.10

“Hawaii every year, laughed and explained that the seals are perfectly fine, and when they are rested, they waddle back to the ocean. This is how I feel about the world much of the time, when I am not feeling too far gone:  Things are how they are supposed to be, all evidence to the contrary. Life swims, lumbers across the sand, rests;  lumbers, swims, rests”.p.21

“My Jesuit friend Tom once told me that this is a good exercise because in truth, everyone is loved and chosen,  even Dick Cheney, even Saddam Hussein. That God loves them, because God loves. “This—more than anything  else—does not make sense to me,” I said.” p.29 

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“I’m not comparing the hardship of being developmentally disabled to that of being an alcoholic or a drug addict,  but in dance class, I noticed all sorts of parallels: the off-rhythm gait, the language you can’t quite catch, the lack of coordination, the odd affects—too friendly or too far away—the bad teeth, the screwed-up relationships or no  relationships at all, the not-fitting-in-ness. It’s incredibly touching when someone who seems so hopeless finds a  few inches of light to stand in and makes everything work as well as possible.” p.40

I knew this was true. Even Jesus would, although somehow I don’t see him ripping open a package of Hostess  Ding Dongs for me. But thinking of him reminded me that food would not fill the holes or quiet the fear. Only  love would; only my own imperfect love would. p.54

Everything in me wanted to save her—to offer her the extra room in our house, or promise to drop in on her  every day. But instead, I did an incredible thing, something I have not done nearly enough in my life: I did  nothing. Or at any rate, I did not talk. Miserable and desperate to flee, I listened instead. 

This culture’s pursuit of beauty is a crazy, sick, losing game, for women, men, teenagers, and with the need to  increase advertising revenues, now for pre-adolescents, too. We’re starting to see more and more anorexic eight and nine-year-olds. It’s a game we cannot win. Every time we agree to play another round, and step out onto the  court to try again, we’ve already lost. The only way to win is to stay off the court. No matter how much of our  time is spent in pursuit of physical beauty, even to great success, the Mirror on the Wall will always say, “Snow  White lives,” and this is in fact a lie—Snow White is a fairy tale. Lies cannot nourish or protect you. Only  freedom from fear, freedom from lies, can make us beautiful, and keep us safe. There is a line I try to live by,  spoken at the end of each Vedanta service: “And may the free make others free.” 

There was nothing physically dramatic about her. Nearby in the water or tanning themselves on beach towels  were younger women and teenagers in bikinis, who were brown, lithe, smooth, and perfect, who made you want  to kill yourself. But this woman looked, well, like us, like me and my friends. She was of average height, with  long, dark hair, a bit heavy, with the thigh challenge and a poochy stomach. And she was wearing a bikini, like  all the younger women, whereas I, like the other women over thirty, was wearing a one-piece spandex suit,  designed for maximum suckage and disguise. But here she was, splashing around in a black string bikini, with  an extraordinary lack of self-consciousness and a glistening confidence. You couldn’t take your eyes off her.  She commanded the beach. Everyone got it—well, except for a few men. 

All of his old friends who were part of his final months said sternly that we must not play God, that nature must  be allowed to take its course—and they were all atheists. So we did the best we could, and it sucked, and it was  beautiful. But the whole time I knew he had not wanted to end up in the shape he did. I know if the tables had  been turned, he would have helped me out. So I offered to help Mel if he ever needed me. We talked about it 

briefly. What did I think death was like, he asked. I didn’t have a clue, but I’d heard an Eastern mystic say that it  was like slipping out of a pair of shoes that had never fit very well. We moved on to what we were reading, and  how our kids were. I knew for a fact that Mel believed in assisted suicide. We had discussed a story about it in  the paper once: A local man gave his wife an overdose, then sealed her upper body in a plastic trash bag with  duct tape. He gave himself an overdose of pills, and they died holding hands. What love! Mel was somewhat  surprised that as a Christian I so staunchly agreed with him about assisted suicide: I believe that life is a kind of  Earth School, so even though assisted suicide means you’re getting out early, before the term ends, you’re going  to be leaving anyway, so who says it isn’t okay to take an incomplete in the course? 

A month later, Joanne called and asked if I could come to their house the following night. Their best family  friend would be with us. I should come around dinnertime. They would have a simple meal for us; there would  be toast, tea, and pudding for Mel. He was in the kitchen when I arrived, very thin and weak, but still definitely  Mel. Their friend was there, teary, solemn, and amiable. Joanne had prepared soup for us, with bread and cheese.  For the next couple of hours, Mel asked us to put certain CDs on the stereo—Bach, Dylan, Leontyne Price. We  shared our favorite stories. He was absolutely clear as a bell, brilliant as ever. We all cried a little, but not at the  same time. The air smelled faintly of honey and laundry, and illness. I remember coming upon a cat once, in tall  grass on a hillside near a fire road. It was barely alive. Its eyes were open, and I had to bend in close to see that it  was still breathing. I almost picked it up and took it to my vet, but my instincts told me to leave it, that it would  be frightening for it to leave the soft grass on which it lay, and the smells of the sun and its own body in the  weeds. Joanne and their friend had wine. Mel had a scotch. We ate in the kitchen. At about eight, Mel looked at  Joanne and said he was ready. The lighting was soft in the bedroom. He went into the bathroom, changed into  worn, light blue pajamas, and got into bed, wasted, sad, sweet, and comfortable. The friend and I stood around,  or sat nearby. Joanne stretched out on her side of the bed. Later I went into the kitchen and crushed the pills with  a mortar and pestle, and stirred them into applesauce in a tiny Asian bowl. Mel grimaced when I fed it to him,  like a child swallowing medicine. He thanked us, told us how much he had loved his life, and how he wished he  could live with us forever. But every person owes God a death, he said, paraphrasing Shakespeare, and everyone  should be as lucky as he. He told us about the presents he had left for each of us. Mine was a framed eight-by ten-inch photograph of Abraham Lincoln that Mel had kept on the wall in his study, a reproduction of the last  picture of Lincoln taken before he was assassinated. There was a crack running across his forehead, from a flaw  in the ancient plate. Mel wanted me to be guided in my work by the depth of sorrow and compassion in  Lincoln’s eyes. 

But I did the only thing I could think to do: plunge on and tell my truth. I said that this was the most intimate  decision a woman could make, and she made it alone, in her deepest heart, though sometimes with the man by  whom she was pregnant, with her dearest friends, or with her doctor—but without the personal opinion of, say,  Tom DeLay or Karl Rove. I said that I could not believe that men committed to equality and civil rights were  still challenging the basic rights of women. I thought about the photo op where President Bush had signed  legislation limiting abortion rights, surrounded by nine self-righteous white married males, who had forced God  knows how many girlfriends into doing God knows what. I thought of Bush’s public appearance with children  born from frozen embryos, whom some people call “snowflake babies,” and of the embryos themselves, which  he called the youngest and most vulnerable Americans.

And somehow, as I was speaking, I got louder and maybe more emphatic than I actually feel, and said that it was  not a morally ambiguous issue for me at all. I said that fetuses were not babies yet; that there was actually a  difference between pro-choice people, like me, and Klaus Barbie. Then I said that a woman’s right to choose  was nobody else’s goddamn business. This got their attention. 

Forgivishness It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. —SALLY KEMPTON as quoted in  Esquire magazine, 1970 

Also, they had money. They both worked at universities, and help from their families had bought them a  beautiful home with a huge backyard. I was a renter. A year before she died, my best friend described my house  politely as a rattrap, which it was. But it was definitely one of your nicer rattraps, as these things go, with shade  trees and a huge sunlit kitchen. One summer, when our sons were nearly four, the couple invited Sam and me to  stay with them at a rental house on the Gulf Coast. They sent us tickets: I did not have any money. The man had  gotten a big advance for his second novel, and a vacation at the shore was a dream come true. We had one of  those rare vacations that are as casual as a kitchen: long days in the sand with our sons, swimming, watching  sunsets, making meals. We took turns reading the boys to sleep. We were all kind of in love, except for, well, the  arithmetic—the two of them, the one of me. Then, that fall, I noticed during our phone calls that the man was  talking about his money perhaps a little more frequently than was strictly necessary. I was barely making ends  meet. Besides his big advance, he had a movie deal in the works. He and his wife were thinking of buying a  summer house, near the one where we had vacationed. I felt wormy whenever the topic came up. I said all the  right things, in my best girl voice, which I like to think drowns out the voice of the snake inside me. I became  the Dickensian orphan, gripping the window, peering in at the happy couple in their big house. I felt so less-than,  and so jealous. At the same time, I wanted to say, “Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to discuss purchasing a  second home with another home owner? Instead of a rattrap-renting single mother?” 

Jealousy always has been my cross, the weakness and woundedness in me that has most often caused me to feel  ugly and unlovable, like the Bad Seed. I’ve had many years of recovery and therapy, years filled with intimate  and devoted friendships, yet I still struggle. I know that when someone gets a big slice of pie, it doesn’t mean  there’s less for me. In fact, I know that there isn’t even a pie, that there’s plenty to go around, enough food and  love and air. 

I grew up and developed some of the skills and wisdom that life gives us. I learned to take myself less seriously,  and this helped me panic less. I acquired a little more depth, after seeing enough of life’s fluctuations to know  that you come through. And I still get jealous.

When my therapist called back, she reminded me that my hosts were not the problem: if you’ve got a problem,  you usually have to go look in the mirror. They had been caught up in my childhood drama; they were in my life  to help me heal something old. She had me get myself a cup of tea and wrap myself in a shawl. My mental fever  broke. I made a fire in the fireplace downstairs. When everyone trooped in from the beach, Sam came over to  cuddle with me, and I hung my head and made an apology to everyone. The couple and their guests were kind  and understanding. We sat by the fire, warming ourselves. Then my hostess, holding her stomach and laughing  prettily, said, “I just don’t think I have ever felt so thin and so rich.” 

Sam and I left the next day, and I have not seen the couple since. We spoke about two weeks later. They were  still upset about my behavior. I apologized and said I’d try to make amends, as soon as I could. 

It has taken me only twelve years. I don’t know why all of a sudden I began to feel haunted by the experience,  the ruined friendship, this one particular garbage heap. But I kept getting the Holy Spirit nudge, and the other  day I sat down and wrote them a letter, and tried to clean up my mess. I said that I hated what had happened, and  my part in it, and that it had made my heart ache over the years. I did not explain or justify my triggers—the  jealousy, especially, because trigger implies weapons, weapons imply aim, aim implies combat, combat implies  engagement. All I wanted was to feel less engaged, less stuck: I wanted to let it go, which is so not my strong  suit, any more than forgiveness is. I wanted to be a person of peace, who diminishes hurt in the world, instead of  perpetrating it. But I felt scared. Will they write back, and what will they write, and what if they don’t? What if  they’re reading my letter out loud and snickering, or reading it to their friends from the picnic, and they’re all  comparing notes on how crazy I am? Maybe they forgive me, maybe they don’t. But I finally, finally forgive  me; sort of–ish. No curtain of light or soft angel voices, but the understanding that forgiving myself makes it  possible to forgive them, too. Maybe this is grace, or simply the passage of time. Whatever you want to call this,  I’ll take it. I paid through the nose for this one. All I know is, I was able to pick up a pen. I said it, I sent it, and  the best I could do, surprisingly, seems to be enough. As of this writing, months later, they have not written  back, but I’m no longer crouched over the problem, looking furtively over my shoulder. I’m lurching forward in  my life again, and it feels as if someone finally cracked open a window that had been jammed. 

We were there to celebrate some of the rare intelligence capabilities that our country can actually be proud of— those of librarians. I see them as healers and magicians. Librarians can tease out of inarticulate individuals  enough information about what they are after to lead them on the path of connection. They are trail guides  through the forest of shelves and aisles—you turn a person loose who has limited skills, and he’ll be walloped  by the branches. But librarians match up readers with the right books: “Hey, is this one too complicated? Then  why don’t you give this one a try?”

Inside the library were Hispanic children and teenagers and their parents, and a few old souls. They sat in chairs  reading, stood surveying the bilingual collection, and worked at the computers. These computers are the only  ones that a lot of people in town have access to. The after-school literacy and homework programs at the  libraries are among the few safe places where parents can direct their children, away from the gangs. 

Late one night I got into a cab at the San Francisco airport and headed home after two nights of travel. I was  tired and rattled after a turbulent flight, so I was grateful that the organizers of the conference where I’d just  spoken had arranged for a car to pick me up and take me home. The driver was waiting for me in the baggage  area, wearing a black suit and tie, holding a sign with my name on it. He was very handsome, like Marlon  Brando, and must have weighed close to four hundred pounds. I had spoken that day on spirituality, and  therefore felt evolved enough to know his body and biography were not who he was: that his soul, the glow of  the eternal divine deep inside him, was the truth of his identity. People stared at him as we walked through the  airport to the parking lot; I walked tall and protectively beside him. It goes without saying that many people see  fatness as a moral matter that everyone can agree on—they believe that even Jesus was deeply offended. That he  hated heavy people, but those parts had to be taken out of the Gospels because they were so cruel. In the car,  Mozart was on the radio, a clarinet concerto so piercingly beautiful that something inside me woke up with a  myclonic jerk, like someone revived with smelling salts or waking abruptly after dozing off at the movies. I  closed my eyes to listen. 

By the time my child was born, I had seen two ultrasound images of him. He looked like a very nice person:  perfect, helpless, sleeping. I love that in a baby. I thought about him every few minutes during my pregnancy,  talked to him, imagined our conversations as he grew, and lived for his arrival. 

But during labor, I began to realize how hard it was going to be without a partner or any money or an  overabundance of maternal instincts. Also, that I did not like to spend time with children all that much. 

By then, of course, it was too late to reconsider why I wanted to have a child. Midway through the birth process,  there was no way out—I couldn’t say, “Let’s just skip it. I have to go home now.” This is the reason most first  children get born: By the time it’s too late to back out, you have already fallen desperately, pathetically in love  with them. For too long, I had imagined holding him, smelling him, watching him grow; teaching him and  reading to him, and walking and studying and resting and splashing around in the ocean with him, and  comparing notes with him on the mean children in the park.

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Let me say that not one part of me thinks you need to have children to be complete, to know parts of yourself  that cannot be known any other way. People with children like to think this, although if you are not a parent,  they hide it—their belief that having a child legitimizes them somehow, validates their psychic parking tickets. 

They tell pregnant women and couples and one another that those who have chosen not to breed can never know  what real love is, what selflessness really means. They like to say that having a child taught them about  authenticity. This is a total crock. Many of the most shut-down, narcissistic, selfish people on earth have  children. Many of the most evolved—the richest in spirit, the most giving—choose not to. The exact same  chances for awakening, for personal restoration and connection, exist for breeders and nonbreeders alike. 

I had my friends’ love, and great relatives—especially my younger brother, who lived down the street from me— and I knew, trusted, believed, and hoped a lot of things. 

I knew that children could teach you how to pay attention, but by the same token so can shingles, and I knew  that children gave you so many excuses to celebrate, only half of them false. You will have to forgive me for  using these terms: Children can connect you to the child inside you, who can still play and be silly and helpless  and needy and capable of wonder. This child does not have to be yours, of course. It can be a niece or nephew,  or the child of a friend. But living with a child makes the opportunity for this more likely. Having a child, loving  a child deeply in a daily way, forces you to connect with your mortality, forces you to dig into places within that  you have rarely had to confront before, unless you have taken care of a dying parent or friend. What I found way  down deep by caring for my father during his illness and then by having a child is a kind of eternity, a capacity  for—and reserves of—love and sacrifice that blew my mind. But I also found the stuff inside me that is pretty  miserable. I was brought face-to-face with a fun-house mirror of all the grasping, cowardly, manipulative,  greedy parts of me, too. 

I remember staring at my son endlessly when he was an infant, stunned by his very existence, wondering where  on earth he had come from. Now when I watch him sleep, I know that he somehow came from life, only I cannot  put it into words any better than that. 

It was as if something had tripped a spring-loaded bar in me. And for the first time in our lives, I slapped him on  the face. He didn’t flinch—in fact, he barely seemed to register it. He gave me a flat, lifeless look, and I knew  that I was a doomed human being, and that neither of us could ever forgive me. Then I grounded him for the 

night. I felt I had no choice. Slapping him did not neutralize his culpability: it simply augmented mine. He  looked at me with scorn. “I don’t care what you do or don’t do anymore,” he said. “You have no power over  me.” This is not strictly true. He has little money of his own and loves having our old car to tool around in. Also,  he realizes that families are not democracies, and he’s smart enough to obey most of the time. We stood in the  driveway, looking daggers at each other. The tension was like the air before lightning. The cat ran for her life.  The dog wrung her hands. 

So even though, or because, I understood this, I cried harder as I drove, harder than I have since my father died.  God invented cars to help kids separate from their parents. I have never hated my son as much as when I was  teaching him to drive. There, I’ve said it, I hated him. Sue me: it’s actually legal, and sometimes he hates me,  too. He always drove too fast, cut corners too sharply, whipped around in the ’95 Honda like it was a souped-up  Mustang convertible. But somehow he tricked the California Department of Motor Vehicles into issuing him a  license. I hate the way most young men drive, so cocky, reckless, apparently entitled. I suppose they hate the  way I drive, too—slow and careful, all but shaking my puny fist at them as they pass. 

What has happened? Who is this person? He used to be so sane and positive, so proud of himself. He used to call  himself “Samwheel” when he was five, because while he couldn’t pronounce “Samuel,” he knew it was a  distinguished name. He used to care about everything, but now he seems to care only about his friends,  computers, music, and most hideously, his cell phone—the adolescent’s pacemaker. He threatens to run away,  because he wants his freedom, and the truth is, he is too old to be living with me anymore. He wants to have his  own house, and hours, and life. He wants my permission to smoke, so he doesn’t have to sneak around. He  wants to stay out late, and sleep in, and because I won’t let him do any of this on weekdays, he sees me as a prig  at best and at worst a coldhearted guard at Guantánamo. 

So I drove home, wiping at my eyes, and when I stepped inside, Sam said, his voice dripping with contempt,  “What do you have to cry about?” I staggered to my room, like Snagglepuss onstage. I sat on the floor and  thought about his question. The answer was, I didn’t have a clue. But all the honest parents I know—all three of  them—are in similiar straits. Their kids are mouthy now, and worse: they couldn’t care less about school, and  some are barely passing. They drive like movie stars from the fifties, like Marlon Brando or Troy Donahue. You  can see in their driving that everything in them is raw, too intent, and thoughtless. No wonder teenagers make  such good terrorists. 

And me? I think it was all over the moment Sam was born. I recognized that the things I hated about my parents —their fixation with our doing homework and getting into a good college; their need to show us off and make us  perform socially for their friends—were going to be things Sam hated about me someday. I also knew that I  would wreck his life in ways my parents couldn’t have even imagined. I knew that God had given me an impossible task, and that I would fail. I knew deep down that life can be a wretched business, and no one, not  even Sam, gets out alive. It turns out that all kids have this one tiny inbred glitch: they have their own sin, their  own stains, their own will. Putting aside for a moment the divine truth of their natures, all of them are wrecked,  just like the rest of us. That is the fly in the ointment, and this, Sam, is what I had to cry about. 

When I finally stopped my sobbing, I called Father Tom, who is one of Sam’s dear friends, too. I told him my  version. He listened. “You’re right on schedule,” he said. “And so is he. And I was worse.” “You swear? Thank  you! But it’s still hopeless. What should I do?” “Call the White House and volunteer him for the National  Guard.” “Anything else?” “Let the hard feelings pass. Ask for help. Mary and Joseph had some absolutely awful  moments, too. See if you can forgive each other a little, just for today. We can’t forgive: that’s the work of the  Spirit. We’re too damaged. But we can be willing. And in the meantime, try not to break his fingers.” I sat on  my floor and after a while the dog came over and gave me a treatment. Somewhat revived, I tried to figure out  the next right thing. It suddenly came to me. I went and kicked my son’s door in. “Go clean the cars properly,” I  said. “Now.” And he did, or rather, he hosed them down. Then he went back inside and slammed the door. I  went inside and filled a tub with hot soapy water, and took it to him. “Go wash them again,” I said. “With soap,  this time. And then rinse them.” 

He and three other teenagers were in his room, still sleeping, in what smelled like the cafeteria at an elk  preserve. One of the friends smokes cigarettes, although not in my house. Another one got busted at school with  alcohol and a knife in his backpack. I have known all three boys since they were in first grade, and I adore them.  They are bright, sweet, accomplished, and it is always easy to love and accept them, because they are not mine.  They gladly help around the house when I ask them to, as Sam does at their houses, and every time I thank them  for helping, they shrug like cowboys and say, “No problem.” 

Most of us have gotten off relatively easy so far—our kids are impossible only half the time, screwing up,  troubling our hearts, making dumb choices, forfeiting fragments of their dreams, but still basically okay. 

Yet he and his friends are anything but losers. They are teenagers, wild horses corralled in their parents’ homes,  who want to carve out their independence; they want to drink, smoke dope, borrow the car. 

My person was sound asleep. I was beginning to think it was the effect I have on people. She was wearing a  bright red sweatsuit and could not have weighed more than eighty pounds. When she finally woke up, I greeted  her. “I want to go back to sleep,” she cried out, and I assured her that that was okay. I took her hands and she  babbled for a minute. “I like that house,” she said, and I held on to her hands. Sam came over. “She wants to 

sleep,” he whispered, “because she liked the house in her dreams.” “That’s exactly right,” I said. He went back  to the Asian woman. My woman in red fell asleep again. I continued with a prayer. Some of the residents  seemed to be out of it, drooling, dazed. Then you would hear them saying the Lord’s Prayer. “Amen,” we say  loudly; then we go around one last time, touch each person, and tell them how glad we are that they are there. I  realize again and again that this is really all you have to offer people most days, a touch, a moment’s gladness. It  has to do, and it often does. “Hey, thanks,” I told Sam as we headed outside with Neshama. “No problem,” he  said. We walked to my car. “I liked my person,” he added. His hair was matted down in bed-head tufts, like the  hills. 

We would all show up on Bastille Day on the biggest street in our town, or in front of city hall, or wherever we  felt like gathering, with friends, or alone. We’d be propelled by the ferocious belief we’ve carried since  childhood, that the United States is supposed to be a republic, of fifty states, united and humane, and that we’d  fight tooth and nail—nicely—for that to be true again. I thought it would be cool if people turned off their cells  phone that day. 

My mother has been dead for several years. But old mothers never die, and they never fade away. They are too  complicated for either. For a long time after her death, I didn’t feel much of anything—except relief—because  I’m a complicated mother, too, and I have my hands full as it is. I felt much more spaciousness in my life after  my mother died, partly because my phone did not ring every several seconds, and partly because I didn’t have to  be both a complicated mother and a complicated daughter at the same time. 

My mother was a handful. You can ask her best friends and her sibling: she was imperious, with no self-esteem,  which is a terrible combination. She was controlling, judgmental, withholding, needy, and desperate to be loved.  Everyone always said how proud she was of me. But she mostly forgot to mention this to me, and instead held  other people’s kids up as true successes: people with college degrees, spouses, stylish clothes. 

When my mother was alive, I felt like strangling her about half the time. The rest of the time, though, I was  tender and dutiful toward her, on every level of her existence, there at her side like an aggrieved bellhop  throughout our forty-eight years together. Fortunately, I was still drinking much of that time. Then, after I quit  and started to get my life together, she would announce to everyone who would listen that I hadn’t been a “real”  alcoholic, and that this little phase would pass. 

But he’s trying to say what my son said to me at twelve, and what I said to my mother forty years ago: “Don’t  you know I’m twelve now?” It’s wrenching for the mothers, and the drug they use is worry. And their worry is exhausting for kids. It’s hard for everyone. It wasn’t until her death that my mother stopped exhausting me. Then  I didn’t forgive her for a while. All her friends and a few relatives hassled me to let it go, to forgive. But I did it  my way, slowly, badly, authentically, eventually scattering her ashes, with deep grief, a year and a half after she  died. 

But now I miss her, Nikki Lamott. I think of her often, and sometimes feel her nearby, the way I feel my father. I  think of stories she’d love. I think of how much she must love watching her grandson Sam grow up into a mostly  lovely young man, magical and complicated. I think about her being intimately loved by God now, somewhere.  At times I think of her with enormous warmth. The other day, when I walked up the stairs to the house, Sam  came out to greet me. He was on the phone and I heard him say, “My mom’s home. I gotta go bond.” That’s  how I feel more and more about my mother: that she’s home, finally, and I gotta go bond. 

Then something amazing happened. I would call it grace, but then, I’m easy. It was that deeper breath, or pause,  or briefly cleaner glasses, that gives us a bit of freedom and relief. I remembered my secular father’s only strong  spiritual directive: Don’t be an asshole, and make sure everybody eats. Veronica quoted a fellow pastor recently:  

“I’m only a beggar, showing the other beggars where the bread is.” There are many kinds of bread: kindness,  companionship, besides the flour-and-yeast kind. I remembered Sam at this church in his first months, making  loud farting noises with his mouth, or sobbing uncontrollably about the state of things, and no one seemed to  care or notice.

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Purpose: I create an empowering context for curious and hungry people looking for fulfillment, experiences, and creativity. We do this by developing their growth mindset, introducing self-love, and powerful group experiences. It results in people with strong boundaries, resilient mental health, and practical life skills

People leave with the ability to land their dream job, have autonomy and flexibility with their lifestyle, travel the world, and create from their heart and soul.


Davidson was once broke, insecure, low-confidence, and frustrated by doing all the wrong activities. Addicted to drugs, validation, and wallowing in self-pity. No relationship to family, and at the mercy of other people’s suggestions and opinions.

It was hell.

After spending $100k hiring different coaches, traveling the world doing workshops around the world, reading>1000 books, and through curiosity, have created the most effective system to remove people from that situation. My life’s work is to bring joy and abundance to people who as on a similar path as I was and bring back the joy and abundance of their life.

Through shared experiences and storytelling, I inspire and model behaviors that lead to a richer, more fulfilled life full of joy, experiences, passion, and ecstasy from the richness of relationships and being able to experience the depths of the human experience.

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