In Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott tells about the “five rules of the world as arrived at by this Catholic priest named Tom Weston.”
- The first rule, he says, is that you must not have anything wrong with you or anything different.
- The second one is that if you do have something wrong with you, you must get over it as soon as possible.
- The third rule is that if you can’t get over it, you must pretend that you have.
- The fourth rule is that if you can’t even pretend that you have, you shouldn’t show up. You should stay home, because it’s hard for everyone else to have you around.
- And the fifth rule is that if you are going to insist on showing up, you should at least have the decency to feel ashamed.
Then she says that she and her therapist “decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.”