Thursday, February 9, 2012

ROBBLOG #377 W E E K E N D Edition



This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
 

Words from a supreme being not of this earth?
Nope.
Bill Shakespeare- and damn good ones too. 

Way back in the mid-to-late 60’s a friend’s Mother spake these “bon mots” to me.
I thought she was so smart.
“Unto thine own self be true.”
I thought she had me figured out pretty well.
Maybe she did.
About two years ago I was able to tell this friend’s Mother that I had never forgotten what she said to me- even if it was Shakespeare’s holy words and not hers.
She smiled and half nodded. 

They are tough words to live up to.
Put yourself first and then help others.
Be who you are not a facsimile of someone else.
Stand proud.
Make something of yourself using everything you have.
Use knowledge.
Presence.
Love.
Understanding. 

The road can be long and there can be many pitfalls along the way. You have to learn how to dodge them. Many times we fall into life’s potholes several times before we learn how to walk around them- or crawl out of them at the very least. 

I have just finished reading Margaret Trudeau’s (Kemper) latest book “Changing My Mind”.
It was terrific.
An uplifting experience.
Her words forced tears to flow more than twice.
Sometimes, quite un-expectantly. 

Madame Trudeau travelled a difficult road. She was the wife of one of our most famous Prime Ministers when still but a girl. She lost the youngest of three sons- Michel, in an avalanche at Kokanee Glacier. She divorced a Prime Minister and re-married to have two more children. She mourned the passing of Pierre Elliot Trudeau with her children.
She fought demons through it all.

In her book she bares her soul.
Being through bouts of deep depression over the years, her words struck a chord within me. 

On Page 280 (of Changing My Mind; Harper Collins) she writes-

“Like a small child I had to learn new responses to life:
Not to overreact in the face of criticism,
Not to wallow in shame and loathing,
Not to protect myself with delusion,
Not to blame others for my own inappropriate responses…..
The fifth stage, acceptance… 

Like Mrs. Trudeau I too thought I was “condemned to a life of unhappiness.” (page 280 Harper Collins Changing My Mind) However, I tried to be true to myself.
I still do every day.
Sometimes it gets me in trouble. I try to lean on last year’s Resolution “Keep my mouth shut” but I do fail- occasionally. 

The most important thing that I have learned in recent years and through Margaret Trudeau’s teachings in this book is summed up in those four short lines above.
Not to overreact.
Be proud of who I am.
Live a true, vivid life every day
and
I am my own liquor control board.
Ms. Trudeau didn’t say those words, a friend said those words to me years ago and it fits any given situation- not just when one is confronted with over-drinking.

I have learned that I am my own” board”.
I am in control.
My life’s consequences come from me- no one else. 

It’s never too late to have an “Ah-Hah!” moment.
You know when you have one. The yellow brick road opens up in front of you. You click your heels and skip along staying true to you. Just being you and doing the best job you can. 

This above all- To Thine Own Self- Be True.”

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