Sunday, November 22, 2009

Robin McGraw: Inside my heart (Choosing to live with passion and purpose)


I really enjoyed Robin's book and I think many of you will too. I try to find something to learn in every moment in my life and certain people have a lot to offer, especially people who have been through different phases in life ahead of me.

Robin shares advice and personal experience about being a wife and mother. She shares what worked for her and I found a lot to learn from her experiences. She is a more old-fashioned wife than we are used to seeing and hearing from today. Many modern women, I believe, are afraid to care for their husbands. I love Dr. Laura and Robin McGraw because of their philosophies about marriage and that women and men are different! Yes, folks, we're different! Some women may not like their philosophies, but I believe them and they work in my marriage and I think they're worth others reading. Take it or leave it! You'll be better for it if you read Robin's book and Dr. Laura's books.

I am including some of the things that resonated with me in this book.....

(p. 3) I declared my independence from the rigors of daily parenting and am now poised on the brink of a new and exciting phase of life. [speaking of the next phase of her life after her kids moved out]

(p. 3) I absolutely believe that in order for a woman to experience happiness, fulfillment, and peace, she needs to know two things: who she is, and who she is meant to be.

(p. 4) I want to get you excited about whatever phase of life you're in, excited about being a woman in this day and time, excited about being the woman that God created you to be.

(p. 9-10) Writing this book has required me to think about the choices I've made, and it has made me aware of the exhilarating power of living a life of my own choosing. I don't know how it happened, but as far back as I can remember, I've always known my life had a purpose, and I'e pursued that purpose with a passion. I have never thought of myself as a victim of circumstance; rather, I examined the circumstances I was in, evaluated their usefulness in my life, and used them as a blueprint for how I would build the life I wanted. I always pictured myself as the one person and the only force besides God who I could count on to design the life I wanted to live, and make it a reality. I knew I was meant to be a wife and mother, and I made it happen. I wanted a husband who didn't dink or gamble, and I made it happen. I wanted to take care of myself to remain vibrant and healthy for my family; and I made it happen.
[I finally found someone who put this philosophy that I live by into words that didn't appear spoiled...I know what I want, I find a way to get what I want....sounds spoiled. She puts it in a much better way showing that knowing what you want and going after it is OK! It's great! It's the way to be happy and no one should make you feel ashamed of having those things that you wanted, searched and worked to have! ]

(p. 10) My goal for this book is to tell everyone who reads it about the power of choosing her life rather than taking it as it comes along - not so you'll make the same choices I made, but so you can make the choices that are right for you.

(p. 14) As a matter of fact, yes honey, sometimes you do have "stupid" stamped on your forehead. [cracks me up because my dad asked me this all the time growing up...must have been a Southern thing...and I would have loved to have answered "as a matter of fact, yes" to his question many times]

(p. 18) As I said, it's all about choices, and I made the choice to be sure that I had a strong and clear voice that was heard, and that I was treated with dignity and respect by all three of the men in my life.

(p. 24) I firmly believe that how happy my sons are is a reflection of who I am and how well I did my job.

(p. 25) parents aren't raising kids, they're raising adults.

(p. 29) [hilarious story on page 29]

(p. 33) Accept him for the man he is, and accept yourself for the woman you are. Do not apologize for your feminine ways....my femininity is my strength...It's just that I don't feel a need to compete with him for dominance in our relationship.

(p. 36-7) And what makes them [men & husbands] happy is to be accepted. That is why I have chosen to bring a spirit of acceptance to my relationship with Phillip, and to embrace the differences between us rather than resist them. And that is why I don't think we should judge our husbands too harshly. We have to accept our mates' ways because that's what makes life interesting. I'll be coming back to this acceptance idea throughout the book, because it's such an important part of what makes our marriage work. I know now that just because Phillip loves me, doesn't mean he's supposed to think the way I do, or act the way I do, or know you're not supposed to put a thirty-five-dollar bath towel on the garage floor (or your wife in the trunk of your car). [see hilarious story on p. 29 for why that should be funny]

[excellent story in Chapter 3 preceding this quote] (p. 50-1) I learned a lot that night. Among other things, I learned that I would protect my children, my phone, and my family with all my might, just as my mother had done...My mother's womanly self-awareness was her ruby slippers: she knew she couldn't beat those men at their game, so she trashed the rules and created her own. It was one of the oldest strategies known to man, deployed by a woman ahead of her time. Even back then, my mother understood that sisterhood was far more powerful than a trio of drunken cowboys proving their manhood by carrying off a teenage girl's bedroom set. She knew that, in the sober light of morning, there weren't many wives who would conspire with their soused spouses to make off with another woman's furniture, poker game or not.

(p. 57) When it looks as if people have all this great stuff going on, it's only becuase it's right for them, and that's because they did their best to make it that way....it's about figuring out what you want and making it happen. [Amen!]

(p. 57) [I live by this...] there were both good things and bad things about my father, and...I was going to let go of the bad and embrace the good.

(p. 57-8) My father often told my brother, "Women are to be respected; they are to be treated with dignity. We are only two men in this house with five women, and it is our job to protect them, to look out for them, and to always treat them with respect. Do not use foul language around them and do not walk into the room without a shirt on. Adore these women and respect who they are."

(p. 59) "Robin," [Phillip McGraw] said, "if I ever do anything to upset you, I want you to promise me two things. Number one, that you will tell yourself that I did not do it on purpose, becuase I'm going to tell you right now: I will never, ever do anything to hurt you on purpose; if I do hurt you, it's just that I didn't know what I said or did would upset you. So promise me you'll tell yourself, 'He didn't really know it would upset me.' Number two, promise that you'll just come and tell me what I've done, because if you tell me what I did, I can tell you right now, I will never do it again."

(p. 60) As much as we love our men, the one thing we need to love even more is ourselves.

(p. 64-5) There comes a time when you have to look deep within yourself and say, As good a person as I am, as kind as I am, as loving as I am, that's still not enough. I have to respect myself and do what it takes to be able to live my life in a way that makes me proud. As women, it is our responsibility to respect ourselves and do what it takes to live our lives in ways that make us proud. We need to live this truth every day.

(p. 68) My point is that women are born with gifts of discernment that we could, and should, use to get what we want out of life. But too many of us decline to use our gifts, accepting what comes our way rather than taking charge and making sure that what comes our way is what we want. I cannot count the women I know who feel they've been dealt a crummy hand, yet would rather play cards they've been given than demand new ones...you get what you ask for and that if you don't ask, you're going to end up settling for less than you want (and deserve).

(p. 81) I've always been the type that once I've made up my mind, that's it. I'm an all-or-nothing person, which in some ways is good and in some ways is bad. But, good or bad, I have strong convictions, and I stand by them.

(p. 83) I believe that God means for me to be an advocate for myslef, both in my marriage and every other aspect of my life.

(p. 92) To me, there's a huge difference between expecting happiness to come to you because you deserve it, and going out and getting the happiness you believe you deserve.

(p. 92-3) As soon as I know I want something to happen in my life, I start thinking and acting as if that much-desired thing is just around the corner, waiting for me to come and launch it into being...the Lord helps those who help themselves

(p. 94) And while I firmly believe in striving for a good life, I also believe you've got to recognize when you've got it good, and thank God for what you've got. I have a good life. I wake up every morning in my wonderful home and thank God for all the joy and abundance with which He has blessed me.

(p. 95) it was born in my heart and made real by my hands. I imagined it and made it happen. To me, there's nothing better.

(p. 110) she was gone because she didn't take care of herself [speaking of her mother...a huge lesson I'm learning young]

(p. 112-3) This person had the right to say it. But you have the right not to react to it....You can't control other people. You cannot control what they say, what they think, or what they do. People have the right to think and say whatever they want to. But you have the righ tnot to take it to heart, and not to react. "When you allow a person's words to upset you, you're giving away your power," [Dr. Phil] said..."You are giving someone else the power to control how you feel and how you think. You need to say, 'You have the right to say it and you have the right to think it. But I have the right to disagree: I have the right to not react; I have the right to continue to believe what I know is true."...The reason he has this calmness about him is because he is dismissing this person's comments as nonsense, and he thinks I should do the same. He was right. And from that day forward, I have always known that what other people think of me or say about me ought not influence what I know to be true about myself. To doubt myself because of others would be to hand over my power to them, and that is something I will not do. I never give my power away.

(p. 114) if you allow other people to erode your good opinion of yourself, you're giving them power over you.

(p. 114) I now enjoy a warm relationship with this person because I made the decision -- just as I did with my father -- to allow in only the positive aspects of the relationship and to reject the bad ones.

(p. 119-20) To this day, when there's a health issue I want to learn about, I go straight to the bookstore, sit on the floor, skim every book on the subject, and buy the ones I want to read. I shop in health food stores (you can learn a lot from the people who work there), talk with pharmacists (they know a lot about not only medications but also the doctors who prescribe them), and I read every magazine, newsletter, pamphlet, and periodical I can get my hands on that can help me keep myself and my loved ones healthy.

[another excellent story p. 120-5] Nor have I forgotten what I learned that day about the nature of love and mercy and forgiveness and their role in a working marriage.

(p. 126) And on the rare occasions when Phillip and I have a disagreement, I try to remind myself that an argument is really an opportunity to show my husband who I am. And believe me, I use all of those opportunities. It is an option every woman has, if only she will use it. It's your choice.

(p. 139) [This is one of the most important aspects of why our marriage is so great and something we learned in our pre-marital counseling through the Catholic church.] I think the success of a marriage is in large part based on the willingness of each partner to do what it takes to meet the other's needs.

(p. 141) Here's this woman doing the opposite of what her husband wants so he won't think he can control her, whereas if she would wait for him to come home, crawl up in his lap and flirt with him, she'd have him hooked better than anything in that cooler of his.

(p. 141) he'll ask the husband if it's important that his wife feel proud of him. The husband, always, always says yes....the husband always admits that he's hurt because his wife doesn't respect him and what he does for her and their family.

(p. 142) But I've got to tell you that y'all's opinion doesn't mean a thing to me unless she...[Dr. Phil nods toward Robin McGraw]..is proud of me and thinks I'm doing a good job. That's all I care about.

(p. 145) But for us, commitment granted freedom to the marriage: freedom for both of us to not only be our true selves, but to speak the truth about who we were and what we needed without worrying that either one of us would walk out over a thoughtless remark or a stack of unmailed thank-you notes in a tennis bag. For us, commitment was liberating, not confining, because it promised certainty and coninuity that was both comforting and necessary.

(p. 146) I believe that good marriages aren't born, they're made---and they're made over time by an ongoing process of loving, unselfish negotiation...we've done it by negotiating our differences...Who ever said marriage is romantic? Marriage is about partnership, sharing, cooperation, and compromise. Sure, romance is in there, too, but it tends not to surface unless the other components are in place. And they're not going to fall into place easily and peacefully all the time. Sometimes you have to advocate for yourself in a relationship, which means figuring out what your needs are in a given situation and having the conviction to be honest with your partner about it.

(p. 148-9) Just because Phillip and I came together as a couple doesn't mean that we love all the same things....you're not the same person as your husband; why expect him to like all the same things you do?...He is supportive of anything I want to do that brings me joy, and I am supportive of anything he does that brings him joy.... That's who he is, and I don't want him to give up an important part of himself because he's married to me.

(p. 149-50) [This is for you, Shawna, and some of my pilot wife friends] In a marriage, you have to do what works. We have always eaten dinner late--eight o'clock or later--because Phillip gets off work, plays tennis for a couple of hours, comes home, showers, and only then do we eat. When the boys were little, I never put them to bed early...It was important to me that our sons have time with their father every day, so I had them take naps at five o'clock and woke them up at seven-thirty, right before Phillip got home, so he could play with them for a while.

(p. 150) Phillip never told me he wanted the kids to be awake when he got home because that would be invading my motherly turf-- something he has never done. I don't think he ever changed a diaper or woke up in the middle of the night with a crying child because that's the way I wanted it. He did wake up once and wander over to Jay's crib when he was crying and I shooed him back to bed because his job was to work during the day to support the family; mine was to care for the family so he could focus on work. That was our agreement when we got married and we were both satisfied with the terms....Phillip has never complained about being the sole breadwinner in our family, and I have never felt resentful, put-upon, or exploited because I was responsible for the childcare and housework: those are things that I am good at, and things I love to do. Had I felt overwhelmed or unhappy at any point I would ahve renoegotaited the terms of our agreement...my husband has always shown his appreciation for what I do. Appreciation is a big component of a successful marriage.

(p. 155) The simple act of turning your consciousness away from your own inner world to connect with your partner's is a great gift to a relationship; in fact, it's the essence of relationship. You've got to be willing to put energy into listening to your partner--not just hearing, but really listening--so you can pick up signals he's sending out about what he needs to be happy. And you've also got to be willing to send out some signals yourself that enable your partner to make you happy.

[Chapter 7 has a great story about trusting your instincts as a mother] (p. 180) But you have to stand up for yourself. You can't stand by passively and ignore your maternal, womanly instincts in this or any other kind of challenging situation. You can't let somebody go poking around on your baby's arm or leg or anywhere else. Again, you can't let anyone tell you something about anything in your life without thinking, feeling, and acting in accordance with your instincts and knowledge. It's not about being stubborn, hardheaded or close-minded; it's about listening to yourself and trusting what you hear.

Ok, to be honest, I'm moving onto my next task and I'm sick of typing so read the rest of the book. The last few chapters have some other wonderful things in them about motherhood.

A must read!!!!!

1 comments:

Mary M November 23, 2009 at 7:14 AM  

This lady is MY kind of woman! GREAT post great words of wisdom!
She is right up my own alley!

Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

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FITori

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I am Tori (FITori) and welcome to my blog!!!

I created this blog from the encouragement of my best friend who pushed me to start a blog about my passion, which I am always talking about! It started as a way to inspire others the way I have been inspired and to share what inspires me. I also want to share with you what I have learned through my years of research on health and fitness.

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