Robin Williams & (Not so) Helpful Advice

I found out about the death of Robin Williams just moments after writing and posting “Look Up“, a commentary on my own struggle with depression and anxiety.  The timing was uncanny.  A couple days later, in one of the ABC News reports about Robin’s death, they quoted a tweet from his daughter, Zelda Williams:

“I love you.  I miss you.  I’ll try to keep looking up.”

Gave me chills.  “Looking up.”  How do we keep looking up when life drags our eyes to dirt?

I was on Brian Craig‘s Facebook wall a couple days after Robin Williams’ death.  Brian had taken a picture of Joshua that he graciously allowed me to use for my “Joshua the Prophet” post.  On Brian’s wall, I found the “Helpful Advice” picture that I’ve included below.  Thanks to Brian’s friend for posting this.  Powerful message, but obviously not helpful advice.  Here are some things that I have found to be helpful over the years.  I hope you find them helpful too:

1) Find good news.  I don’t watch the news and that’s why I didn’t hear about Robin Williams’ death until the afternoon of August 12th.  I learned about it from a Twitter digest email, which also included some good news of the birth of rare panda triplets.  I’ve always said I’m not watching the news until I find the “good news channel”.  The kids and I started listening to Smile FM this summer.  The first time we heard one of their news reports, Joshua said, “Mom, that was all good news!”  Finally, we found it!

2) Laugh!  I’m thoroughly convinced that God gave me my children to help save my life.  God knows how important laughter, music and movies are to me and He gave me children who not only perform, singing, dancing and acting, but they also make me laugh.  Here’s a video of Joshua’s first stand-up comedy act from 3rd grade.  Their performances keep me focused on moving forward with creating something beautiful.

3) Watch uplifting movies and TV shows.  Even though I loved the movie “Dead Poets Society“, it was too depressing to make my “top 10” list.  My 3 favorite movies of all time, “When Harry Met Sally“, “Tootsie” and “Working Girl“, although not family-friendly (they’re all rated R), they’re hilariously funny, and more importantly, they end well.  Call me a sap, but a good, happy Hollywood ending is medicine for the brain.  Same thing for TV.  One of my favorite pastimes is watching “The Waltons” with John and the kids.  Great life lessons, very much family-friendly, uplifting and inspiring.

4) Make time to visit inspiring places.  We’ve had a membership to “The Henry Ford” for over 2 years and have visited Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford Museum countless times.  Greenfield Village is my very favorite.  Calm, clean, peaceful and definitely inspiring.   Leisurely exploring, chatting, eating, walking and riding around in a world so much simpler than our current world feels like a little bit of heaven on earth.  I feel like I can breathe when I’m there, especially when I’m riding in a Model T.  I often say it’s the next best option to Disney World.

5) Chose uplifting music.  As I’m writing this, Jordan is in the bath, listening to music shuffling on her iPod.  She’s been listening for over an hour, and the song “Oceans” just came on.  That’s the song that I included in the “Look Up” post.  Coincidence?

6) Notice the “coincidences” all around you.  I call them “God-incidences”, a term I learned from Gwen Shamblin years ago.  I believe God is trying to get our attention.  And when He gets my attention, it’s like finding the finest jewel on the treasure hunt.  

7) When you find the treasure, share it!  We have the ability like never before to share what we’ve found.  If you find something inspiring and uplifting, you can take part in someone else’s “coincidence” by sharing exactly what they needed at precisely the right moment.

If you find any of what I’ve written here, in the past or in the future, to be inspiring and uplifting, please pass it along.  I would be honored if you would share what I’ve written.  For me, the ultimate “cure” for depression is the thrill of connection, the sheer joy of knowing that someone who needed something was connected with someone who had something to offer.  That’s what “DreamSpace” was all about.  And if you do share something and one of those wonderful “coincidences” occurs, please share your story.  Don’t let the story end with you.  Pay it forward and watch it grow.

(Not so) Helpful Advice
(Not so) Helpful Advice

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