As the wife of Dr. Phil, “America’s therapist,” Robin McGraw has been the recipient of much public scrutiny. We’ve all seen Dr. Phil turn to her in the audience to get her viewpoint, and enjoy the segments they do together called “Ask Dr. Phil and Robin.” In her new book, “Inside My Heart,” Robin shares who she is behind the camera, how she and Phil came to be together and what keeps them strong, and the values and ideals that she has held strong her entire life. Her main message: women are strong and should believe in themselves, making choices for their own futures.
She tells, very candidly, the story of how she grew up. Her father was an alcoholic and often drank away his entire paycheck, leaving her mother to figure out a way to keep them in food and clothing. Robin says that her mother is one of the strongest women she’s ever known, and honors her for the time she spent keeping the family together. Despite her father’s weaknesses, he and Robin shared a close relationship, and Robin learned to distinguish between her father and his disease, but she learned not to excuse his behavior. She determined as a young girl that she would never be the wife of an alcoholic, and decided that she would never date a man who drank or gambled. Robin says this is the first major choice she made in her life, and she lived by it.
Life doesn’t just happen to us, she says. We determine every day what our lives will be, and we have the power to change it. I particularly enjoyed reading about her stand on femininity. She maintains that femininity gives her strength, and that being a mother and a homemaker is her greatest joy and calling. It was so refreshing to read of a woman who is so much in the public eye but would rather be home cleaning her house and caring for her family than just about anything, and I think we can all agree that she is the perfect example of a successful woman. She has found the balance and speaks about it in the book.
She also talks about trusting yourself to have the answers, and not to second-guess your own intuition. Women are given that intuition as a gift from God, she says, and we are to trust it and use it to care for our families. We are also to use it as we care for ourselves, and she shares with us the poignant story of her mother, who passed away before the age of sixty because she had never taken care of herself. Robin maintains that caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do – if you don’t, you won’t be around to take care of your families.
This book was a refreshing look into, like the title says, Robin’s heart. She doesn’t pretend to be perfect, but she has discovered some answers and she’s willing to share them. This book is funny, candid, perfectly delightful, and an inspiration to read.
(This book was published in 2006 by Nelson Books.)