Robin Williams left us an unopened gift when he took his life this week


This week the world lost a great man. Robin Williams was truly unique….there was no one else on this planet like Robin. And even in his passing, he gave us a great gift, if we choose to open it, a deep life lesson.

When I first saw the post that said Robin had killed himself I was stunned. All I could hear in my head was “No, No, No, No.” When I realized it was in fact true, and that he took his own life, I began to cry.

My rational brain was questioning this response. I heard the typical “brain” chatter in my head “You didn’t even know this guy.”

But, perhaps as you did, I was truly saddened by the tragedy of this loss!

He took his own life! Oh, the tragedy. What a huge loss!

Interestingly enough, perhaps for you too, I was NOT actually surprised that he took his own life, I was just struck by the loss that it had happened.

We have all had the delicious pleasure of laughing uncontrollably watching Robin over the years. Whether it was on SNL, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin or one of my favorite movies in the history of the world…The Birdcage! (I had to see it twice in the theater because I laughed so hard the first time, I missed parts of the movie).

We’ve also seen some of the depth of Robin’s drama and darkness in such incredible performances as Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, One Hour Photo, and What Dreams Will Come.

So why am I not surprised that in the end Robin took his life. And why are you? Shocked at the news, YES? Surprised at the outcome, Not Really. Why is that?

It’s the Yin and the Yang.

Robin was one of the most unique souls on the planet. The heights of funny and hysterics that he could reach were unique. And the SPEED at which he FLOWED his content was un-human. You know what I mean by that?

Paul and I went to see Robin a few years ago in Atlantic City. It was one of the funniest nights ever. And there were times when I sat back in my seat in awe that his human form could keep up with the speed of the “download” flow that he was receiving! That kind of “improvisation” as some may call it, I believe is really “downloaded” to him in a very fierce, fast, and powerful flow.

If you’ve ever operated from your “flow” state, you know what I mean! But witnessing Robin’s flow state was like taking ours and increasing the volume and speed a few THOUSAND percent! It literally looked too intense for his physical body.

In fact, have you ever seen Robin Live? If you have, you know for a fact that when Robin performs live, he sweats like crazy. He talks about it openly. When I saw him, I could FEEL it, the ENERGY that comes through him in that flow state is so fast and so intense…it is literally HOT.

So why am I not surprised?

Anyone who can go to that kind of HEIGHT can also go to a matched LOW.

If we are baffled how he can reach that kind of HEIGHT of flow, brilliance, creativity and comedic genius….then we can never imagine the depth of the low that he can reach as well.

Robin was a very deep thinker. His humor was never “stupid or silly.” He was “sharp as a tack.” That’s because he was a brilliant and deep thinker.

Joseph McClendon III once said “You MUST stand guard at the gates of your own mind!”

That’s the quote that I hear in my head for Robin. For me, that’s the unopened gift that Robin left for us.

You MUST stand guard at the gates of your own mind. You can chose to spiral UP or spiral DOWN….the choice is always yours.

It comes down to your focus.

So let me ask you, are you standing GUARD at the gates of YOUR own mind?

Are you creating your life by design every day or living a life by default?

Did you ever notice how vocal Robin was about the world’s BIG problems and the people who were in place as the problem-solvers? He talked about it a lot. Both as a comedic in his act and also seriously in the media. He thought a great deal about big problems that he COULD NOT SOLVE on his own. He focused a lot on the people who were supposed to be solving them and their shortcomings.

I’m not saying that is why he took his own life. I would never say that.

But what I am pointing out is this

  • Robin was a deep thinker.
  • He went to un-human highs and could dip down to likely matching un-human lows.
  • Someone with this range MUST stand guard at the gates of his own mind to keep him out of those deep lows or bouncing back quickly or it can be very dangerous.
  • He spent a great deal of his time focused on problems that were completely outside of his control. That’s not a healthy focus for a man with Robin’s software system.

It’s a pretty safe assumption that you do not have the same emotional range as Robin Williams. But you don’t need to. I’m not trying to prevent you from taking your own life today. I’m here to shine a light on this life lesson so you can really LIVE the days you have left here!

Life Lesson:

Are you focusing on what you CAN control in life, or are you spending most of your minutes focused on things that are beyond your control??

You have days left to live on this earth during your time here. You are one of the lucky ones. Robin is not so lucky today. And the world got just a smidge quieter when he departed.

So what are you going to do with your days that remain?

You MUST stand guard at the gates of your own mind my friend!

Focus on what you CAN control in life. Create your life by design.

For everything else, live in faith that our higher power has a plan bigger than we can imagine and all is well.

When it comes to your intimate relationship, the only piece that you CAN control is YOU. You cannot control your partner and you never will. Stand guard at the gates of your own mind. If you find yourself focused on your partner, blaming them, waiting for them to change….you are not opening the GIFT that Robin left behind. Focus on what you can control….YOU and how you show up in your relationship!

Post a comment below and tell me what you loved most about Robin! Let’s CELEBRATE his life today!!

Sending love & laughs,


Robin, you are already endlessly missed. For me personally, I believe in my heart that you have returned to the energy that you came here from and all is well. Thank you for serving our world while you were here. Thank you for the pain that you endured to be here and serve us. We are grateful for the time we had with you. I promise to keep laughing, keep moving forward, and keep making a difference in the best possible way while I’m still serving here. Nothing but love and laughs for you my friend! No One on this planet will ever forget that YOU WERE HERE Robin!

23 thoughts on “Robin Williams left us an unopened gift when he took his life this week

  1. Loved this Stacey, so well said. When I heard the news I was immediately reminded of the phrase that, for me, he epitomised in Dead Poets Society "Carpe Diem", seize the day, so very sad that he gave so much and yet in that moment was not able to seize his day. You encapsulate it beautifully when you say, "you were here Robin" and indeed served our world.

  2. Oh, Robin was so talented. Weren't we all moved by him? To laughter, and to tears? Talent like no other, that was missed immediately upon his departure – for all the movies we wanted to see in the future with him in it…to grab that humor that only he seemed able to provide. We will miss you, Robin, and we thank you for all the ways you touched our lives so profoundly with your life's work.

  3. Stacey, I focus on what you said about only working on the things we can control in life with my self-relaxation clients. What really stresses us out in life? Trying to figure out how we can control things that we can't really control. When we give that up to G-d and focus on what we CAN do – how we can use our unique brilliance to get through the trials and tribulations, and figure out the gift hidden in the package, then we can relax and do our life's work. Amen!

  4. Brilliant and touching article Stacey Martino! You always give me so much to think about my darling friend!

  5. I have heard so much over the last several days and Stacey, you said it so well and so beautifully. No one quite got it the way you did and were able to express it. And your tribute to Robin at the very end was perfect. Thank you for being you and sharing this with all of us. I am feeling very blessed and grateful.

    1. Stacey’s insight on “purpose” is powerful – I liked this one too:
      I hope more people stop and think as they struggle to identify their own purpose, that it’s not all about the seeming “wins”, like Robin’s celebrity & comic gifts may be interpreted, but perhaps in something so simple (and so undervalued) as death. Robin’s earthly purpose here was a big one and thus his widespread popularity, me thinks… and hopes!

  6. A wonderful shift in perspective. Robin's passing has really been one of the most universally impactful in my lifetime. So many people loved his work and felt connected to him through it.

  7. Yes…yes…thank you for that insightful message…standing guard at the gates of our own minds is the best thing we can do for ourselves and for the world

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