Monday, 8 April 2013

Hugging my cactus

Hugging my cactus
8 April 2013

That Robert Downey Jr.  He’s a bit of all right.  Easy on the eyes.  Quirky and funny.  Self-deprecating.  Fallible.  So very, very human.

A few years ago, he was an absolute pariah.  And despite his earlier fame and career successes, no one would touch him with a barge pole.  Heck, make that two barge poles.  He’d messed up.  And messed up big.

He got pulled down into a quagmire of alcohol and drugs.  Substance abuse of the very worst kind.  He didn’t need any enemies.  He was his own.

He threw away and squandered every opportunity he had.  With a blatant disregard for the consequences of his actions.  It appeared as if he was on a self-destruct mission.

And then, somehow or other, he pulled it back.  He got on track again.  I am not entirely sure why or how.  But all that I do know is that his friend in time of need, was Mel Gibson.  Yet another candidate for awesome self-destructive behaviour.

And a short time later, after getting on the straight and narrow once more, he was honoured at an awards banquet.  And apparently he made a very, very touching speech.  A speech about “hugging the cactus” – the ugly part of your soul.  He paid tribute to his friend Mel, and emphasized the need to forgive yourself.

I find it rather beautiful.  Because we all have ugly bits about ourselves that we just don’t like.  Bits on the inside, where they’re less easy to see.  Not as obvious as thunder thighs or a big nose.

I think it is important to continually try and better yourself.  To work on those areas of your life that you struggle with.  To be aware of your shortcomings, and to try and alter your behaviour if possible.

Perhaps you’re selfish.  Perhaps you cheat.  Perhaps you lie.  We’re all only human.  We all make mistakes. 

Just pick yourself up and carry on again.  Aiming for better next time round.

Personally, my cactus is kinda prickly.  A bit of a doozy in fact.  But on closer inspection, there is the odd magnificent flower.  Even edible bits too.  Some things I really quite like.  I’m even proud of them.

Perhaps the key to happiness and a joyful life, is to recognize the flowers and the fruits in others.  To try and look past the prickly cactus bits.

The essence of his message rings true.  To forgive yourself your misdoings.  And I would imagine, to forgive others theirs too.

May we all pay it forward and show kindness.  To make allowances for our mistakes.  And the mistakes of those around us.

And perhaps in doing just that, our flowers and fruit become even more beautiful.

I’m certainly hoping that mine will flourish and blossom.  And that I will be able to be cautious of my prickly bits, but let them not rule me.  Or obstruct from the beauty within.  They are but one part of me.  And not all of me.

And the same is true for you.

As I was saying - he's a bit of all right.....

His sense of the bizarre and quirky really appeals to me

Nothing wrong with that

Trying to focus not on my prickly bits only

But on the goodness that lurks


  1. Very thoughtful and well written!

  2. I agree. Really really lovely and wise. You are amazing. X

  3. Oh, well I learned something new about Robert Downey Jr. today. He is one of my favorite actors to watch and I did not know that he was struggling with himself so badly.
    I agree, we all have a prickly side to us. Nice one Helene!

  4. so glad I read this! It's like a little bit of therapy and a good reminder to each and every one!
    Will share with my 18yr old (a BIG RD Jr fan) who also needs to learn to "hug the cactus".