I’ve been watching the reruns of Oprah’s last season for the past two months. Her shows reach me in a way that no others do because they confirm for me that I’m not alone in what I believe. I believe life isn’t random, that nothing happens without having been caused to happen, that all our experiences reflect back to us the state of our awareness, of ourselves and our world. I believe the point of life is to embrace, not to deprive. And that our experiences show us either where we’re empowered or not, what we can do and what we’re not so good at doing, what we believe, where our beliefs are inadequate and trip us up. Every experience has what we need to be able to move forward, to know better and do better next time.
I believe that uncomfortable is horrible but it isn’t bad and if you face it things get better. That joyful experiences are a good thing, and it’s okay to be happy when so much of the world is in trouble. That whatever your needs are, they’re important and you have the right to take them seriously. That you can run but you can never hide forever. From yourself. Life won’t let you. And that’s a good thing because cliché or not, the truth sets you free.
I grew up in really psychology-ignorant and emotionally very unfluent culture and sometimes I still doubt that my current beliefs are sane. There was no real depth of understanding of what makes people do the things they do, of what self-esteem and entitlement are about, what drives behavior, what creates belief, and how powerfully the experiences of childhood impact on each person. The idea was never even considered that where I’m at, at any point, is the result of all the choices I’ve made from moment to moment over the years, or that I could do anything about choosing differently.
Life was a scary thing to me, it made no damn sense. Well, I’ve learned to find that sense. I’ve learned that self-esteem can be healed, entitlement built, emotions felt and dealt with, needs can be acknowledged and met. Life can be a thing of flow instead of just obstacle. Problems come with solutions. They may not always be apparent, but you can find them if you persist. The best thing I’ve learned is that real unconditional and consistent love can be a reality, not just a faraway dream, and it’s the thing that empowers us the most.
Oprah has been such a consistent companion in my journey of my awakening and understanding myself and my world. Today I was thinking, I suppose there are people in the world who have never watched her shows. I can’t imagine what that would be like, and I feel very sorry for them! I’ve been so inspired by her capacity for honesty, for joy, for having tremendous fun, for holding on to her integrity, and for being thoroughly consistent. These things have been a wealth of gifts to me.
All the people she’s interviewed have given me great gifts too, with having the courage to tell the truth about their lives and the things they’ve tried to overcome or have succeeded in overcoming, lighting the way for the rest of us. They’ve let me know I’m not alone in any of my challenges. They and Oprah have helped keep alive and burning bright the flame of my belief that I’m not a screwball, I’m not alone, that my destiny is to be happy and fulfilled, that I’m not the right track for me and that life is inherently a good thing. To all of those people, and to Oprah, a thousand thanks!