My He(ART)-Full Life

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a few lessons I have learned

                                         (Heart Wide Open, archival prints available here)
I watched the very last Oprah show today and...I just can't believe that it's been 25 years. I can't even begin to explain what Oprah means to me, the impact she has had on my life and like gazillions of dearly I will miss her. When her show first came on the air, I was a young teen. We had only recently moved to Canada; I was born and raised until I was 12 years old under apartheid (a whole other post on what that experience was like!). Anyways...watching her show through my teens was an anchor in my very painful  life. Here are just a few lessons I have learned through the years from Oprah:
 * claiming our shame is the first step to releasing and healing ourSELVES. When she so openly talked about her sexual abuse, battle with weight, her painful childhood...she gave us all permission to talk about our pain. That was big, huge for me. I learned early on to speak my truth no matter what.
* gratitude. I keep a gratitude journal because of her and what blessings they have brought! But more importantly, focusing on gratitude has made me realise how rich and blessed I really am.
* feminism is not a dirty word! Here is  a self made woman in every sense of the word and she did it by being herSELF!!!
* she mothered me with her wisdom and encouragement and I hung on for dear life.
*  we "are not defined by our mistakes"
* have an open life; all of it! The heartbreak, pain, joy, success...the whole shebang!
*I am worthy. She taught me that...yes she did. Having come from  a very dysfunctional and painfully abusive childhood...she was the very first person to ever say that to me.
But I think the most important thing I have learned from her has been this...when we are truly ourSELVES and live from the heart, when we align our intentions with our actions, when we speak our truths and share our stories and lessons...we empower ourSELVES and others. I hope I can pass these lessons down to Tara through my living them out.
When I watched her farewell show today, I was bawling let me tell you. As Tara said ..."Orr-pah. Aw gone!"


jane said...

Oprah is (and has been) a force for GOOD for women. I have experienced many of the same things you described, Soraya, as I also came from a painful childhood. Oprah made me feel connected to something worthy, like I mattered. And at the end, she told us to DO WHAT WE LOVE...our beloved art, our children, each other...xx

laurie said...

oh, i love oprah also! she has been such a role model for me - calm, wise, and fun. i didn't see the show but i'm sure i would have been shedding some tears, as well.

kelly said...

I watched her last show too, and I took notes! (and I bawled) :)

PatH said...

I am full of admiration for Oprah. It's just amazing to think how many people she has influenced and how much good she's done. Soraya, I'm so glad you were helped by her, and now you are making the world a better place too.

SooZeQue said...

Can you just imagine how many of us where watching her! She truly is a class act and her shoes are way to big for anyone else to fill I'm afraid. Just today when I finally sit down to relax and watch Oprah I thought... wow there's nothing to look forward to anymore. I'm glad that you found comfort from her when you needed it. She may never know the impact on the millions of people she has helped.