I just spent the last 4 days with an Oprah. Not THE Oprah. But with a woman who possesses many of Oprah’s most exquisite qualities. Her intelligence. Her beauty. Her strength. Her power, which is never called into question. Her loyalty. Her ethics. And her PROFOUND, inimitable ability to nurture others.
Sometimes we don’t know where our greatest source of help will come from nor do we know why it comes from the source it comes from. It’s as if it falls from the sky and instead of going “splat” and ruining our day, we catch it with a buoyancy and everything suddenly shifts. Even if for a moment, problems do not seem so overbearing or unresolvable, traffic doesn’t seem so terrible, the diagnosis seems less daunting, and because of this magnificent “fall from the sky,” our own clarity seems to rise up like a phoenix out of the ashes.
My Oprah was incredibly puzzled by the overwhelming response of gratitude she was given by many whom she had held in her custodianship. This is also where she became humbled. Because something which was so natural for her and inherent to her nature, became nearly impossible for her to believe would or could be life-changing to others. But what if some of us had no one else? What if some of us had never been told we were beautiful or magical or had something magnificent to offer by one we could trust and knew was a reliable source? Suddenly, our nurturing Oprah, with her beautiful open arms was right there telling us what she saw so clearly. Pushing us and probing us and making us sweat one moment and applauding us the next, so we knew we could trust her words.
I think this is the reason Oprah Winfrey feels she needn’t be a mother. She is so mothering in her nature to so many she meets and begins to know. Our Oprah is in fact, a mother, and without a stretch of the imagination, you can see she is tirelessly devoted to her family. It’s just her nature. And if it is your own, you meet her right there.
It’s always best to stick with one’s nature. Square peg, round hole. No way. Our Oprah is fully who she is at all times. You’d never see her smile if she doesn’t mean it. No. She says what she means and means what she says. She is a teacher. As honest as they come. And that’s why I say you never know where the greatest source of your help will come from.
I follow my instincts. When I don’t, I really dislike myself and put myself through hell for a long time. Life does it to me as well. So I told my Oprah the flat truth about my obstacles which everyone has guided me against doing. But I had to once I saw the hours of the upcoming work. Physically, there was just no way I would have the stamina now after 4 surgeries and losing 18 pounds to jump in with a train that is already running full speed.
I barely gave any details. I only mentioned the last surgery. She knew I needed to take care of myself and that we needed to change the plan.
That same day. A check arrived in the mail. We simply don’t know where our greatest source of help will come from.
What I am going through now is nothing short of hell. But all I can do is keep going. I can’t afford my surgery. I can’t afford the lawsuit. I can’t afford my life.
But that is not how I want to feel.
I don’t want to duck. I HAVE a right to be here and I have been fighting for so long. Feeling so sad about what has been crumbling in my body and crumbling around me that it has actually hurt my soul.
I think about the Buddha under the Bodhi tree. He sat and every temptation was thrown his way and he took his seat as if to say “I have a right to be here.” And because of the strong seat he took, all of those arrows just melted away.
But my battle is to accept my Oprah. Her open arms which only want to love and nurture me and see my gifts. My battle is to accept the gift which was awaiting me at home with humility instead of powerlessness, instead of falling to the floor and sobbing and running around trying to figure out what I could do to repay the gift.
To slow down and accept that after significant trauma, four major surgeries, another one on the way, 3 lawsuits, and major financial troubles, that“I have a right to be here” and accept help from wherever it may come. To be grateful for this day when I met my own Oprah who chose to love and nurture me. To be grateful for anyone who can truly see me. My humor, my brightness (which somehow shines through even as I am in constant pain).
That now it is time to change.
Battles will always be there. People will ALWAYS wage wars against me for some bloody reason. But I am always going to be the one who is like my Oprah. Like Oprah herself. Embracing life with love, nurturing others, choosing LOVE no matter how much pain arises.
When does your life start? In Les Miserables, the lyric says, “There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.” Now I love Les Mis. But I take issue with that line. Because I have faced enough loss to know that is an ignorant statement. It starts NOW... or it doesn’t start at all. Surrender doesn’t start tomorrow. It starts RIGHT NOW. CHANGE is a decision and you can say “I’ll begin in the morning.” But firstly, it is immensely presumptuous to think you will still be here in the morning and it beats away at the level of your own commitment to your desire to change when you say such a thing.
And so!!! I want to be someone for the rest of my life who shows up as a force of love and support and help to people who need it and as someone who believes it to be possible that needs can be seen and heard and responded to.
Here’s to all of the Oprah’s out there.
To all of you. I say, I love you. And I thank you.
And I always always will.