Those who know me know that I am an unashamed Oprah fan. I cried like a baby when she went off the air. In some ways, Oprah taught me a lot of the things that a mom is supposed to teach their daughter. I cried every time she cried. She also was the reason that I got into therapy at 22 to finally deal with my family life... which turned into dealing with my failed marriage... which turned into me creating a life I never thought I could have. So, I feel Oprah... like sister to sister feel Oprah. I hear her lessons, and I sometimes know when she is going to say one of my favorite Oprah-isms before she even says them. Some of my all time favorites that I use when dispensing advice:
- You've always had the power my dear - Glenda, the good witch
- When people tell you about themselves, LISTEN. They are telling you the truth. (EX: I am so rude. I am not a great listener. I am always late. I am a jerk. I am _____. People don't lie about themselves... try it... it's nearly impossible.)
- God always starts with a whisper... then he graduates with a brick upside your head. (Unless you are me, and then it is brick first).
The main thing that I have learned from her is that you have to do the work. Esther and I frequently talk about how what makes relationships work, whether with family or significant others, is doing the work. My family for example, REFUSES to do the work... thus, brokenness results everywhere they turn. I have been fortunate enough to choose to do the work and I thank God everyday for that spirit of faith to trust him to hold me when I am doing the scary work. And yet this brings me to what I saw on Iyanla's show tonight.
She was interviewing Evelyn Lozado (her whole story is not really that important at this juncture) and she said the following: "Every little girl is sad about her mom/dad abandoning her. Unless you sit in that meadow of sorrow, you will not heal it beloved." She also pointed out that many of us have not had anyone hold us during the hard times. This has also come up for me recently in therapy and my frustration with my job situation. I get the right to be sad about things for a little while. I get the opportunity to sit and grieve for the sadness that is being abandoned by both parents. It is a loss that I will always have the right to grieve. Period.
I will then, of course, hop on out of that meadow and get about the business of the business of living, but sitting for a while and grieving, well, that's alright too.
Oh, and you know what else is alright... calling people "beloved." We are all beloved by God, so why not call attention to that for each other. Every time Iyanla says, beloved, I get a little teary remembering that I too am beloved by the universe, by God, and by people who know my heart. It's a beautiful thing to be beloved. So, be it. Relish that. And then pass it on to someone else who is sitting in their meadow of grief for a moment for they, too, are still beloved.