Letters to Oprah

Last night I bought the latest issue of O magazine instead of food…I just felt it fed me more.

As satirical as I was being (re: Carrie Bradshaw allusion) the sentiment was actually pretty befitting.  My Person got me into reading O magazine because before that I honestly figured it was a little out of my demographic.  The more I read, however, the more I found it to be right up my alley.  I am all about the power of positive thinking, changing from the inside out, and of course her signature: Living your BEST life.

Last night I flipped through her September issue and saw two things of note, the first was a photo of a woman who said, “After hearing this summer about OWN’s Thank You Game reader Fatiha Occialini wrote in to share here story of gratitude.  In 2012 Occhialini learned about vision boards from the oprah.com Spirit Newsletter. She created her own board, starting with a photo of the Great Wall of China, which she hoped to visit someday.  Last year she traveled from her home in Philadelphia to Beijing and brought along her June 2011 copy of O.  ‘The words thank you on the cover of the magazine were a daily reminder of how grateful I was to achieve my dream of walking The Great Wall’ she said. ”  Only a few pages prior, I had seen an ad for Super Soul Sunday featuring who Oprah has called the “leading spiritual thinkers”.  There were names like Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Jill Bolte Taylor, and Marianne Williamson among others. I literally thought, why  not me?  Is it because of my age? Is it because I do not have a book? Is it because I do not have a following?  I asked myself again, this time more rhetorically, “WHY NOT ME?”

I do not want to meet Oprah because she is Oprah this media mogul billionaire who could, with one wave of a finger erase my student loans, buy me a house, and then tell me how to dress for success.  I want to meet Oprah as a peer and colleague in positive thinking.  I want to have conversations with her much in the same way that many of these leading spiritual thinkers do. Am I a leading spiritual thinker?  If I am not currently, I certainly have the potential to be.  That much I Know for sure.  The next logical question was, what on earth do you have to say to Oprah?  And thus, my letter to Oprah:

Dear Oprah,

As I have matured, and grown up I have come to recognize you as one of the world’s most vocal affirmation.  When so many women, men, children believe that they cannot, you have told them they can and through your life exemplified for so many that timeless haunting question of, “…but how?”

I see so much beauty in you, and thus in myself.  This larger than life black woman with wild hair, dark skin, and hips who refused to be silenced.  When I realized that the things I admired in you were the things I loved about myself it was then that I understood God.  God allows us to be connected to one another regardless of time, distance, or socioeconomic status.  We each know fear, doubt, joy, and passion and because those experiences are shared we are unified by them.  OPRAH is not some unattainable figure living in an ivory tower or in my television screen, Oprah is right there in my mirror.  And when I see the things you have done, , I know I can achieve greatness because my reflection has done so already.

The letter that Marianne Williamson wrote to you that said, “Until you accept the magnitude of your function, your unconscious mind will sabotage any attempt to show your full magnificence. In fact, if you diet and lose weight, your mind will either put the weight back on or trip up in some other area. In order to lose weight on a permanent basis, you want a shift in your belief about who and what you are. This is the miracle you seek.” When I read this letter something inside of me wept. How could this amazing woman not see that she is so much more than her body? That regardless of her size people believe in her, she is changing lives, she is changing the world and yet somehow it falls mute to the scalding of the scale. You could because I could. I did.  I still do sometimes.  But I tell you as I have learned to tell the reflection in my mirror, this place you are in is not you. You are infinite, you are limitless, this body in this moment is not.

As I study in school and people ask me what I eventually want to do…the answer is often rehearsed and mechanical. How dare I tell the truth? I want to start a movement. I want to help others unlock their own potential. I want to show people that the universe is self-sufficient and we need only trust in it, surrender to it, for it to give us everything we need.  God conspires in our benefit for the betterment of us all, we only fail when we fight.  How dare I say that? Are people ready to hear that?  Are people going to think I am crazy?  Did you say it?

When you dreamed of having a talk show, did you know you wanted to head a movement in positive, inspired, intentional, and better living?  Did you say that?  Deepak offers that there is great importance in speaking truth.  Not just recognizing it, not just knowing it, but speaking it because for all intents and purposes it is truth.  Why should I not answer truthfully? For fear of being held accountable? For fear of being ridiculed or doubted?  The best advice I was ever given was be present, tell the truth, and let go of the consequences of telling the truth.  I offer that to myself. My best life is an honest one.

As much as I adore and admire you, I realize that it is not you; what we are seeing in your persona is how greatly God’s light can shine when one surrenders to divine power. What we are seeing is a great example of intuitive living. What we are seeing is our greatest affirmation that we, too, can be larger than life.  Thank you.




9 thoughts on “Letters to Oprah

  1. That letter is so perfectly, honestly “Jess”. I too believe you have the potential to be a leading thinker. Nay….you already are. Speaking it as though it already is on your behalf.

    And on a more surface note, I love your new banner and I love that it is your face.

    1. I think now, 28 years later, I have a good idea of what it means to be me 🙂 Thank you for your kind words, I have to remember to say things as if they already were (because aren’t they?)

      Also thanks for the banner compliment! I like this one too.

  2. Yes, yes, YES!!! Name it and claim it Jess. Because you know what? You already *are* a leading spiritual thinker, to myself and the others who read your blog. All that remains to be seen is for the rest of the world to see you.

    There was a point last year when I had a love/hate relationship with reading your posts and comments to my blog. I wished I could have your life because you made it seem so easy. But then I thought, what’s stopping me? The reason you were always so infuriatingly zen (lol), is because you are not afraid to stand in your truth. So much of our unhappiness in life comes from avoiding the truth. One quote I’ve always remembered is from Gloria Steinem, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” But that fleeting discomfort pales in comparison to the reward of feeling limitless. And that is something you taught me, not Oprah or a preacher or a meditation expert. So yes, follow your dream and who knows? One day it will be you on the OWN network. I can’t wait to see it.

    1. You have 0 regard for my work day because I’m sitting at my desk crying. I love that quote, because its SO true. Marianne Williamson wasn’t lying when she said we are most afraid of our light NOT our darkness. I think when it overwhelms you (me), then you (I) just have to say “Lets concentrate on right now.”

      I also find my blog infuriating sometimes because I say these things then when am faced with a real-life situation its a battle RIGHT THEN in THAT moment to do better. To do what I know is right rather than what may be comfortable.

      Thank you as always for your kind words, and for reading. This really touched my heart in ways there are not words yet invented to explain.

  3. Beautifully written. You’re very wise. I love this… “I realize that it is not you; what we are seeing in your persona is how greatly God’s light can shine when one surrenders to divine power.”

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