Throughout the course of our OYOU inspired boot camp, I have tried to stay in the moment. Instead of focusing on the details of the self-imposed list that I give to myself each week, I have focused on the theme. What does this mean in my life? How do I make it part of who I am? What do I need to work through to bring me more of this? Each colorful week bringing me lessons beyond measure that are sometimes too big to even wrap my arms around. But there is one thing…the lessons that are coming with this experience are not at all what I expected. We challenged the universe at the beginning of this process – we were going deeper and pushing ourselves more than we did last year. The universe heard us and has responded in kind. The lessons are plentiful but don’t always come into our lives as pretty pillow covers or fashion accessories. This week – our Oprah inspired week – is no different. This week I find myself asking “what would Oprah do?” and the answer sometimes surprises me…
A couple of days ago we started talking about Oprah’s Lifeclass in Houston. Now, growing up for awhile in Texas I knew that if Oprah was going to Houston, this ruled out the State Fair because that is always in Dallas and increased the possibility of something from a preacher because for those who don’t know this, church is REALLY BIG in Texas…but in all fairness, everything is REALLY BIG in Texas. Supersized was invented in this state not at McDonalds.
With the discussion and the reveal of Oprah’s Lifeclass teacher’s came some unexpected reactions and lessons even before class has started. The truth is that some people are hurt that Oprah is talking to people who are not open, loving and accepting of everyone for who they are and as Oprah, the teacher, has taught all of us to be. Without even hearing the topics of the day, there are lessons already showing up and for each person, they speak very differently according to who you are and what your life has brought into it.
When I heard pastors were the teachers, I thought “Oh no.” Not because I dislike churches. Actually, I had an amazing experience with sitting with God in a church one time…so, that’s not it. My aversion comes from the feeling that comes up each time I “go there” with my emotions. It comes from being a very young girl, sitting through Sunday school and through weekday bible classes for one summer alongside my molester and abuser as I heard that God was going to forgive him for all his sins if he just asked him to…and I kept wondering to my 7 year old self, how is this possible? So, just like fresh baked bread makes me think of home, sometimes church makes me think of my 7 year old self. But I am not a young girl…I am a grown woman who knows that spirituality and love cannot be contained in any building and is everywhere around you. I don’t have to go to God’s house to find him…he lives at my house too.
With that lesson in mind, I heard the voices of hurt as they talked about Joel Osteen and Rick Warren and their beliefs about homosexuality. All of the feelings that this brought to the surface of ugly words of condemnation came up for them like sound bites from thier lives. Sound bites of all of the hateful words of intolerance and bullying that have clearly left deep scars. Like opening up the wound again, I could feel the tears where I saw the anger. Bringing grown people to their knees with the same 7 year-olds question at their lips – how is this possible?
Through the words and these last few days, this is the lesson that has come to me. Be grateful for every single moment and lesson that is brought into your life because it is there to make you stronger and give you lessons that you may not even realize you need. Everyone has their own journey. Everyone has pain that bubbles up to the top when they come across a situation that pushes buttons or opens wounds. Everyone has to deal with them in their own way. When you walk through the thickness and get to the other side, that’s when you realize that you are stronger for the experience and what makes you stronger makes you beautiful.
So…when I go to Oprah’s Lifeclass and take my virtual seat and listen in for the lessons or look for the friends in the audience who are having their once in a lifetime (or twice) chance to be in the same space as Oprah, I know this….we all have our own journeys to take…and we all should love and respect each other for whatever roads we choose and say to each other, “Safe travels to your heart on your own path.”
It’s with an open heart that I feel joy for some and pain for others…but I feel and this tells me that my heart is open to the energy of the world and whatever comes into it. And I am grateful for that because it’s with an open heart that you can change the world and heal your wounds. And finally, I hear Oprah’s voice and the answer to my own question from years ago… “how is this possible?” With an open heart and with tremendous love…you can change the world. Believing this makes anything possible.