STEVEN SPILLS © 99
OPRAH OWNS IT
If I had to name the one woman that has inspired me in the most significant ways other than my mother, my answer would be Oprah Winfrey. She has unique magic surrounding her that beckons people to listen, and we do, intently with a thirst of wanting more. Her giving nature goes beyond what has been witnessed on television and in the media. While affording others luxuries that they may not have had without her in their lives to whatever degree that is, Oprah gets back just as much as she gives out. Doubtfully materialistic as witnessed on her generous “My Favorite Things” specials but I feel her payback from us is our undying gratitude for what she has done for us personally and countless others she’ll never know.
I could tell how we have the same ties of southern roots and how Oprah was voted Most Popular Girl in school. Or we could discuss how she won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant at seventeen-years-young and has displayed more honesty about mistakes she’s made and lessons learned than anyone else I could name in the public eye today. With the end of her talk show after twenty-five glorious years on the air, legions of her following are waiting and wanting her to come back soon. She needs a break, we know that. I mean, wouldn’t you?!
Watching Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes has been a true treat for anyone wanting a brief glimpse of what she is all about and what it takes to be her. Naturally, Oprah takes herself very seriously as a smart businesswoman. But in flashes you see that her hair does come down and she laughs at some of it, too. Of course, she’s in control 99% of the time and what we see is what she allows. Again, we’ve watched with eyes glued on this iconic presence that encourages and inspires others to being accountable for themselves. I trust her and anyone that is still reading this must also, I assume. Why wouldn’t we?!
Living present in the now is what I take from knowing of her and I try to commit to every moment that I am in. I, too, have done the “ugly cry” and sometimes it’s been along with her. The “a-ha” moments that she talks about usually come for me when I’m wondering if my words are reaching anyone and someone will inadvertently come to me complimenting something I wrote that touched or affected them in some way. I then am reminded again that these stories are reaching those wanting them. A reader almost made me boo-hoo-the-hoo after what they said to me recently. I was greatly humbled by his appreciation.
I had watched The Oprah Winfrey Show over the years but it wasn’t until September 1998 that I really felt the impact she had on me as a viewer. A very dark and lonely black cloud had found me without much break in sight and I was very sad with myself. I was trying to make some things happen for me unknowingly that at the time it wasn’t meant to be. While forces of nature stopped me and turned me around to start over, I looked for guidance anywhere I could get it.
Getting to the point, I was in Manhattan staying at the YMCA on W23rd for about a month. While every plan and scheme I had to be in New York slowly crumbled around me I sat and watched Oprah’s show every day I could catch it and cried my eyes out alone. Every time I would watch the show it was if she was talking to me about things I needed to hear or sort through. It was crazy ridiculous good but eye-opening and face-slapping realistic, too. One day she encouraged viewers to forgive those in their lives in need of forgiving. When I returned to Ft. Lauderdale with defeat on my chest from Manhattan, I did just that.
I made a videotape for my father of me forgiving him and telling him that I knew he loved me the only way he was capable of loving. That I understood that it wasn’t me, it was him and still do believe that. It felt really good doing it and getting it off my chest but it wasn’t good hearing him call telling me that it made him cry sadly. When I was in Nashville recently burying him and going through his things the video was the first thing I came across. I placed it a separate bag and disposed of it still knowing exactly what I had said and how I felt. That hadn’t changed. I moved on thanks to Oprah and continue to move easier through life because of her indescribable ways.
2011 © PULP