There was no ugly cry. No over the top sentimentality calculated to tug at our heartstrings. It was simple. It was clean. And she was elegant.
Frankly, I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought that perhaps now that she'd made it relatively intact emotionally throughout her final season, Oprah would allow herself to fall apart -- at least a little -- on her final day. After all, it wouldn't surprise any of us if, after the thousands of epiphanies and aha moments that have defined her show, she succumbed to the emotions that would be swirling around the closing of this chapter.
But instead, she maintained her composure -- mostly -- and used her final hour on ABC as an opportunity to give thanks and homage for the lessons she had learned from her audience, her guests, and the grace that she felt that moves her to listen and act on her calling.
Well, I teared up. A little. Nothing maudlin or unnecessary; just an honoring of the respect and appreciation that bubbled up from my heart.
Say what you will -- I know there are some who will nitpick about her earrings or chair, or the fact that it was taped rather than live--or who knows what people might dream up to fuss about? But for me, I am awed by this extraordinary woman and her willingness to so completely honor her light, and stand so resolutely in it.
I am inspired by Oprah. I am inspired to step beyond my own complacency and resistance to stretch past what's easy and comfortable to shine my light more brightly. Listening to the viewers who "testified" about how Oprah had changed their lives, I really saw how profoundly Oprah Winfrey's efforts to uplift, educate and enlighten have impacted human beings around the globe.
From my heart to yours, Ms. Winfrey; I salute you for leaping fully into the life you were meant to live. I have no doubt that there have been days -- probably many of them -- when, despite your dedication, you might have enjoyed sleeping in, or curling up with a good book in a hot bath. The fact that for 25 years you never missed a show is unbelievable! I don't care how much money someone offered me; I can't imagine doing anything with that much commitment, consistency, heart and soul.
Thank you, Oprah, for not just offering inspirational words, but for living them out loud, in front of us all. Your willingness to share your gifts motivates me to step further into sharing my own. Your willingness to stand in your light inspires me to stand more fully in mine.
May your coming days be filled with joy, gratitude, lots of rest... and many hot baths and good books.
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