Biggest Aha’s

In the mail I received Oprah’s Official Commemorative Edition ‘Behind the Scenes of 25 Incredible Years’.

And I took a glimpse in it and found this interesting. It’s Oprah’s 9 Biggest Aha Moments.

#1  You teach people how to treat you.

I’ll always remember  the day in 1998 when Dr Phill McGraw said this. He was talkign to the guest who’d been suddenly abandoned by her husband after 26 years. “How do you think he decided he could disrespect you?”. Dr Phill asked the woman. After a moment, she finally answered: “Probably because I let him get away with it.” Bingo. Phil’s brilliant question turned on the lights for ehr, me and everyone in the audience that day.

# 2  A relationship is more than a romance-it’s a spiritual partnership.

When I talked with couples counselor Harville Hendrix, PHD, in 1988, he introduced me to the imago theory–which is that you’re unconsciously drawn to your particular partner because that person can help you heal old, unresolved wounds.

#3  Our lives are guided by intention.

When I read Gary Zukav’s The Seat of the Soul in 1989, I understood for the first time the power of intention. As Gary wrote, “Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect.” That was a huge light bulb moment because it showed me that I’d played a major role in setting up every one of my circumstances.

 #4  Give thanx.

I’ve kept a journal since I was 15, and most of the early ones are filled with “Woe is me”. But after I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance in 1996, I started a gratitude journal. Every day I began writing five or more things I’m grateful. Even now, keeping that list makes me conscious of all my blessings–and it attracts more positive things. German philosopher Meister Eckhart put it beautifully: “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, ‘ it will be enough.”

 #5  All pain is the same.

In 1993, I interviewed four mothers who were in prison for murdering their own children. Before all my interviews, I try to rid myself judgement, because that’s the only way you can get to the truth. And as I dropped my judgements and really listened to these women, I began to realize that they didn’t sound like murderers–they sounded like people who’d had big problems they didn’t know how to deal with. On my way out, one woman said “I can’t believe you don’t hate us.” I said “I don’t hate you because I see this is what you did with your pain–and I do something else with mine.”

 #6 Do your eyes light up?

During a book club discussion in 2000, author Toni Morrison told me that this is the one question every child is asking when their parents enter the room. It’s such a simple idea that’s true not just of children but every person on the planet. Two and half decades of interviews have reinforced this lesson: We all want to be seen, heard, validated. It’s the common denominator in the human experience.

#7 Tune in to the whisper.

God first speaks to you in a whisper, a nudge, a hunch; when you don’t grt a pebble upside the heard, then a brick, then finally, a brick wall–which is a full-blown crisis. I’ve learned to listen closely for the whisper–that still, small voice that says, “Something’s not right here. Pay attention.”

# 8 When people show you who they are, believe them –the first time.

This is one of many great teachings I’ve recieved from my friend and mentor Maya Angelou. If someone is dishonest with you, for example, that one lie will surely be followed by many others. We can save ourselves a lot of heartache when we pay attention the first time–instead of the 29th.

#9 Each of us is responsible for our life. No one else can or ever will be.

After interviewing nearly 30,000 guests, I’ve learned that we must use what we have to run toward our best, despite the situation. THought by thought, choice by choice, we craft our lives through all our conscious and unconscious choices. I don’t  see that as a burdensome responsibility. I see that as one of the single greatest privileges of being alive.


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