SPEAK! … By the Spirit™ with Erica Hawthorne
Learn While Teaching Others to Relate
© 2011 Erica A. Hawthorne
May 30, 2011
I was among thousands and thousands who tuned in to watch the last Oprah episode last week. I have since read a number a blogs recounting the last moment Oprah took the stage to share with us her overall words of wisdom as they related to the show that changed lives, granted wishes and dare I say, bridged gaps between us and the world around us.
As Ms. Winfrey embarks upon another chapter in her TV life, I am left most inspired by the way she participated in the process of learning, while at the same time, teaching us how to relate to one another. I realize that we too have the same ability.
“The first week we went national, I remember I got a letter from a woman named Carrie in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Carrie said, ‘Oprah, watching you be yourself makes me want to be more of myself.’ That was and still remains one of the nicest things I ever heard.”
-Oprah Winfrey, from The Oprah Winfrey Show The Oprah Winfrey Show Finale
How many times have you experienced a conversation with a friend when one of you is sharing a vulnerable moment, and the other replies with “Me too!” To know that someone else has gone through what you have and is willing to share their how, what and now what’s, can be a form of comfort and inspiration. I know for me it has helped break down my protective wall and has allowed me to share my vulnerabilities. What a relief to know that you are not alone, or the only person who has been in the midst of certain experience! How much more divine it is to open up the space for sharing, relating and supporting each other within our circumstances.
The ability to relate to others is indeed a gift. To create a space of non-judgment, to show up for another or the ability to share something about your life or experiences…to be vulnerable…these are all strengths and wonderful ways to more authentically relate to those around you.
This does not mean you have to wallow in shared despair or swap war stories in order to be more connected to others, but rather, it’s in the willingness to own your process, embrace it, do the work of learning and growing and be willing to share it, that becomes the fruit of any of our experiences. When we are able to relate to others, with this as our goal and practice, then we are contributing to the positive cycle of learning – giving – receiving.
There are many things we can take away from 25 years of the “Oprah Experience”. Among them, I hope, is the lesson that as we learn and grow, reach out and relate…we too can help others do the same.
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