inspiration, part one (or, the inside work)

Yesterday, one of my facebook friends posted a link to the transcript from Oprah Winfrey’s last show. I have never been a huge follower of Oprah, but I have definitely admired her for her accomplishments.

OK. I would be a serious liar if I said that I never watched one (or maybe several) of her shows and just bawled like a little baby.

Oprah said that the episode was her love letter to her followers. She said some lovely things about her time on the air. I have always been amazed by the level of grace with which this woman seems to operate. Even on her final show, the words she chose conveyed such a level of grace and wisdom.

What struck me the most as I read through the transcript of the last show was the sense Oprah gave of passing the torch. She basically said, “Thank you for doing for me what you claim I have done for you. Now go, and do unto others.” She spoke of our circle of influence and how we can have an impact on even a small number of people.

This really resonates with me. I have always wanted to be a person who can make a difference, somehow. I don’t care if I ever cure a disease or end hunger or suffering (although, who wouldn’t want that if it were within the powers of one person?).

Honestly, more than anything, I just want to get to the end of it all and realize that I did the best I could with what I was given – the best I could to show love, patience, kindness. The best I could to make people feel welcome and not alone. The best I could to listen, understand, and “be there.”

The only problem that I see with this grand mission of mine is… well, me. I am tired. I am unfulfilled. I am lonely. I have needs. I am creatively stagnant (and that is an understatement).

It takes all I can muster, once I am done with the commuting and the working, to do things like: go to the grocery store, pack lunches, go to the library, and stop eating ice cream. I have a ridiculously short attention span. I have a ridiculously low level of follow-through.

Some days, I can’t even find my pants.

So. Oprah. Dear Oprah. How does a mildly ambitious (when I am paying attention), bleeding heart, compulsive eating, lucky-to-even-be-wearing-pants kind of person even begin? Where is the love letter for that?

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8 thoughts on “inspiration, part one (or, the inside work)

  1. The love letter for our dear Amy is from those of us who know you and recognize the unique gifts that make you the woman you have become. Remember some of us have known you since or before you were 12.
    The way you see the world makes you shine. The way you keep growing and sharing. The openness you possess is an inspiration to me and I am sure to others. You see more, feel more, eeek the joy from life more, than most the people I know. You laugh in the face of challenge. You are good at so many things and wow are you sometimes tough on yourself. I think in life there are two types of achievers. One is the person who sets a goal and zeros in their focus to achieve that goal. This person ignores many things so their focus is not interrupted. But everything is in one basket, if they fail…yowser! The other is the person who is excellent at many of the things they have attempted and curious to explore those things yet attempted. I see you as the second type, and I think it is a great way to be. Sure you feel failure to reach the ideal in every area of your interest (which are many). But you have tenacity and courage. You make me a better person for knowing you. I love Beth’s simple comment to “Just be you”. There are people who could try with all their might and they could not hold a candle to what a great person you are on your worse day! Do I sound friend bias?

    • wow, cathy… thank you! i agree with your assessment: i feel interested in/curious about everything sometimes!

  2. Even though life has kind of gotten in the way of doing anything with it, that conversation you and I had a few months ago made a HUGE difference to me! You made me feel more confident about my abilities and I’m channeling that the best I can right now.

    You touch people without even realizing it. You wouldn’t have had the friends you have for as long as you have if that wasn’t the case. So, I guess now it’s a matter of what we can do for YOU.

    Sometimes I see things like this blog and really wish I could live closer to certain people.

    I love you, Aim!

  3. Some days I can’t find my pants, either. Or shoes. Or my good bra, which is becoming more of a necessity than a want these days.

    I saw this quote the other day and it hit me well.

    “Like I always tell my clients – begin each day as if it were on purpose.” – Hitch (the movie.)

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