Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tyler Perry

I went through several tissues watching the Tyler Perry interview on Oprah.  Actor and producer, Tyler Perry, is the second highest paid male in Hollywood. However, all of the money in the world can't take away the painful childhood he experienced.  He was physically and emotionally abused by his father and molested by several men.  A friends mother also sexually abused him when he was ten.  He talked about his journey toward healing and how some of those lessons are conveyed in his films.

Tyler discussed with Oprah how it's okay to be angry, but not bitter. That is a hard concept for me.  It's okay to be angry in the moment, but when anger turns to bitterness it becomes hurtful.  Tyler was able to forgive his father and to this day even financially supports him.  He doesn't wish to have a relationship with him, but forgave him.  I've always looked at forgiveness as my way of giving in to the other person.  I have to constantly remind myself that forgiveness is for me.  I thought an audience member by the name of Selena put it best, "forgiveness is for you so that you can be free."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Love Story

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."- Jenny Cavilleri from the movie "Love Story"  Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neil starred as the young couple in love in the movie and were reunited on the Oprah show.  I would have been three years old when the movie came out yet I remember years later its impact on society.  My mother was a huge fan of the movie.  I actually own the book which is written by Erich Segal. This shouldn't surprise those who know me well.  It must have been my mothers.  I haven't read the book and to be honest I'm not sure I remember the movie.  However, I do remember the line, "Love means never having to say your sorry."  I think it was the catch phrase of the 70's.  Oprah and Ali MacGraw talked about how that line makes no sense.  Does that mean we can just mistreat and say hurtful things to those we love because we expect them to know we love them?  On the contrary, we should be apologizing whenever we are wrong.  I  sometimes take for granted my closest family members because I expect them to love me unconditionally.

Oprah and Ali also talked about how society and Hollywood create myths and illusions of what our life should look like. For example, what paths we should take in life or what we should look like. Everyone has their own truth and they don't all look the same. Life would be boring if we were all clones. The movie "The Stepford Wives" comes to mind.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

J.K. Rowling

My husband likes to use the phrase "What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger." J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, talked with Oprah about her life before becoming a billionaire writer.  She was a struggling single mother and battled depression before Harry Potter came along and took her from rags to riches.  Jo, which stands for the J, used the dark periods and struggles in her life as the basis for the Harry Potter books.  Her mother died when she was 25.  They were very close and Jo says the books wouldn't be what they are had she not passed away.  At least half of Harry's journey involves dealing with death.  She explained how the evil characters in her book came from a dark period of depression she experienced.

It is always inspiring to me when I hear stories like J.K. Rowlings.  I realize not all difficult life lessons have a fairy tale ending like hers.  More often than not our national and local news reminds us of all of the disaster and failures that are occurring in society. There are a lot of people who are currently experiencing failure in their life due to the economy and poor choices.   I believe we're all born with a survival instinct and it's during those hard times in life that you realize you have it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Martha Stewart

Oprah interviewed Martha Stewart this week.  Martha Stewart changed the way I and other domestic divas look at housekeeping.  Even though there is no "p" in her name she is the epitome of perfectionism.  She even used her time in prison to her advantage by reading a lot and teaching inmates crafts.  Martha says prison was a test of her inner strength.  She discovered she can exist without all of life's luxuries.  I enjoy decorating and the comforts of home and can easily be materialistic.  If Martha can live without her lemons, I'd like to think I could do it too.

Oprah asked Martha what she would tell her younger self if she could go back in time.  Her response was " to continue to be curious, look to the future and be passionate in life."    I feel like Martha's passion,  hard work and ingenuity is what got her to where she is today.  That and a staff of people to assist her.

I enjoy making crafts and admire creativity in people.  I love how Martha can make the simplest things like a bar of soap seem special.  I'm inspired by her creativity and reminded that love is sometimes in the littlest details.  For example, taking the time to wrap a gift with a pretty ribbon.  I have a few good friends who delight in the details when they entertain or give gifts, and I appreciate the time they put into it.  Not everyone has that same appreciation, time or desire to be crafty like Martha.   I don't think we should strive to be perfect all the time,  even though this can be difficult for a perfectionist like myself.  What I do know is that a little effort can go a long way even if it's just for ourselves.  If only I could just feel the same way about cleaning.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Women of Age

I've recently become a huge fan of owls.  I have several pieces of owl jewelry and assorted owl statues throughout my home.  Part of the reason they are endearing to me is they remind me of the owl on the tootsie roll pop commercial I loved as a kid back in the 70's.  On a subconscious level, I think it's because I'm always seeking wisdom.  Oprah has interviewed many celebrities on her show over the years. Her interviews with women over 40 tend to be the most inspiring to me because they have more life experiences to share.

Oprah claims that 50 is the new 40.  As I get older,  I've noticed many changes which I hadn't really paid attention to since puberty.  My skin has always been on the dry side, but when I wake up in the morning I can see lines from my pillowcase embedded in my skin.  What used to be a one step skin care process has turned into a four step regime of cleanser, eye serum, moisturizer and an occasional mask thrown in.  Actresses Cybill Shepherd and Linda Evans talked about their difficulties on aging gracefully after having their beauty define them for years.  They've spent a lot of time looking inward to what makes them unique instead of focusing on their outward appearance.  We are living longer, but society doesn't want us to look older.  All a product has to do is claim to be anti-aging and I'm sold.

Awhile back Oprah had Bette Midler on her show.  It is inspiring to see people like Bette still performing and taking an active role in environmentalism at age 65.  She looks healthier and is livelier than some people I know in their 30's. There is also the lovable Betty White who has been making a comeback recently.   A common thread among many of the older women Oprah has interviewed  is that they seem to be passionate about life.  They have a peacefulness about them and balance in their life.  I think something that also comes with age is that you realize half your life is over and you don't have time to worry about the little things.  I may live to be 100 because I feel like I'm still not there yet.  Can you help me Mr. Owl?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Relationship Advice

Actress Jenny McCarthy and author Terry McMillan shared some life lessons and relationship advice on the Oprah show.  Jenny has come out with a new book titled "Love, Lust & Faking It."  When I told my friend about the show her response was, "I would never take relationship advice from anyone in Hollywood." I will admit she has a good point.  I  look for the life lessons on Oprah's show and try not to judge where they are coming from.  I guess I tend to be a little gullible in that regard at times.

I by no means think Jenny McCarthy is an expert on marriage.  She shared some lessons and truths  though that I thought were insightful.  She realized that she had been looking to her past partners (most recently actor, Jim Carrey) to fulfill her happiness, needs and insecurities.  We are in charge of our own happiness.  She always thought she had to have a lover to have love in her life.  Now she realizes she is the love of her life.   Oprah talked about how the line "You Complete Me" from the movie Jerry McGuire couldn't be further from the truth.  It doesn't take another person to complete you.

Oprah believes every relationship you're in is there to teach you something about yourself.  I think it is unfortunate some people don't get the lesson the first time and they continue to repeat it over and over.  I know of a few people who are going through bitter divorces right now.  Terry McMillan shared what she learned from going through a bitter divorce of her own.  She married a man 20 plus years younger than her after meeting him on a trip to Jamaica.  After six years of marriage, he told her he was gay.  She was furious and felt betrayed.  They spent years wrapped up in lawsuits.  Her new book "Getting to Happy" chronicles her journey of finally letting go of the anger.

 I am one of those people who has been known to hold a grudge.  Oprah talked about her own experience holding a grudge.  She thought the angrier she was at the person the more they would suffer.  This happened until she saw the person across the street laughing and walking into Tiffanys.  I had to laugh at this because I can totally relate.  I think my wishing ill will on another person will somehow make them suffer, but it's me who is doing the suffering by holding on to anger.  Letting go can be a difficult thing to do.  Do you have something you're holding on to?