Oprah's Wait

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love." --Sophocles

I have been watching Oprah for as long as she has been in public view.
Through all her big hair and fashion faux pas. Through weird guests and even weirder makeup:and the shoes. But that's me. I still think as I always have, that it just doesn't matter. Oprah is a great great lady. She has inspired me to get my act together more than once. My sobriety in some part is due to the fact that on several segments Oprah has "told on herself". She has exposed things that are deep and dark about her own nature and this in turn has inspired many of us to tackle our own demons. Demons that will, without due diligence, resurface, as is the case right now for Oprah and indeed myself. She has explained and dramatically illustrated what "longing" is all about.
How we are all longing,waiting in some way for something. Hoping is waiting,
with some patience and faith thrown in. To wait patiently for the universe to deliver whatever the answer is to our question or our prayer,to deliver understanding for ourselves or acceptance for our views or way of life.... is hope.
"Hope is a good thing,perhaps the best of things"...Tim Robbins in "The Shawshank Redemption".

Here's the thing. When she shows the painful nerve it takes to be under the "media microscope" every day and tell on herself. I feel brave in telling on myself to my small group, a friend or even a therapist. I think,OK. If Miss Oprah can go on the air and say, "I F#$%'d up and let you guys down. I let myself go" and she did it in front of a gazillion viewers and the raging venomous media. If she can say that and then re-dedicate herself to her health and to helping our awareness, how can I not love her? How can I not tag onto that energy and envelope it into my own to inspire my own personal "upgrade"?
I am sober from alcohol but not from my nature. "I am what I am" as Popeye would say. I am still someone who has yet to overcome my "weakness" for comfort.
Maybe it is not in a drink anymore, but it still is. I still long to be loved in all the ways that one can be loved. Love from my family and friends is absolutely necessary to my being. Love feeds my soul. I am quite fulfilled in my family life. I love my life. But I still long for that which I do not have. I think I long for the feelings I had in youth. The nervous crush. The anxious waiting for loves return. New love. I still wait like a giddy child at Christmas for the universe to deliver my new emotional and spiritual adventures of "life".
I cannot help but ponder the idea that Miss Oprah is like all of us only with one very key difference. She is never out of the public eye. The loss of ones anonymity is brutal. To have the constant attention of everyone all time must be challenging. In fact "challenging" is too pale a word for what must be insanely unbearable some days. I have to appreciate her circumstance. Maybe I am fiscally poor, but I am allowed to move through life without being hounded at every turn. My privacy to me is priceless. I have heard the arguments for the exchange of currency for anonymity. It is simply that once your anonymity is lost it is lost forever. I don't think there is anything that could medicate that loss and so it must be bourn. Sometimes at the ultimate price. The sacrifice of ones own life. How many luminaries have given up their life because of the loss of anonymity?
I know my own self-medication with food is due to deep feelings of loss and shame. The anger and disappointment that come from loss is extremely powerful.
I see it in the face of my nine-year-old stepson who lives in Santa Barbara with in our "brady Bunch Style" and away from his biological Mother. I see rage and shame in his little face every time something does not go his way. Something like, " I did not get this thing or that, so I must suck, right?"
It seems we are in a world suffering from some sort pain from loss. Loss being the most natural part of life.
And love is and always has been the answer.
The energetic medication of life.
So I don't give a crap if Miss Oprah lets herself go. Her worth is not based on her weight. I wish she knew that. I wish I knew that. I wish all womankind knew that. I know where she is right now. I am constantly struggling with a ton of self-hate over twenty-five pounds of fat. I don't look bad or feel bad. But Santa Barbara especially is so bound by the idea of perfect beauty being packaged in a size four container.
I over heard a guy in North Star coffee talking to another guy saying," well yeah she is neurotic, but at least she is skinny:right Hun?" And there she was hanging off his arm smiling widely. The happy village idiot who drank the kool-aid of feminine desperation and let her "self" be dictated by the media's idea of feminine beauty and worth.
"Skinny" isn't actually a value.
"Skinny" has no worth.
"Skinny" actually means "less than".
I read a study a few years ago about eating disorders in Sweden. They had changed the law so that no print, billboard or TV Ad could contain a model that was less than a size 10. The percentage of eating disorders went down by half within eighteen months. This tells me it is possible to for us to heal ourselves from the media's slant on beauty.
Let's create a new slant.
The media that has tortured women should be held accountable and made to repair the damage. The American media needs to take responsibility. Make a real effort to heal their injury to women all over the world.
Oprah has the power to help re-create the "slant" on real beauty. She is amazingly beautiful just as she is, no matter her physical "weight". I saw her one day at Cottage Hospital. She was visiting someone on the fifth floor. Wearing a dark colored jogging suit and looking simple and really great. "No-makeup-in-a-baseball-cap" great. But great all the same. I could see her eyes and I was struck by how gentle and clear they were. I did not approach her because I was dumb struck. Her presence affected me so. It would be bad manners to interrupt what must have been a private moment tending to someone she loved in the hospital. Even at a distance she affected me nonetheless.
Maybe we are sitting in "wait" for something to change the perception that a woman's "weight" is the measure of her right to be loved. Maybe those of us with a few extra pounds need to exhibit the same personal strength those women who feel their strength is in their skinny little "arses". Maybe my Zophtique bodacious bottom is just great as great can be:ya think?
My personal goal is to be healthy.
To be strong.
And to love and be loved: just as I am.

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