Oprah Winfrey Writes Letter to Teenage Self, What Would You Say?! [Details]

Rucuss staffApril 3, 2012

Oprah Winfrey reveals advice she would give to her teenage self in the May 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

Oprah, now 58, wrote a letter to her 19-year old self, a teenager she calls a ‘beautiful brown-skinned girl.’ She reveals what advice she would give to herself. Oprah tells her younger self that in order to grow, she has to admit that the abuse of the past has changed the way she looks at herself. She also tells her younger self to hold onto her beliefs because that’s her greatest gift and that she must see herself through her own eyes and not the expectations of others.

Oprah’s self-reflection focuses on her youngest days as the first black news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV. It was a moment she says would forever change the trajectory of her life, and one that she struggles to not be overshadowed by her relationship with a boyfriend named Bubba.

Read Oprah’s letter below:
Dear beautiful brown-skinned girl,
I look into your eyes and see  the light and hope of myself.
In this photo you are just about to turn  20, posing outside the television station where you were recently hired as a  reporter. You’re proud of yourself for getting the job, but uncertain you’ll be  able to manage all your college classes before 1 and arrive at the station by  1:30 for a full day’s work. Even so, your biggest concern is how to manage your  love life with Bubba. Yes, you are dating someone named Bubba.
On this  day you’ve brought him to the station to see where you work, hoping he’ll be  proud, too. He seems less than impressed. The truth is, he’s intimidated. You  don’t know this, though, because you can see yourself only through his eyes. A  lesson you will have to learn again and again: to see yourself with your own  eyes, to love yourself from your own heart.
You’ve spent too many days  and years trying to please others and be what they wanted you to be. You will  have to learn that the wounds of your past—rape, molestation, whippings for  “stepping out of place,” and not being allowed to show anger or cry  afterward—damaged your self-esteem. Yet through it all, you’ve held on to a  belief in God and God’s belief in you.
That will be your single greatest  gift: knowing there is a power greater than yourself and trusting that Force to  guide you.
The trajectory of your life changed the day you answered the  call from Chris Clark, the news director at WLAC-TV. Your response was ignited  by the words of your then-favorite Bible verse, Philippians 3:14. “I press  toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Knowing there is a “high calling” is what will sustain and fulfill you.
From where I sit now, viewing your journey, there are few regrets. Only  months before this picture was taken, you wrote a poem about a “woman becoming.”  Even then you understood that success was a process and that moving with the  flow of life and not against it would be your greatest achievement.
Love you deeply,
Seventeen other celebrities including Katie Couric and Maya Angelou also writes letters to their younger selves. O Magazine hits newsstands April 10!

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