After 25 years on daytime television, it’s mind-boggling to think that Oprah has spent 4,561 days of her life on the Oprah Winfrey Show stage, chronicling the lives of thousands of guests, from the every day person to superstar celebrity. She’s battled issues such as substance, drug, domestic and child abuse. She’s given her viewers exclusive interviews and changed lives all over the world, not only through her own story of growing up in the backwoods of Mississippi but also through the trials and triumphs of strangers and familiar popular icons.
Earlier this week, she held her final show and Oprah literally turned the stage into Sunday service. She used her final hour to deliver a message that was powerful, inspiring and displayed true leadership. Here are eight notable Oprah quotes of inspiration on love, self-confidence, living life to the fullest, being responsible for your own decisions, humility, and much more:
On Learning What Love Is
“I am truly amazed that I, who started out in rural Mississippi in 1954 when the vision for a black girl was limited to being either a maid or a teacher in a segregated school, could end up here. It is no coincidence that a lonely little girl who felt not a lot of love, even though my parents and grandparents did the best they could, it is no coincidence that I grew up to feel the genuine kindness, affection, trust and validation from millions of you all over the world. From you whose names I will never know, I learned what love is. You and this show have been the great love of my life.”
On Being Worthy
“…We often block our own blessings because we don’t feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough. You’re worthy because you are born and because you are here. Your being here, your being alive makes worthiness your birthright. You alone are enough.”
On Embracing Life
Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.”
On Being Responsibly for Your Life
“Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did; it doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. You are responsible for your life. … You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.’Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.’”
On Everyone Having a Calling
We are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. I want for all of you […] to live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”
On Never Feeling Superior to Anyone
I learned from the guests on this show, no need to feel superior to anybody. Because whether it’s heroin addiction or gambling addiction or shopping addiction or food addiction, work addiction, the root is all the same. The show has taught me there is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering, and that is unworthiness. Not feeling worthy enough to own the life you were created for. Even people who believe they deserve to be happy and have nice things often don’t feel worthy once they have them.
On Listening to God
“The only time I’ve ever made mistakes is when I didn’t listen. So what I know is, God is love and God is life, and your life is always speaking to you. First in whispers. … It’s subtle, those whispers. And if you don’t pay attention to the whispers, it gets louder and louder. What I’ve gleaned from this show: Whispers are always messages, and if you don’t hear the message, the message turns into a problem. And if you don’t handle the problem, the problem turns into a crisis. And if you don’t handle the crisis, disaster. Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?”
On Being Rejected
“When we went national, I remember at the time, Roger King told me that one station manager said that he’d rather put a potato in a chair in his market than have a big black girl with a funny name. And in spite of that, from Memphis to Macon, from Pittsburgh to Pensacola, from New York to New Orleans, you all let me in.”
Who will fill that void on daytime television? She will be missed..