Friday, October 28, 2011

Do you believe?

It was probably only a matter of time before there was a post on here about Oprah, right? I mean, it kind of fits the whole lifestyle / creative / teaching nature of mom blogs, so here we are. I've been recording and watching her new show on OWN called Oprah's Lifeclass. It's brilliant - every night is a new lesson culled from her 25 years hosting her show. If you took all 25 seasons and filtered them and reduced them and were just left with the absolute best of the best, that's what Lifeclass is.

Last week she did her all time favorite lesson, which is funny because it is absolutely what I would have picked for MY all time favorite lesson. Love, Love, LOOOOVE. And, of course, like all great lessons in life, I've forgotten it hundreds of times, but ever since I heard it years ago I think a small part of it's wisdom has always lived in me since.

"When people show you who they are, believe them."  -Maya Angelou

When you have your first interaction with someone (or your second, or your third, or your one hundred and twenty third, etc.) and they are rude or late or non-committal or distant or judgmental... BELIEVE THEM. This is them showing you who they are. BELIEVE THEM. See with both eyes what their words and actions are conveying and trust it.

Stop making mental excuses and being nice and giving second chances and thinking "if only..." People are who they are from Day 1 - just agree to see it and believe it. That's all.

Peeps, do you KNOW the confusion and heartache I could have saved myself from about ages 19-26 had someone told me this sooner?? DO.YOU.KNOW??

Of course you do, because you did it too. I bet you still are... we all are. We're all having some kind of relationship with someone in our life out of hope or kindness or fear or whatever, and it's all because we are choosing not to see the person they were from Day 1. (More quotes and clips from the episode can be found here.)

Three quotes from the show that I particularly liked:

"My dear, when people show you who they are, why don't you believe them? Why must you be shown 29 times to see who they really are?"  (Maya Angelou to Oprah Winfrey after a heartache)

"Potential isn't a quality... it's a fantasy"

"You aren't just responsible for the energy you bring into a relationship, you are responsible for the energy you allow into it."

Oh SNAP! That last one just slays me in the best way possible. The first half of the sentence is completely killer and I want to hand that saying out on business cards to a few people in my life, but the second half is even MORE killer!

So now you tell me - what are your thoughts on the whole thing? Did you already know this, is this the first time you've heard it phrased in this way, could you use this advice now? Let's discuss, because this is the stuff that REALLY matters to all of us, much more than the other stuff that's easy to talk about.



Ouiser said...

You mean this matters more than my talking about my 33 articles of clothing? Really??

I've actually found that I need to rely on others somewhat with this one. Sometimes it's hard to see what people are showing you because you want to believe something else about them. In those instances, when someone you trust says, "Leave that one alone. That's no good for you," you need to pay attention.

This EXACT scenario has happened to me loads of times.

Also, my word verification on this comment is "untater," which is cracking me up. It's like word verification on Atkins.

Sarah Berry said...

Ouiser, I love that perspective. It's like the Part B thought to this whole thing - excellent point!!

Jet said...

Great post, Sarah. We do not get OWN and I like to hear what gems people are pulling from the shows.

There is a flip side to this statement, about believing people when they show up.

When someone shows you who they are, and it is kind and genuine and gentle and vulnerable - believe them.

I have doubted and questioned and wondered if I could possibly deserve someone so good and kind. Some people really are. Believe them.

Jet said...

Also, I LOVE the image you have with this post. I'm inspired to try something with a mirror outside now. Well, later. When it stops raining. Maybe tomorrow. Or in May.

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