"The father's job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it's necessary to do so. If you don't get that from your father, you have to teach yourself."

Oprah's note:
This was a big aha moment for me—if you don't get that confidence, you've got to teach yourself, and if you don't teach yourself, you can never win a battle. That's why, into my forties and fifties, I was still having trouble with confrontation, because I was never taught that.

Part Five: Box of Rain

What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do?...What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?

Oprah's note:
That's the process of forgiving yourself. There can be no healing until that happens. Everybody has to do it one way or another. Love that.

These same flowers grew in the dirt where I'd spread her ashes. I reached out and touched the petals of one, feeling my anger drain out of my body.

Oprah's note:
I could feel the presence of her mother all along this trail, and the crocus was just another example to me of the mystery and mysticism of life. I'm one of those readers who believes that the spirit of her mother showed up in the form of the fox. She was never, ever without the spirit of her mother on this hike.

Of course, heroin could be had there too, I thought. But the thing was I didn't want it. Maybe I never really had. I'd finally come to understand what it had been: a yearning for a way out, when actually what I wanted to find was a way in. I was there now, or close.

Oprah's note:
That is the essence of what everybody's searching for—a way in. Everybody who thinks they're looking for a way out? They're looking for a way in. Is that not brilliant, or what?

And how it would be only then that the meaning of my hike would unfold inside of me, the secret I'd always told myself finally revealed.

Oprah's note:
What I loved about this trip is that it opened her in ways that she did not have the words to articulate—even for years after. And that's what a pure opening does. You can't explain what it is at first. You just know you've been changed.

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