Your Spiritual Journey
Some of Oprah's favorite spiritual teachers are shedding some light on the subject of spirituality. The Rev. Ed Bacon is the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, a well-known liberal and progressive church in both its theology and politics. He defines spirituality as a meaningful connection. "It is about our being connected with one another and connected with the cosmos," he says. "It is the process of being healed, forgiven, empowered to go into the world, to be fully alive."
The Rev. Bacon says full, unconditional love is the essence of spirituality. "It's that experience of love that connects you with everyone, connects you with your past, connects you with your future, gives you hope and excitement about going into the next day, going into the next moment."
According to Elizabeth, spirituality is within everyone's reach. Just as we all have the instinct to eat, sleep and drink, Elizabeth says spirituality is ingrained in all of us. "There's this instinct inside of each and every one of us that there's more to life than meets the eye," she says. Elizabeth says spirituality is our intuition that there is something greater to life than the daily grind. "It's the fearlessness to ask the big questions," she says. "Who am I? What's my purpose? Life? Where do we go when we die? And how do we live a fully alive, meaningful, giving, generous life when we're here?"
Michael says love, peace, harmony and wisdom are everlasting qualities "They're real and they're eternal, and so when an individual is connected to those qualities and begins to exude them and express them, at that moment, they're in the spirit," he says. "And when an individual is mature enough to express that on a regular basis, we can say that they're spiritually mature." Regardless of the temporary problems you may be experiencing, Michael says the connection to love, peace and harmony stays with you. "That which carries you when you're going through tough times," he says. "That's what it means to be spiritual."
Oprah's definition of spirituality revolves around the understanding that we are more than what we can physically see. "When you begin to realize that you are more than your body, that your purpose is greater than your profession or your career—that every life, because you were born you have a right to be here and there is a calling on your life—it means you live your life without fear and you know that no matter what happens, no matter what happens, you are going to be all right. You are going to be all right. That's what spirituality is for me."
Three days after a scheduled C-section, Monica's body was attacked by a flesh-eating bacteria. To save her life, doctors had to amputate her arms and her legs. Nurses and doctors anticipated the inevitable "why me" breakdown, but it never came. Instead, Monica focused on rehabilitation so she could get home to her daughters and her husband. "I want my girls to know that their mother's a fighter," she said. "Don't ever give up on anything, ever."
By letting go of what she thought her life was supposed to be, the Rev. Dr. Beckwith says Tanya can find greater spirituality. "As a matter of fact, all spiritual growth is really about letting go of something. It's not about gaining anything."
"I always think everything is happening in your life, no matter how difficult the crisis, to teach you more about who you are," Oprah says. "To grow you into who you were really meant to be."
The Rev. Bacon suggests that everyone take time for themselves every day. "Pause for five minutes or 10 minutes and simply let God, the divine within, thank you for being who you are," he says. "Remind yourself that you can access that any second of your day. Every moment something sacred is at stake."
Michael says Caroline is looking to identify the part of her that is not defined as mother or wife. "It's very important. And it has a lot to do with motivation," he says. "You're doing it for your own growth. ... You're doing it for that presence within you, and then your identity shifts from being mother, wife, etc., and you're now in tune with that divine presence that is thanking you for letting it come into its own as you."
Elizabeth was both a stay-at-home mom and an employee in a corporate environment, so she can relate to Caroline's situation. "If you are not feeling fulfilled all the way down to the bottom of your soul, you ultimately won't have as much to give your kids, so there is a good balance," she says.
After the plane crashed, John says he saw people strapped into their seats, burning. As he watched, he says he noticed what appeared to be auras leaving their bodies, some brighter than others. "I thought, 'The brightness and dimness of the auras were how one lives one's life,' so to speak," he says. "That's one of the major things that really has changed within me ... I want to live my life so my aura, when it leaves, is very bright."
Elizabeth believes the colorful auras were people who fully lived their lives. "What the world needs are people who have come alive. That's what we all need to do to become fully ourselves," she says. "Alive. Joyful. Present in every moment."
Michael believes Nikki is living in fear of what she might be losing. Instead of feeling fearful, he hopes Nikki will ask herself what the experience is trying to teach her. "Where are you to grow in this? Where are you to expand? What more of you needs to be extended and expressed?" he says. "If you do that, this entire experience will be a boon for the entire family."
Elizabeth says an important step in the healing process is for Nikki to allow herself time to grieve. "Let yourself cry. Cry in front of your brothers and your sister," Elizabeth says. "Model to your siblings what it means to love. And sometimes the greatest badge of love is grief. ... Just show how grief-stricken you are at the possibility of losing your mother."
Michael says Jacqui's fight to live life every single day can be attributed to the strength of her soul. "It's the real definition of beauty," he says. "That's very powerful."
Sedrick says this is what he has struggled with for most of his life. "I've mastered being one person on the outside, and it's completely opposite of who I am," he says.
For Sedrick to overcome his past, Michael believes Sedrick should learn self-appreciation by writing down some meaningful goals for what he wants to accomplish in life. "Then write down one thing that you can do in each of those areas—just one little thing so that you can develop some kind of momentum," he says. "Serve an apprenticeship to self-love and appreciation. Forgive yourself and realize you don't have to have drama to feel alive and excited."
Sedrick says that prior to being on the show he didn't grasp all that was happening in his life. "Since watching most of the guests on here today and listening to what you guys have to say, I think I'm going to leave here with a renewed vision," Sedrick says. "So I'm getting it."
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