As I write this, the sun is setting over Maui, transforming the sky. Nature has an easier time with transformation than we earthly beings do.

I know this because I'm in the midst of trying to transform myself from a compulsive emotional eater who submerges her feelings in food into a person who actually feels the feelings, deals with them, and doesn't repress it all with offerings from the fridge.

It's a lot easier putting on a wig and getting a new outfit, as I did for this month's cover.

The real excavation process—digging deep to uncover the underlying issues—feels a lot like trying to shovel through Kilimanjaro. I keep hitting rock.

What I've discovered, though: Rocks unattended turn into mounds, and then mountains. And it's our job to do daily cleanups—in our work, our family, our relationships, our finances, our health and well-being.

Ignoring problems is easier, for sure, but if we take even tiny steps to address them, those steps eventually become giant leaps on the journey to self-actualization.

Reaching your potential as a human being is more than an ideal. It's the ultimate goal. The wonders we're capable of have nothing to do with the measurement of mankind, the lists of what's in and what's out, who's hot and who's not. I'm talking about the real deal: Whose life did you touch? Who did you love, and who loved you back?

This I know for sure is what matters. For me, it's the only goal worth aiming for: a transformation of consciousness that allows me to know that I am no better or worse than any other being. That I simply am.

What Oprah Knows for Sure


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