Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Oprah poses with 20-year-old self on O cover

Oprah has penned a letter to her younger self with some sage advice. Can you apply it to your own life? Read on to find out.

Oprah O Cover May

Ever wish you could go back in time and give your younger self some advice and words of encouragement? You’re not alone. Oprah Winfrey has a few things she’d like to share with her 20-year-old self, and she is sharing those thoughts in a letter in the May issue of O magazine.

“I look into your eyes and see the light and hope of myself,” Oprah wrote.

“In this photo you are just about to turn 20, posing outside the television station where you were recently hired as a reporter. You’re proud of yourself for getting the job, but uncertain you’ll be able to manage all your college classes before 1 [p.m.] and arrive at the station by 1:30 [p.m.] for a full day’s work. Even so, your biggest concern is how to manage your love life with Bubba. Yes, you are dating someone named Bubba.”

Oprah opens up about OWN >>

“On this day you’ve brought him to the station to see where you work, hoping he’ll be proud, too. He seems less than impressed. The truth is, he’s intimidated. You don’t know this, though, because you can see yourself only through his eyes. A lesson you will have to learn again and again: To see yourself with your own eyes, to love yourself from your own heart.”

“You’ve spent too many days and years trying to please others and be what they wanted you to be. You will have to learn that the wounds of your past — rape, molestation, whippings for ‘stepping out of place,’ and not being allowed to show anger or cry afterward — damaged your self-esteem. Yet through it all, you’ve held on to a belief in God and God’s belief in you.”

“That will be your single greatest gift: Knowing there is a power greater than yourself and trusting that Force to guide you.”

“The trajectory of your life changed the day you answered the call from Chris Clark, the news director at WLAC-TV. Your response was ignited by the words of your then-favorite Bible verse, Philippians 3:14. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'”

“Knowing there is a ‘high calling’ is what will sustain and fulfill you.”

“From where I sit now, viewing your journey, there are few regrets. Only months before this picture was taken, you wrote a poem about a ‘woman becoming.’ Even then you understood that success was a process and that moving with the flow of life and not against it would be your greatest achievement.”

Read more advice about living your best life at any age from 17 accomplished men and women, including Katie Couric and Octavia Spencer, in the May issue of O, The Oprah Magazine available on newsstands April 10.

Image courtesy O, The Oprah Magazine

Leave a Comment