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What I Learned at Oprah’s Life Class

I’m not entirely sure what I expected to learn during Oprah’s Life Class at MegaFest in Dallas, but I definitely didn’t expect it to hit so close to home. The first session, about fatherless-ness, was good…but I wasn’t able to relate. The second session, however, left me in tears.

During the second life class session about reconciliation, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Oprah spoke to audience members who were having problems forgiving their relatives. There was a pair of sisters who hadn’t talked to each other in six years. Six years! All because one of the sisters dated the other’s ex-boyfriend. Huh?

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Photo courtesy of BlackTree TV

My sister is my best friend. My confidante. My partner-in-crime. I could not imagine going one day (let alone six years!) without talking to her, especially over some guy I deemed not good enough to date anyway.

There was also a son who hadn’t spoken to his father in three years…all because of a disagreement at a family dinner. Then there was a daughter who admitted her mother couldn’t love her the way she wanted to be loved. Or, as Bishop T.D. Jakes put it, a “10-gallon person cannot be loved by a 1-pint person.”

Meaning, you need to meet your loved ones where they are and love them at their level. True story. He also pointed out that people love each other differently, which reminded me about the book I’d read about the five love languages (gifts, action, words of affirmation, touch and quality time).

Essentially everyone speaks a primary love language, which is the way you best receive and give love. For me, it’s quality time. Nothing excites me more than spending quality time with my family and friends. But if someone tried to love me through words of affirmation, I wouldn’t necessarily “feel the love,” if you know what I mean.

The bishop also said, “When you hold on to your history, you do so at the expense of your destiny.” Even Oprah said she had to take a second to let that one sink in. Basically, don’t let your past get in the way of your future.

I know I’m not the only one guilty of holding grudges, but hearing these people’s stories really taught me it’s not worth it. In the case of the father and son, he asked “how do I reach out to my dad?”

Bishop T.D. Jakes suggested he try sending a card or going to a movie or starting perhaps with the most basic sentence, “Dad, I miss you.” It sounds easier said than done, but it really can be that easy, speaking from my own experiences.

What about you? Is there someone you need to forgive? What’s holding you back? Share your thoughts in the comments below!