The American television host, actress and producer expectedly got loads and loads of gifts on January 29- her birthday. One of such is a sequined portrait from her friend and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. Meanwhile here’s what the philanthropist wrote on her website few days before she turned 60. “Even in my darkest moments—through sexual abuse, a pregnancy at 14, lies and betrayals”. She recounted her teenagehood experience.
“Sixty. I’m turning 60 this month! I’m so glad I’ve lived long enough to say those words and celebrate their meaning.
I’m turning 60. I’m alive. Healthy. Strong.
I’m turning 60, and—please don’t take offense—I no longer have to be concerned about what anyone thinks of me! (You know, the old Am I doing it right? Am I saying it right? Am I being what or who I’m “supposed” to be?)
I’m turning 60, and I’ve earned the right to be just as I am. I’m more secure in being myself than I’ve ever been. I have reached the moment Derek Walcott describes in his beautiful poem “Love After Love”: “…with elation / you will greet yourself arriving / at your own
door, in your own mirror / and each will smile at the other’s welcome.”
I am in awe of the way my journey here on earth continues to unfold. My life has been marked by miracles for as long as I can recall—and even before. (My entire existence is the result of a onetime frolic
under an oak tree.) My early days speaking in a Mississippi Methodist church—Baptist leanings, shoutin’, and Holy Ghost included—prepared me for a future of speaking in a public arena I could never have imagined.
And now, at 60, I simply want to share what I’ve been given. I want to continue to encourage as many people as I can to open their hearts to life, because if I know anything for sure, it’s that opening my own heart is what has brought me my greatest success and joy.
My highest achievement: never shutting my heart down. Even in my darkest moments—through sexual abuse, a pregnancy at 14, lies and betrayals—I remained faithful, hopeful, and open to seeing the best in people, regardless of whether they were showing me their worst. I stayed open to believing that no matter how hard the climb, there is always a way to let in a sliver of light to illuminate the path forward.
We go through life discovering the truth about who we are and determining who has earned the right to share the personal space within our heart.”