Live your best life ever! [Excerpts]
Oprah's audience admires her as much for her failings as her successes. In real life, she has almost nothing in common with most of her viewers. She is an unapproachable billionaire with a private jet and homes around the country who hangs out with movie stars. She is not married and has no children. But television Oprah is a different person. She somehow manages to make herself believable as a down-to-earth everywoman. She is your girlfriend who struggles to control her weight and balance her work and personal life, just like you….Oprah's show is all about second and third and fourth chances to fix your life, and the promise that the next new thing to come along will be the one that finally works.
This perpetual search for “The Answer” reached its apex a couple of years ago, when Oprah led the frenzy over The Secret. The video and accompanying book were a rehash of one of the oldest of self-help truisms--"think positive"--refreshed with a dusting of "science." The secret of The Secret was something called “the Law of Attraction.” As Oprah put it on the show, "It says that the energy, that the thoughts and feelings that you put out into the world, both good and bad, are exactly what is always coming back to you, so you have the life that you have created."
The message got through. In March 2007, the month after the first two shows on The Secret, Oprah invited a woman named Kim Tinkham on the program. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and her doctors were urging surgery and chemotherapy. But Tinkham wrote Oprah to say that she had decided to forgo this treatment and instead use The Secret to cure herself. On the show, Oprah seemed genuinely alarmed that Tinkham had taken her endorsement of The Secret so seriously. "When my staff brought this letter to me, I wanted to talk to her," Oprah told the audience. "I said, get her in here, OK?" On air, Oprah urged the woman to listen to her doctors. "I don't think that you should ignore all of the advantages of medical science and try to, through your own mind now because you saw a Secret tape, heal yourself," she said. A few weeks earlier, Oprah could not say enough in praise of The Secret as the guiding philosophy of her life. Now she said that people had somehow gotten the wrong idea. "I think that part of the mistake in translation of The Secret is that it's used to now answer every question in the world. It is not the answer to all questions," she instructed. "I just wanted to say it's a tool. It is not the answer to everything." The Law of Attraction was just one law of many that guide the universe. "Although I live my life that way," Oprah said, "I think it has its flaws."
There were limits to The Secret's healing powers even for Oprah. For there she was, in the months that followed, worrying over her thyroid, ingesting bioidentical hormones and putting on pounds. The Secret warns that all illness and misfortune is caused by attracting the negative power of the universe. "You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can," it says. "You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talking about their illness."