I wondered when this would come back to bite her in the ass. Oprah, I mean.
She's been strongly endorsing The Secret for months now, promoting the book, the movie and the feel-good-positive-thinkingness of the program on her show.
So much so that recently a woman wrote in to tell her that because of Oprah and The Secret, she was opting not to have a partial mastectomy because she believed she could heal herself.
Oprah just had the woman as a guest on her show to try to convince her to have the surgery (it appears she still plans to "think" her tumor away, by the way). In a stunning but life-threateningly necessary display of backpedding, Oprah had this to say about her understanding of how positive thinking can impact one's life:
"What I believe about the law of attraction, I want to clarify it," Oprah says. "I want to say it's a tool. It is not the answer to everything. It is not the answer to atrocities or every tragedy. It is just one law. Not the only law. And certainly, certainly, certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme. The law of attraction is a tool that can help you decide what you want your life to be, and then begin to help you focus on making the best choices through action to create that life."
So why didn't she just say this right from the start? Why fully endorse a belief when you either don't fully understand it or accept it? Why, why, WHY? Especially when you're such a powerful role model with such a huge, miracle-hungry audience?
I've kept my mouth shut on this subject for a long time. I'm very much a "to each his own" kind of girl and I don't like it when people mess with my belief system without invitation, so I haven't wanted to do it to anyone else's. But thank GOD Oprah had the presence of mind to offer some clarification and tone down her cheerleading.
I believe positive thinking is important. I believe it can help you achieve goals by putting you in the right frame of mind to work hard for what you want in life and to accept opportunities that come your way. I believe positive thinking is the reason I'm having surgery tomorrow, and I believe it's the reason I haven't lost my mind altogether these past two years.
But I don't believe it can heal me. I need the surgery for that. I can't sit on my couch and will away adhesions and scar tissue (if that is, in fact, what's going on in there).
And, while I'm at it, I also don't believe that being scared out of my mind while I was pregnant with Thomas because I'd already lost two babies before him was the reason that he died. I don't think I negative-energied my son to death. Nor do I think I'm preventing a future pregnancy by not being 100% positive that I will conceive again.
When you've held your dying child in your arms it's a little hard to be 100% positive about anything anymore.
I love the idea of self-empowerment and I'm all for anything that encourages people to have hope and to have the courage to fight for their dreams.
But I just don't believe in magic. And I'm glad Oprah has clarified that she doesn't either.