Oprah Winfrey’s Letter to Her Younger Self Is a Beautiful Reminder to Follow Your Purpose

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

Happy Birthday to multi-media mogul extraordinaire, Oprah Winfrey!

About 45 years ago, she landed her big gig as a newly hired reporter and from there she has been breaking barriers and raising the bar for women all over the world, especially black women. Not only is she one of the wealthiest people in the world, she also had the longest-running daytime talk show ever!

Oprah Winfrey
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Winfrey is an Academy Award-nominated actress, philanthropist and self-made millionaire.

However even with her success, she was uncertain about her future endeavors and questioned where this journey would take her. In 2012, the then 58-year-old wrote a letter to her younger self.

Winfrey’s powerful letter is a reminder for women to: live in your purpose and love yourself always. She writes,

“Dear beautiful brown-skinned girl,

I look into your eyes and see the light and hope of myself.
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 and arrive at the station by 1:30 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.

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.  

Love you deeply,


Just beautiful! Happy Birthday, Oprah!!