This interview with Danya Bacchus for FOX’s “Politics and the People” was so much fun. We talk about the interviews I’ve conducted with various people including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Clive Davis, Michael Beckwith, Linda Biehl and Dr. Oz. Danya asks me which interview(s) contain my favorite epiphany stories and since I truly don’t have one favorite (it changes for me all the time, depending on what’s going on in my life), I picked the one that I’d been thinking about the most at that time–Linda Biehl’s incredible story of forgiveness and reconciliation. I still remember the moment I read her interview with Desmond Tutu in Vanity Fair and this epiphany hit me: “If she can forgive like that, I can too. It’s possible for me.” I desperately needed to forgive someone at the time and I wasn’t able to do it in a moment, or even in a year. But I knew it was possible because of her story and what she was able to do, so I kept working on it and eventually was able to forgive and let go and knew I HAD to interview her for my Epiphany Project! She was my very first cold-call for the project as I say in this interview. Her interview led to my cold-calling several others such as Archbishop Tutu and Maya Angelou.
Another epiphany I’ve been focused on lately is Dr. Oz’s epiphany about mutual respect and listening to each other, even if you don’t agree with or understand the other person’s point of view. He says:
“Once you immerse yourself in someone else’s worldview, you can understand their motivations much more effectively…you can really understand their perspective when you try to understand their worldview, which is what healing is all about.”~Dr. Mehmet Oz
Their epiphanies give us clear and powerful examples of how it is possible to react to extremely difficult and, maybe some would even consider, impossible circumstances. If more of us could be thinking and acting in alignment with the wisdom that they share about forgiveness and listening, we could help transform the chaotic, angry blame and mudslinging that seems to be happening everywhere you turn. We need to be able to disagree with someone without being disrespectful or hateful (remember the term, “respectfully disagree?”) and if we could all forgive and participate in reconciliation like Linda Biehl, well, I can’t even imagine what would be possible in the world, especially in terms of personal and world peace. As Linda says:
“We need to focus on learning from our mistakes, and we need to work on trust and respect and listening. Nelson Mandela is a great example of this. He was one of our greatest world leaders because he realized that it wouldn’t serve his people or country to stay angry or demand revenge. He personified forgiveness, reconciliation, and negotiation—and was, at the same time, a very strong leader and man…If we can just work together and strive for our best in behavior and thinking, instead of settling for our lowest common denominator, there’s hope that things will get better.” ~Linda Biehl
We also talk about how the whole Epiphany Project and book came about and what’s next on the agenda. [Hint: I just finished the first draft and hopefully you’ll be writing in it soon! It’ll be handy for things like your “Epiphany-Sparkers: Food for Thought” Exercises below…]
I hope you enjoy the interview and the information shared in this. (Read the epiphanies yourself too if you can – Dr. Oz’s is here and Linda’s is here. Every time I get something different out of them.)
And in case you hadn’t noticed or haven’t been here before, the website has a whole new look! Please explore, comment, feel free to write me with suggestions, and share your stories with us! We’re interested in any epiphanies you’ve had but we’re especially interested in epiphanies about LOVE and RELATIONSHIPS and stories about HOLIDAYS right now – any ol’ holiday will do. [Note: Valentines Day is just around the corner and that holiday can make for some pretty interesting stories…]
Epiphany-Sparkers: Food For Thought Inspired by Dr. Oz and Linda Biehl’s Epiphanies:
Listening: How do you listen? Do you truly listen to others without judgment or trying to push your own agenda? Are you respectful? How can you show more respect and listen more closely to your colleagues and loved ones this week? How can you listen to yourself more attentively and with more respect and serenity?
Forgiveness: Is there someone or something you need to forgive? Can you start that process? Even if this means journaling about it; finding a therapist; reaching out to a friend to talk about it or reaching out to the person — whatever it is — how can you take some action toward forgiveness or wanting to forgive? If you already have forgiven, is there a way for reconciliation? Even to contemplate it? I think it can be powerful just to think deeply about it.
Can you get involved with a bigger movement and help with societal reconciliations? What is your definition of peace and what is one thing you can do every day to promote peace within yourself and your life and the lives of others?