Despite her success as a media mogul and entrepreneur, heartbreak isn’t foreign to OWN creator Oprah Winfrey.
Love was in the air for the Los Angeles premiere of the network’s new scripted series Love Is. Loosely based off the real-life courtship of television producers Salim and Mara Brock Akil (Girlfriends, Being Mary Jane), Love Is transports viewers back to the late 90s where Yasir (Will Catlett) meets Nuri (Michelle Weaver) and their rocky road to happily ever after begins.
Sans DMs, retweets, and likes, Love Is takes place during a time when technology wasn’t the middleman. In order to get to know someone you actually had to get know someone and not peruse their Instagram feed. Phone calls were made, conversations were had and missing someone’s page was grounds for a side eye.
The show’s cast dazzled as they walked the pink carpet at Hollywood’s Neuehouse and each gave their definition of love. Yet, despite how life-changing being struck by Cupid’s arrow can be, it isn’t always roses and chocolates. A lot of times love is challenging and can leave you weary and broken.
OWN CEO and creator Oprah Winfrey spoke with Vibe at the premiere about the heartbreak she experienced in her twenties, and the old love letters she once wrote to a man.
“Whew! I’m so glad I didn’t send them,” Winfrey said.” I actually shed tears for the woman I used to be.”
While most would agree the sting of heartbreak is potent and permeates throughout you, Winfrey explains how excruciating pain can be your greatest teacher.
Everyone’s experienced heartache, but everyone doesn’t get over it. If you’ve experienced heartache in your life…
Oprah Winfrey: Oh yeah.
How did you get over it?
Well see, every heartache is there to teach you something about yourself. I just had one of my…you know I have so many girls [her Leadership Academy for Girls], so I’ve got 22 girls in the United States now, 20 now, and somebody is always going through heartache.
I was just telling one the other day that the person you are so upset with because you think they are the one that caused this pain for you, they’re really your biggest teacher.
But that doesn’t feel good, Ms. Winfrey.
No, it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good in this moment, but in the future, it’s the thing that’s going to light you up so you can stay lit! When you look at the thing, the deeper the heartache the more you needed to learn and that’s actually the truth.
I mean, I had some terrible stuff in my twenties. I look back on it. I really was in the closet when I was moving all of my stuff from Chicago to California. I ran across some old letters that I had written to him. Whew! Shame. Shame. Shame. I’m so glad I didn’t send them.
I actually shed tears for the woman I used to be. How sad was I in my ‘please’ and ‘you don’t understand, just give me another chance’ and all that stuff. What I now know is that was my biggest teacher. He was here to show me to myself so I could learn to love myself more. This was the guy who said to me, ‘The problem with you is you think you special.’ And I said, ‘No I’m not. No, I’m not really special.’ Look at me now.
Love Is premieres Tuesday, June 19 at 10 p.m. ET.