Oprah Winfrey reached a personal milestone on Wednesday, Jan. 29: her 60th birthday. The TV mogul reflected on her life's biggest accomplishments in the January 2014 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.
"Sixty. I'm turning 60 this month! I'm so glad I've lived long enough to say those words and celebrate their meaning," she wrote before the big day arrived. "I'm turning 60. I'm alive. Healthy. Strong."
"I'm turning 60, and—please don't take offense—I no longer have to be concerned about what anyone thinks of me! (You know, the old Am I doing it right? Am I saying it right? Am I being what or who I'm 'supposed' to be?) I'm turning 60, and I've earned the right to be just as I am," she continued. "I'm more secure in being myself than I've ever been."
In hindsight, Winfrey is amazed that she's been able to break so many barriers throughout her 30-plus-year career. "I am in awe of the way my journey here on earth continues to unfold. My life has been marked by miracles for as long as I can recall—and even before," she explained. "My early days speaking in a Mississippi Methodist church—Baptist leanings, shoutin', and Holy Ghost included—prepared me for a future of speaking in a public arena I could never have imagined."
At 60, the savvy businesswoman wants to "share" the lessons she's learned over the years. "I want to continue to encourage as many people as I can to open their hearts to life, because if I know anything for sure, it's that opening my own heart is what has brought me my greatest success and joy."
Winfrey said her "highest achievement" is having an open heart. "Even in my darkest moments—through sexual abuse, a pregnancy at 14, lies and betrayals—I remained faithful, hopeful, and open to seeing the best in people, regardless of whether they were showing me their worst," she shared. "I stayed open to believing that no matter how hard the climb, there is always a way to let in a sliver of light to illuminate the path forward." Stedman Graham's longtime love adds that "there is extraordinary in the ordinary. Every day and every breath is magic—if we can only see it for what it is."
"Some days the awareness of the sanctity and sacredness of life brings me to my knees with gratitude. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that the little girl from Mississippi who grew up holding her nose in an outhouse now flies on her own plane—my own plane!—to Africa to help girls who grew up like her. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!" Winfrey wrote, citing the famous hymn.
"I approach this milestone, the landmark of 60, with humility, supreme thanksgiving, and joy," she concluded. "Knowing for sure grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home."