We honor the generous, kind, and courageous soul Debbie Ford, who passed away Feb. 17, 2013, after fighting cancer for more than a decade. In this clip from an October 2012 episode of "Super Soul Sunday," Oprah goes soul-to-soul with Debbie to explore life's big questions.
Oprah: Can you tell me, what is the soul?
Debbie Ford: Well, to me, the soul is a part of us that never dies. It's what we come in with. And our soul is sometimes -- I don't think you can see it, but I think it's who we are at our core. And it carries all the messages and the lessons that we've learned in the past -- and will carry all the lessons and messages that we will carry into the future.
Oprah: How do you define God?
Debbie: I define God as an energy, a spiritual energy. It has no denomination. It has no judgments. It has an energy that when we're connected to it, we know why we're here and what we're here to do. And, for me, it's my practice to connect to that energy inside and to know that I'm one with something greater, an energy of force greater than myself.
Oprah: Have you always considered yourself a spiritual person, or was there an aha! moment that quickened your journey on that path of spirituality?
Debbie: I think my first trauma to get through in life was my addiction. So I think it was on the bathroom floor in a treatment center that I really felt it energetically. I felt that the world loved me and that there was a beautiful force out there. That was my first real spiritual moment. And then I committed to studying and doing whatever I had to do to connect with that feeling -- because, of course, I was an addict, so I had to go and chase it and learn everything about it -- and a lot of things didn't make sense to me, which…
Oprah: What were you addicted to at the time?
Debbie: At the time, I was addicted to… I used to smoke cocaine in my cigarettes and take opiates.
Oprah: Did you have a spiritual experience on drugs, off of drugs, through drugs?
Debbie: I think getting off of drugs was my real spiritual experience. I thought I was having many spiritual experiences while on drugs, but now I know [those] probably weren't spiritual experiences.
Oprah: During this whole ordeal of getting yourself through cancer, was there a time where you feared dying?
Debbie: Yes. Right when when I got out of the hospital. For a couple of months, I really thought that maybe I would die, because there was this underneath part of me that wanted to die because I didn't know why I should live anymore. My son really kept me alive. Great about children -- you know, I couldn't imagine doing that to him, not being there. So he was my strength each day.
Oprah: Did you fear dying or just thought that you would? Did you fear it?
Debbie: No. I more fear it now.
Debbie: Because now I'm, like, loving my life. So now I'm like, "I don't want to die, and I'm not going to die." That's what I tell them any time anybody gives me any kind of negativity, like…
Oprah: Even when they wanted to give you the prognosis of how long you had to live, you said, "Don't want to hear it. Stop it, don't bring that in here."
Debbie: That's right. I put up my hand, and I said, "Are you God? Do you know when I'm going to die?" And then I called Dr. Xavier, and I'm like, "Am I going to die?" She was like, "Absolutely not." I called my ex-husband. "Am I going to die?" He was like, "No." If you don't have a doctor that inspires you, no matter what you have, you should find one that does. Because I feel like my doctor helped me stay alive.
Oprah: Where do you think we go when we die? What happens when we die?
Debbie: Hopefully, we don't take up any more space in the ground. But I think our soul goes somewhere up. I don't know where it actually lives. I haven't quite found anybody who's gone up there and come back and given me an answer.
Oprah: What do you know for sure?
Debbie: What I know for sure is that we are all created with this phenomenal force inside of us that can have us withstand, that God never gives us more than we can handle. And that everything that comes our way, is coming our way, so that we can grow and evolve. And if we look at it like that, if we're willing to open our hearts and see where we're shut down, where we're trying to resist life, then we have the great opportunity to step into who we always wanted to be.