Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah – Stop the Pain

    I am often struck by how superficial many of the self-help experts really are.  The surest way to disabuse me of this notion is to show me how those "theories" are applied in real life situations.  My biggest exception is Iyanla Vanzant who routinely uses catchy phrases and acronyms.  She is quite clear that you have to apply them consciously and that they don't work in exactly the same way for everyone in every situation.  She even failed herself when she forgot to apply them to her own life.

"Until you heal the wounds in your past, you will continue to bleed."

Are you addicted to your story?  Does it feel familiar and safe?  How does it define, and limit, you now?  Is it keeping you from becoming who you are meant to be?  Get a vision – a new story!

Tell the absolute truth. State the fact, tell the truth.  Ask for what you want.  Have a plan.

    What really resonated for me in view of recent events with my mother and sister is that (paraphrasing) strong people are not allowed to experience their feelings.  I've always been the mediator and problem solver in my family.  I protect people.  Recently, my mom and sister disappointed me.  They had reasonable (but not compelling) reasons for their choices.  I accepted that, but they also wanted me to abjure my disappointment.  I could no longer be disappointed, either now or in retrospect, since they'd offered justification.   My response was: "I accept your explanation.  I'm not holding a grudge.  But I was disappointed."
    As I often do in retrospect, I created an anecdote around the experience as PART OF everything that was going on around my 50th birthday.  Stating the facts (I planned a birthday event, they and others didn't come, they had explanations but said choices in combination with other events led to a blowup, said blowup was humourous when put in perspective) was BARELY okay as long as I included their reasoning in the story.  Telling the truth (I was disappointed, said disappointment led to atypical behaviour and confrontations that led to some good results but didn't change my disappointment) was ABSOLUTELY NOT acceptable … because I was still acknowledging those earlier feelings of disappointment.
    I don't steer conversations to this topic and my mom did pretty well with my response.  My sister, however, remains adamant that she made the ONLY choice she could be expected to and that I should therefore not find it disappointing.  I continue to simply state, "I accept your explanaton, but I am entitled to my own feelings."