The following is an excerpt from my latest book, Peace from Broken Pieces.
Chapter 9: Pushed to the Breaking Point
There was a period of about three years in which I simply was not fully present to what was going on within me or around me. The re-release of Acts of Faith, coupled with the simultaneous release of two new books, In the Meantime and One Day My Soul Just Opened Up, took my work to the New York Times bestseller list and put me in such demand that I was traveling four or more days a week, every week, month after month for more than two years.
And it was during this time that Spirit and I became all but strangers. On most days, I lost track of my spiritual practices and my faith. I prayed and I meditated, but I was no longer sure what I believed or how I felt about what I believed. The thing that saved me and kept my faith alive was when I sat to write, stood before an audience to speak, or coached another person, I could feel the living presence of Spirit in my being. These were the times when the failure of my marriage and my feelings of unworthiness didn’t matter. When I was on purpose, doing my work, I knew without a shadow of doubt that God had my back. Yet, for some reason, I slipped out of the Presence when it came to handling my personal life. Then, in the midst of my human madness of living out my personal lie, I got the telephone call that would change my life forever. I was invited to be a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Long before the young Eminem penned the lyrics, some part of me knew “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow!” I got my hair and nails done, put on my best suit, and flew to Chicago to seize the opportunity of a lifetime. I was going to be on the show to talk about love and relationships. Lesson number one: Never talk about stuff publicly that will be broadcasted around the world unless you are really clear that you mean what you say. My relationship with God was hit and miss at best. My marriage was on the verge of being a mess. My relationship with myself was a complete disaster, and I was slated to appear on Oprah to talk about things that I was still trying to master.
I was totally numb until I walked through the door of the studio. In that moment, a fleeting thought caught my attention:
She is going to do your show.
What show? I don’t have a show.
Then the security officer beckoned me forward and the moment passed.
Everything went beautifully on the set. I connected with Oprah, and I felt that she connected with me. I sat across from her, sharing what I knew to be true about love and relationships, even though I had not mastered it in my own life. Then I left the studio the same way I had entered it: numb.
Back home, [my daughter] Gemmia was beside herself with joy. She knew, in a way that I did not, that something magnificent had been set into motion from that one appearance. She was always right. Within a few months Oprah premiered what she called Change Your Life Television, with a faculty of experts that included Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, and John Gray. I was invited to be a part of that faculty. It meant that I would appear on the show once a month. My area of expertise would be love and relationships. Oh joy! Oh rapture!
Working with a few of the show’s different producers, I appeared in several segments that were widely popular. One, which told the story of my life, was particularly meaningful to many viewers. Many of them knew my name, but few knew my story. With my entire family in the audience, I shared things about myself that had been healed but not exposed to public light. Oprah, an excellent interviewer, asked me a number of probing questions. The one that really caught my attention was, “How do you know when you have healed an issue?”
From a deep place within my gut I responded, “When you can tell the story and it doesn’t bring up any pain, you know it is healed.”
In that moment, on that stage, I was being as authentic as I knew how to be. I would not discover until much later that my personal lie was running my life and using my mouth.
One of the best shows during my time with Oprah was the men’s show. On one side, the producers gathered a group of men of all ages, my husband among them, to talk about their challenges with women. On the other side was a group of women who were ready and willing to talk about their disappointments with men. My job was to help both sides get on the same side of the table. It was meant to be insightful, inspiring, and instructional, and it seemed pretty innocent—until one of the men made a comment about women only wanting men for their money and what they could provide. I offered several counterarguments, but he and a few of the others were intent on arguing me down. So, to make the point, I put another nail in the coffin of my marriage. With all of the sincerity I could muster, I stood there on national television and said:
“That may be true for some, but it is not true for all. I love my husband and he doesn’t have any money. What he has is a huge heart and a lot of love for me. That is what really matters.”
Find out what happened next by reading the rest of this chapter on Oprah.com: http://www.oprah.com/own-iyanla-fix-my-life/Book-Excerpt-Peace-from-Broken-Pieces/4#ixzz27PBZbiOI
About Iyanla Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant, accomplished author, inspirational speaker, talk show host and living testament to the value in life’s valleys and the power of acting on faith, goes behind closed doors and deep inside people’s lives for emotional, riveting conversations in the new hit series- Iyanla: Fix My Life
Iyanla has had a unique life filled with many personal struggles, which she has overcome and used to become stronger. Now, she’s back, helping people fix their lives, using her past to help others’ futures. Secrets will be revealed, truths will be uncovered and emotions will come out as Iyanla teaches us how to pull back the curtain on what is broken in our lives.
Iyanla: Fix My Life is produced by Harpo Studios. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FixMyLife
Read more: http://IyanlaFixMyLife.com/