As much as we love Iyanla Vanzant for her raw and real life advice, the spiritual guru is never afraid to turn the spotlight on herself. Using her own life experiences and testimony of heartbreak, Vanzant spoke to the crowd at the Brooklyn leg of her Get Over It tour – reflecting on a time where she was challenged to practice the forgiveness that she preaches.
“I spent, right here in New York, 40 years loving the same man,” she tells the crowd while jokingly admitting, “I’m a slow learner.”
“In and out, in and out, in and out of relationship with this one man, trying to get from him what I didn’t get from my daddy. But I didn’t know it at the time. I thought it was love. In denial.”
Vanzant says she was blindsided when her ex-husband filed for divorce. “The last time I married him, we had been together five or six years when he divorced me,” she says. “How you gonna leave me? I’m Iyanla Vanzant. I’ve been on Oprah! Not only did he leave, he left me for somebody I knew. But he was going to do the same thing with a stranger, so it really didn’t make no difference. I was in high pissosity.”
The TV star was in distress, finding it impossible to forgive her ex for leaving her high and dry. “Sometimes you just don’t want to be spiritual, you want somebody to burn in hell,” she admits of the situation. “That’s why a lot of the time we won’t forgive, because we want revenge. I want your a– to pay for what you did to me!
Eventually she realized what was at stake, concluding, “I knew if I didn’t forgive, my work with you would be tainted, so I had to.”
So how did the mother Vanzant heal herself from the rage and heartbreak that almost overtook her? Through various exercises like writing down and reciting “I forgive you” in the mirror until she began to believe it.
A transformational decision that shifted her healing was deciding to pack up and leave her home city. “I’ll never forget the day God told me to get out of Brooklyn. ‘Get out of Brooklyn!’ I’d been here all my life, my family was here, everything I knew was here,” she said. “‘Get out! Because you’re never going to rise above where you are until you rise above who you are.’”
Watch the full clip of Iyanla’s testimony below: