Lessons from Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant

I just watched a re-run of the Oprah Show in which she and Iyanla Vanzant had a conversation for the first time in eleven years in front of a studio audience. My greatest take away from watching these two women is so simple and yet so life changing.

Iyanla, after leaving the Oprah Show where she had been a frequent guest expert, went on to have her own show, the Iyanla Show. The lesson that I got from what she said came when she described how badly she was treated at the Iyanla show. Rather than say that people treated her badly, she rephrased what she started to say and then said “let me tell you WHAT I ALLOWED…” Wow!

Starting today, I will never have another “pity party” talking about how someone treated me badly and not at some point give some consideration to the fact that whatever they did, no matter how bad, was not only done by them but by me as well because I ALLOWED it.

So, my friends, let this be a lesson for you as well. Think back on your life and all the people who you, to this day, believe treated you badly. Remember that one boyfriend (or girlfriend) who “did you wrong” or those people at that job who you just know belong in hell for what they did to you? Well, the lesson here is that some portion of that blame (if blaming is what you’re doing) belongs to you…because you ALLOWED them to do whatever it is that you say they did!

Iyanla concluded by saying that she believes that in every experience, even if that experience is someone treating you in an unacceptable manner, there lies a lesson that you need to learn. For me that lesson has been simple; as Dr. Phil puts it: you have to teach people how to treat you.

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