In the Meantime – Iyanla Vanzant
One of the best relationship (love) books that I’ve read over the years is this one from Iyanla. It’s totally thought-provoking and resonates with me. The “meantime” she speaks of is that in between relationships.
It’s a time, she asserts, where we are best utilizing our energy wisely on self-knowledge and self-awareness, and I firmly agree.
This is a book that I’ve personally underlined phrases and concepts on nearly every page. She describes the process – of being in between – as if it’s a house and we need to work our way from the basement (self worth and self value are found there) all the way up to the top floor.
Though I suspect the book will appeal more to women – I think men could benefit from such self-evaluation too. A lot of its principles are universal.
The first floor is about healing and taking responsibility for the choices we’ve made where relationships have been concerned and and also with recognizing our patterns.
On the second floor you know you need healing and start doing whatever it takes to do so – reading books, attending workshops, running around trying to figure out the Right Path (I must be on the Second floor).
This second floor is where you realize, in a sense, that every relationship happens for a reason and is necessary for our growth.
The second floor is about surrendering and forgiving.
“On the second floor, you’re really shifting from the passive/aggressive model to the receptive /active approach” (pg 66).
The steps, Iyanla says, between the floors will vary from person to person – judging by our level of awareness.
On the third floor – gone is life as we knew it and everything takes on a different meaning to us. We may need to let go of people in our lives who have tempt us to engage in basement level or first-floor behavior.
From here on out – Iyanla reckons all we need is “acceptance, service, support and honor” to be our spiritual cleansers.
When unconditional love your reality you will treat all people the way you would want to be treated, the way you treat God. And you know what? They will treat you the same way.
Many people live content on this third floor which is like a “retirement community” but there is, for others another floor to ascend to – the attic.
“The Love is Sweet suite”. The attic is the home to the unconditional love. A bit on page 76 strikes a cord:
“There is only one way to shift your painful conditional attachments to peaceful unconditional love. You must create new love expectations based on honor, respect and support. Honor what you feel by believing you can have what you want. Respect whee you are are in your life, understanding that when you are ready to move forward you will. Support yourself by refusing to accept less than you want.”
Some more of my favorite lines and concepts from this incredible book are:
- The person who stays to fight with you (this does not mean physical fighting or abuse) is usually the one who really loves you.
- We love in others what we love in ourselves
- You are always being prepared for something better or protected from something worse.
- Everyone in your life is a reflection of you and your reflection of God.
- You will be a role model. You will teach others the full and true meaning of love by being a living example of love. This is where Jesus lived. This is where Buddha lived. They taught love by loving.
- Letting go, which is a form of housecleaning does not mean you stop loving. It means you make a conscious choice about how to love which can include loving someone from a distance.
That last one is resonating with me considerably at the moment…
I recommend getting her audio tapes – as they’re very good too. A definite fave!
More from the publisher below…and a link to buy from Amazon too!
You know where you want to be, but you have no clue how to get there. You know exactly what you want in life, but what you want is nowhere in sight. Perhaps your vision is unclear, your purpose still undefined. On top of it all, your relationships, particularly your romantic relationships, are failing. If these scenarios feel familiar way down in the deepest part of your gut, then you, my dear, are smack dab in the middle of the meantime. The bestselling author of Acts of Faith and The Value in the Valley — whose books have empowered countless women — now reaches out to anyone who yearns for love, in a book about relationships that can help them reach new levels of awareness, spiritual growth, and fulfillment.
Your mother, bless her heart, and your father, with all of his good intentions, did not prepare you for the meantime. They did not because they could not. No one can prepare you or help you find what you are looking for. What you need is love, not romance. Love, not more money. Love, not a new car. Love is the only thing that can make the meantime worthwhile. Once you find love, true self-love, and unconditional love for everyone all the time, things will look, feel, and be a lot better. The question is: What do you do in the meantime? We must mop and sweep away the stuff that trips us up, keeps us confused, and makes the meantime miserable. In this book, Iyanla Vanzant tells us how we can do this thorough mental housekeeping. If we do a good job of it, the light will come through. Once that happens, our spirits will shine, bringing in the light of true love and happiness. – The Publisher