I recently finished reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Best-Selling author Iyanla Vanzant. I saw Ms. Vanzant on Oprah‘s farewell season — it was a good show! I didn’t run out and get the book, but months later I ordered it from the library. I admit I started doing this as a way to ‘try a book before I buy it.’ I decided I want to add this book to my library.
I found the book to be very moving, especially when Iyanla spoke about her daughter, Gemmia. I recognized myself in Gemmia; I also recognized my mother to a certain extent in Iyanla. I also recognized my father in Gemmia’s father, even though my father didn’t leave; he was an abusive alcoholic and in a sense, checked out of my life.
Like Gemmia, I threw myself into school and got good grades and was responsible. I was looking for validation from my father that I really didn’t get. He tried to tell me how proud he was when I earned my B.S., Accounting degree; however, I always felt that a part of him was jealous that I did earn a college degree. He wanted a degree and attended college here and there, but never earned a degree.
I also learned that it would be in my best interest to let go of the anger towards myself. I forgave my mom and dad; I realized they parented me based on they were parented. They didn’t know better which is why they didn’t do better. However, I still haven’t forgiven myself for the decisions I’ve made along the way such as pursuing an accounting degree, when I wanted a marketing degree. I also wanted to pursue art and writing. I pursued an accounting degree to please my father. There’s another lesson — people pleasing seems to run rampant in my family.
Getting back to forgiving myself … I need to let go of the anger I have towards myself because my life hasn’t worked out as I thought or planned it to. For example, I moved to Arizona in 2007, and three years later I was living back home with my mom in my home state. I kept beating myself because I know I’m responsible and it should have worked out because I planned everything out. I also allowed certain people to ‘guilt’ me into thinking I made a mistake by moving to Arizona; I left my mom and sister. I now realize I can’t help it if certain family members are scared to take a risk such as moving out of state. I now know — it’s none of my business. I also realized that sometimes family members won’t have your back. It is what it is. I’m now determined to ‘create’ my own family, a family of loving and supportive people.
BTW: I released my hold on Arizona when I read Iyanla’s words about hearing her daughter say, “Let go of the physical.” I re-read those words over and over until it sank into my brain.
I realize that I need to acknowledge my disappointment about my move to Arizona and other things that have occurred in my life — there are too many to list here. It’s not easy for me to wade into disappointment; I’m a fun loving Leo (horoscope sign). I know if I want to continue to heal, it would behoove me to feel the pain and work through it. If I don’t, I could repeat the self-sabotaging pattern. I’d rather work through it.
I also realized that Gen X and Gen Y could benefit from life coaching from their peers. No offense — but most life coaches seem to be old enough to be my mom or dad. I’m not saying I can’t learn from these people, obviously I learned from Ms. Vanzant, but it’s nice to hear from my peers and how they released and forgave their past, parents, spouses, them, etc. It makes think, “Gee, I’m not alone.” This is why I’m glad Iyanla wrote about her daughter, Gemmia, and her life experience.
I would recommend reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through. If you’re ready to really get to the ‘heart’ of your family’s pathology and recognize the patterns, this book is for you. If not, that’s alright. Perhaps, one day you’ll be ready.