What I Learned from Reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through

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.


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Who Are You in Your Relationships?

“The heaviest lifting builds the strongest muscles.” ~ Robert Ohotto, from the Self-abandonment in Relationships Soul Connexions radio show

My Fellow Students of Life,

Who are you in relationships? Are you a child? Are you a teenager? Are you a victim? What about a martyr? If you’re dating and looking for a ‘sugar daddy or mommy,’ you’re approaching dating from a ‘child’s’ point-of-view. You’re looking for someone to take care of you instead of you taking care of you. This may be a shock to some of you but identifying who you are in your relationships explains a lot about them.

If you’re constantly fighting with your parents, and you’re 40-years-old, you could still be in the ‘child’ role of the relationship. You could be in the ‘victim’ role as well. While it’s easy to blame parents, there comes a point where you must take responsibility for your own life. Your parents aren’t responsible for you — you are. True, they may have sucked at parenting, but it’s up to you to ‘shift’ your life for the better. Release stinking thinking and shake-off a self-defeating attitude. You’re no longer bound by the rules and regulations of your parents. You make the rules and regulations for your life. If your parents object to the ‘new’ you that’s too bad — it’s not your problem.

If you find yourself dating men or women with lots of money, you’re still in the child and co-dependency role. This isn’t healthy on many levels. Instead of being dependent on another person be dependent on you and only you. What happens if your boyfriend/girlfriend/life partner leaves you? What will you do? Would you find another source of income to replace them with? How is this beneficial to you? It will behoove you to examine ‘why’ you feel you can’t or don’t want to make a living. Perhaps you lack confidence. Maybe you don’t know what to do. Whatever the reason, figure it out today before it’s too late.

Who you are in your relationships matters. If you’re experiencing any drama or pain in your relationships, it could be due to the fact that you’re not being your authentic, adult self. You may not even be aware of this. Take a moment and examine all of your relationships closely. Ask yourself, “Who am I in this relationship?” Write down your answers in a journal or notebook. You may be surprised by the answer you receive. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.



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Which Do You Love More? Your Spouse, Life Partner, or Work


Image by Stijn Vogels via Flickr

Does the following sound like you?

  • You work all of hours of the night.
  • You speed eat — basically inhale your food.
  • You hold your breath throughout the day.
  • It’s always ‘five more’ minutes.
  • You check your Blackberry, Droid, iPhone, etc. every five minutes because it’s glued to your hand.
  • You miss important dates such as birthday, anniversary, date night, kids’ events, etc. because of work.
  • You constantly check your email and social media pages.
  • You’ll always be there in 20 minutes.
  • Your spouse and or life partner is fed up and ready to walk.

What can you do to save your relationship?

If you’re willing to look at yourself from the inside out, ask yourself these and other questions, “Why am I a workaholic? What am I getting from it? What does my career or business represent? Why and how does it ‘fill’ me up? What am I avoiding? Am I afraid of intimacy? Do I have control issues? Do I have a fear of failure? Who am I trying to please? Does being a workaholic make me a better person? Am I trying to achieve a certain status? Am I still trying to prove myself to my parents?” You can also do the following:

  • Schedule date nights and stick to them.
  • Schedule vacations and take them. Leave your iPad, laptop, etc. at home. Okay, you may take your cell or mobile.
  • Turn-off your Blackberry, iPhone, Droid, etc. at a certain time.
  • Stop reading your email and social media websites at a certain hour.
  • Be flexible.
  • Acknowledge your spouse and or life partner more than you already do. Thank them for being supportive and loving you.
  • Listen more to your spouse, life partner, and kids. Don’t blow them off.
  • Spend time with your kids’ by doing something fun.
  • Take a breath once in a while; deep breaths are calming.
  • Mediate 15 minutes per day — it will center you.


Is your relationship/love in jeopardy because you’re a workaholic? It’s something to think about.

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Are You Dating Someone That Doesn’t Like Your First Name?

I was ‘channel surfing’ the other day because I was taking a break from writing my book, and I landed Mario Lopez’s show Saved by the Baby which aired on VH1. He and his girlfriend Courtney welcomed their bundle of joy in September but the show is still running. Mario seems like a nice guy with dimples that go on for miles but I was taken aback that he doesn’t call his girlfriend by her first name — he calls her by her last name. When he met her, he expected her to have a name like Sophia, Gabriella, or something ‘exotic’ because of her looks. I was stunned when he said that “he never pictured himself with a woman named Courtney.” She sat there with a ‘whatever’ look on her face; she looked stunned. Mario also admitted that he’s a bit OCD. Who knew? He seems so ‘with it’ and cool, calm, and collective!

I find it fascinating that men and women would date someone who didn’t like their first name. Isn’t your name important to you? What does that say about the person you’re with? What else don’t they like about you and why are they with you? If someone doesn’t like your first name there’s something deeper going on below the surface. You may want to reconsider dating someone if they don’t like your first name.

Dating someone that doesn’t like your first name could be a blow to your self-esteem and you could develop psychological issues from it. In fact, you may want to assess the level of your self-confidence and self-worth. Don’t you want to date someone who likes all of you, including your first name? If you really think about it, you may find it odd that the person you’re dating doesn’t like your first name and calls you by your last name or gives you a ‘pet’ name.

Celebrity reality television shows could do more good than harm. People will get to see past the ‘illusion’ that’s created in Hollywood. You may think celebrities are perfect and have the perfect life but you could be in for a rude awakening. In fact, your bubble could burst if you find out your favorite star isn’t as perfect as you thought they were. Remember, no one is perfect, not even celebrities!

If I ever watch a rerun of Saved by the Bell, I’ll question whether or not A.C. Slater actually liked Jessie’s name. If not, why was he really with her? Seriously, I give Mario credit for admitting his flaws on national television. Most people can’t admit their flaws when they look in the mirror! Hopefully it works out for him and his girlfriend. Here’s wishing them the best of luck!


Would you date a man/woman if he/she didn’t like your first name? Share.