“People have a propensity to do mean, mindless, irrational, irresponsible and unloving things. Rather than asking why, ask ‘How can I use this for my own growth?’ Until today, you may not have realized that you have the power to re-shape and re-define any experience, no matter how devastating it seems. Just for today, take off the cloak of victimization. Look at your experience and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to use it for something good. Today, I am opening my mind and heart to the power of re-creation!”
– Iyanla Vanzant: from Until today!: daily devotions for spiritual growth and peace of mind
This is a thought-provoking quote from Ms. Vanzant , the well-known inspirational speaker, author and teacher.
I am in agreement with the vast majority of her words, in fact, all except the first sentence. In my view, people are always acting in their own self interest doing what they believe to be best for them – not always consciously, of course. If that were not true, then we would have to say that all humans are insane – which they are not. They are simply acting in their own interest for what they believe is in the best interest of their survival and that of the species. It only looks to us as mean, mindless, irrational, irresponsible, and unloving. If you ask those people doing those things, I bet most of them would say they are not committing mean, irrational, mindless, irresponsible and unloving behaviors. In fact, they’ll probably argue the exact opposite.
What Iyanla is pointing toward is that the astute student of life sees and uses everything – all circumstances, situations, and experiences – as opportunities for evolution, growth, and learning. In this context, nothing is every “bad” or “wrong,” only a greater or lesser opportunity to learn something, or practice something.
Iyanla Vanzant is an inspirational speaker, New Thought spiritual teacher, author, and television personality. She is known primarily for her books, for her eponymous talk show, and for her frequent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Vanzant was born in Brooklyn, New York, as Ronda Eva Harris. She currently resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She is also a Yoruba priestess and an ordained New Thought minister.
In the year 2000, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine, which said that “Her books, lectures and television appearances have made her a multimedia high priestess of healthy relationships.”