Iyanla Vanzant A Conversation With Men
Iyanla has a candid in-studio discussion with a group of men about love, infidelity and the responsibilities of being a father.
Never was there a greater need for therapy and life coaching than the need in the African American Community. Something happened over the past 30 years that transformed how we interact with one another at an alarming rate. This show placed that hurt and situation in your living room and on your heart.
Watching Iyanla Vanzant discuss the issues of men with numerous children by multiple women – a discovery was made about those who are broken. Yes, those broken men may look handsome, dress nice, have careers/jobs, and hold it all together while promoting themselves to women, yet they are broken.
The audience was brought to tears in particular by one young man that attempted to commit suicide and had dealt with issues of being abandoned by his father and having a mother that failed him. To hear a mother ask for forgiveness and apologize for taking her anger out on him and not being there for him was so powerful. Ryan, a man with 4 children with 4 different women, and 1 on the way was able to display the person he was inside-hurt, damaged, and broken beyond belief. For him to forgive his mother and almost drop to his knees from hurt he hid/hides within was something to behold. This man needed the sympathy of other men and compassion (not judgment) for the situations that led him to make such choices. He thanked his mother for showing him how to care for his children and expressed his love for her. He forgave her for treating him badly due to anger and hurt his mother was experiencing. He admitted he was tired of being in this dark room, scared/alone with no one witnessing his cries for help to which his mother responded I see you and know you are in pain.
Another aha moment was when a man admitted he felt hopeless regarding the situation of all the children he created. Nathaniel father of 28 children with 16 women. He admitted that he didn't know how to deal with the reality he created. When Iyanla stood in front of him and spoke to him as a single mother and told her how she felt as a woman (representing a woman that was the mother of his child) left hurt and destroyed by promises of what was not true. She brought to him her hurt by giving him something so precious as her body and her womb only to be left behind. The reality of the fact that she “trusted him” and he was not in truth presenting the situation to be something that it was not. As a single mother she acknowledged that left her with her hurt, her confusion, abandonment, and she still has to figure out how to make things work with the children he left behind. She asked him to understand that she, representing the single mother, does not get the opportunity to leave or feel overwhelmed because she is left with the responsibility of raising children.
Iyanla brought to light, with discussions from men and women, the conversation that is not taking place amongst African-Americans. It's like a reality to the story line of The Color Purple where they explained between the fighting of Harpo and Sofia, the babies came.
Words can not express the deep inward search we need to conduct. Iyanla shared with the women that they were broken and had issues long before these men showed up. Their issues are their issues and were not solely created by a man entering their lives. So many women with father abandonment issues driven by a common thread “ I don't want to be alone.” There is a price to be paid, man or woman,when you can not be okay being one with yourself comfortable with who you are. No man or woman can substitute for the love you need to have for yourself.
One man even admitted he has used his charm and sexual behavior to get people to co-sign on property and vehicles. Perhaps this is the result of women who refuse to be alone so they settle and take whatever they can get so they aren't alone. How good can you feel about yourself when you are paying someone to sleep with you and lie to you about the possibility of a relationship? What does one tell one's soul or conscience when degraded by providing assistance with a man's finances? Oh how sad. What's happening to the African-American culture?
- The Thank You That Brought Iyanla to Tears - Video
Ryan has four, soon to be five, children with four different women. During a discussion with Iyanla Vanzant about love, infidelity and the responsibilities of being a father, Ryan and his mother begin to work through their issues on Iyanla's stage.
The conversation within the African-American community that is not taking place is how broken we are as a people. Men and women who engage in relationships like houses built on sand (without strong foundation) ,the superficial (spoken words and promises), and people broken seeking temporary release by casual-irresponsible sexual encounters leading to children. Broken people that seek broken interaction and create broken trails of hurt and devastating with every person they encounter. The love you seek is the love you need to have for yourself. There are devastating effects when you make decisions based on not being alone and based in placing band aids on gushing wounds. Rather than mastering the art of makeup and fashionable clothing, how about each person seek to tackle their demons and work towards becoming a whole and healthy person. When one is broken, they seek people that will continue to harm to ensure the self fulfilling prophecy takes place.
African-American people need to worry less about fashion, hair, and clothing and make it a priority (before creating children) to address any issues they might have. If you tried to commit suicide or in this case, continuing to have children by multiple women then feeling overwhelmed with the situation, then you need to ask for help. All these children are born in the cycle of fatherless children, damaged, and broken with no guidance. No one is having the conversation about good and bad choices, having these children meet their brothers and sisters, and no one is teaching and showing to make better choices. This program gave insight for women and was a mirror for men that encounter the feeling of being incomplete, isolated, and alone without a father. Despite this situation they (both parties) willfully put themselves in the same situations that led to such devastation and hurt created by having fatherless homes.
Collectively African-Americans need to have coaching to give guidance. For a man not to have any male role-model and be expected to know himself and have definition and example setting for being a man is a disadvantage. There should be more forums for men to stand up and state their hurt, need for help, and making the decision not to partake in creating the same bad situations.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
― Lao Tzu
“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
― Ramana Maharshi
"When you see crazy coming, cross the street."
- Iyanla Vanzant
If you know yourself and love yourself, you can not live your life without purpose and decisions that reflect the love, dignity, and respect you have for yourself. Men and women collectively would not settle for the situation for such a headline as: 34 kids, 17 baby mothers.
For all men who witnessed this show and the ladies that partook into the minds of men, to quote Iyanla ..............you must do the work.
What are your thoughts on this situation?