Each Sunday I watch Oprah's Super Soul Sunday faithfully. If I am traveling I DVR each episode. It is one of the small indulgences I allow myself as a woman, that truly has had an impact on my growth and well being as a person.
But nothing has riveted and captured my attention like the last two episodes of Oprah sitting with her long time sister friend, spiritual coach, and at one point sister nemesis Iyanla Vanzant. They both seem more powerful than ever; and more centered than ever. Their public display of "restoration" has set a code of conduct for women everywhere on how we must learn to forgive, extend grace, and collaborate in order to reach our greatest, highest selves.
I like to say when we can apologize, we can thrive!
As we all well know the two women had a public period of silence between them due to the fact that Iyanla felt she was ready for her own show and Oprah did not. Iyanla then took an offer from Barbara Walters to come and work with her and have her own show. The show did not work out well and Iyanla who was at the top of her game at the time (best-selling author, 7 figure book deals, speaking, etc.) started a very public fall from grace, wealth, and prominence. She even lost her 30 year old daughter to Cancer, was sued by her publisher and worse. She truly lost everything.
Fast forward to today. Before Oprah's historic show on ABC retired in May 2011, Oprah invited Iyanla back on to discuss her latest book Peace From Broken Pieces, but also to discuss publicly for the first time in years their very personal falling out. (See: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Oprah-and-Iyanla-Vanzants-Misunderstanding-Video). What was so amazing about their on-air discussion is that they both had very different understandings about what had happened and why. This is important sisters, don't miss this. These two very intelligent, powerful women were talking past one another versus to one another. But thank God they finally did!
What we have all witnessed today is a truly transformed Iyanla as a coach, healer, and light post for women and human beings in general. The power of the example of these two Baby-Boomer women "working it out" in public should not be lost on us as women of all generations and here is why:
- Fact: Oprah used the power of her platform to propel Iyanla into a global household name. Fact: Oprah often gave Iyanla the stage on her show weekly as she would sit in the audience and listen.
- Oprah had every human right to be hurt by Iyanla's bad choice to leave her sponsorship and go elsewhere. I am sure she felt betrayed deeply. However, once Iyanla fell upon hard times, Oprah chose to love, extend grace, and lift her up. Oprah chose restoration versus gloating, or blasting Iyanla.
- Iyanla was able to learn the lessons of her pain, during her time away from Oprah and return to Oprah humble. Her ability to admit that she was not in a place to receive all Oprah was giving her in that season was a powerful statement we should all embrace. We have to be whole and healed in order to receive the blessings and the good people that God sends our way. We have to love ourselves first before we can be open to love from others.
If women of a new generation (of all races and creeds) can learn from these two inspired women in our midst, nothing will be impossible for us to conquer. They have taught us that when we as women can forgive, extend grace, and restore each other when we fall short, what can come out of it is a stronger unity and purpose that helps us to SOAR!
What Oprah and Iyanla are modeling for us is a sister code of conduct that says: I can handle conflict. I want to pursue peace over being right. I can talk to my sister civilly. I can hear her point of view and share mine with respect. I can have the courage to say I may be wrong. I can restore my sister because I have been restored. I can love her because I have been loved. I can forgive her because I have been forgiven. We have to get to a place in this new century that we recognize that when we are united as women, we are powerful. We are truly powerful when we can get beyond our petty squabbles and differences and instead have the courage to listen to one another, so that we can heal and grow as people.
You only need look at these two amazing, fabulous women to know that anything is possible when you can operate from a place of love, forgiveness, and restoration.