After Hardships, Iyanla Vanzant is Learning to Smile Again

Bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant and Tavis Smiley./Malcolm Ali/Fina Images

By Dennis J. Freeman

New York bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant is no longer a broken vessel. Personal tragedy, a collapsed relationship, self-doubt, financial ruin and embarrassment had nearly derailed one of the most influential motivational speakers in the world.

 Fortunately for the rest of us, Vanzant is still around to share her testimony of going through turbulent periods in her life, while at the same time managing to find a smile to bless other folks.

The result is her new book,” Peace From Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through,” published by SmileyBooks.

In her latest literary work, Vanzant unleashes her journey of promise, hope, despair and personal and professional hardship.  Her determination to fight through the cloud of life’s unpredictable cycles gives readers a lesson in humility and inspiration. 

 Vanzant has been through the fire, dropped in the valley of darkness and even loss her will to live at one point. She’s seen the rough side of the mountain. And she has scaled the depths of heartbrokenness. But the critically-acclaimed author has rebounded from her personal trials to tell a story of redemption, forgiveness and being at peace, “Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through.”

 Vanzant, who resides in Maryland, recently appeared at a book signing in Los Angeles, California to promote her book. Media mogul Tavis Smiley introduced Vanzant to a standing-room audience at the Museum of African American Art, which is located on the third floor of the Baldwin Crenshaw Mall in Los Angeles.  

It’s been truly a journey for Vanzant, who has inspired millions of people with her masterful teachings about the human spirit through her outstanding writings.

But during the time Vanzant was inspiring others around the globe, she was going through her round of personal and professional setbacks. Daughter Gemmia, her rock and her best friend, passed away from cancer. Her nearly four decade relationship with the man she loved fell apart. Adding to her woes, Vanzant came up on financial hardship, which put her on the brink of questioning her own purpose in life.

She has now found that purpose. That purpose no longer revolves around the fact trying to finding a substitute for the love she never received from her father. Vanzant, who used to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show as a popular guest, said everything she has done up to this point in her life, whether it was being involved in relationships, becoming the successful speaker and author she’d become and just living life, was searching for something that was not there.

 She now has that connection with her spiritual Father, she said.

Doing self-examination about her life in the book, Vanzant reveals that her childhood was largely spent being emotionally disconnected to the person she longed to connect with.

“I was trying to marry my father,” Vanzant said. “I was trying to get my father’s acceptance and acknowledgement and approval, so the demands, the requirements, the expectations I placed on my husband wasn’t about him at all. What I was missing was my dad.”

One thought on “After Hardships, Iyanla Vanzant is Learning to Smile Again

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