Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Oprah and Iyanla Showdown!

Hey there! YoBo here. Let me ask you a question .... Have you ever had someone dog you out for no reason? It happens to me quite often. At the same time I have been wrongly accused of dogging folks out when Lord knows that was never my intention! I recently had the opportunity to see the remnants of a disintegrated relationship - and both parties swear they meant no ill will to the other. I'm making reference to Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vanzant.

Every other Tuesday used to be my favorite day because I would get to see Iyanla do her thing on the Oprah show. Iyanla is my girl. Plus our names are so similar: Yolanda Bozant ... Iyanla Vanzant. Back in 1998 Iyanla found me in the Valley of O.P.P.: Other People's Problems. After reading "The Value In The Valley," I was forced to admit a truth about myself: I deliberately chose to interject myself into Other People's Problems so that I wouldn't have to work on my own issues. That admission began the process of re-creating my life in alignment with my destiny.

Then one day I was all ready for some Tuesday TV and my girl was gone. Just like that ... gone! The next thing I knew The Iyanla Vanzant Show was coming on head-to-head with Oprah. I thought to myself, "I know my girl ain't crazy enough to think that she can compete with Oprah!" I never knew what really happened ... until last Wednesday when the two ladies had a no-holds barred conversation.

As I watched Oprah and Iyanla re-hash the details of their last conversation from 11 years ago, all I could say was, "Ooooh to the weeee!" It was amazing to see how two intelligent, articulate and professional women could have a conversation with each other, and yet walk away with two different understandings. There was a lot of, "I thought you meant..." and "No, what I said was..." and "Why didn't you just come out and tell me that..." and "I did say that..." and "No, that's not what I heard...."

Suddenly I thought about an incident from a few months ago which involved a lot of 'he saids' and 'she saids'. What had happened was a good friend heard through the grapevine that Frank and I got divorced. He did the man-to-man thing and went to Frank. Our friend said he was confused because he had spoken to both of us separately and things seemed to be okay, yet somebody kept calling his house to say we were divorcing. He wouldn't reveal the gossiper because we know them through religious affiliations. When Frank told me the story, I wondered who in the sam hill was dumb enough to waste their precious time placing phone calls to gossip about me. Seriously y'all, I live a VERY BORING LIFE. Don't let the smooth taste fool you. So I made a FaceBook post: "I wonder about the saints at times. Someone just called hubby to check on us because they were told we had divorced. I asked, 'Did they call to gossip or to pray?'" Our friend's wife read my post and took offense. She immediately sent me a message to say that they were only concerned about us and she was offended that I would accuse them of being gossips.

Lord have mercy Jesus! What had started out innocently had somehow gone horribly wrong. My post was not directed at her or her husband but when I went back and re-read what I had written, I saw exactly how she came to that understanding. Based on my post, it did seem as though I was pointing the finger at them. Rather than write anything else that could potentially be misconstrued, I asked her to call me. She did and within a few minutes all was well. But what if she had decided not to reach out to me immediately? What if she assumed that my message was directed toward her and never told me? What if she chose to remain silent and wonder why I dogged her out for no reason? She and I would have been in the same boat as Oprah and Iyanla. Eleven years could have possibly passed with me not knowing I had offended my friend.

Since watching the no-holds barred conversation between Oprah and Iyanla (part one), I have spent the last week re-examining incidents where, in my opinion, people dogged me out for no reason. If you have ever been dogged out, take a moment to give it some thought. I know it won't be easy but let's have our own no-holds barred conversation. Were we really dogged out or was it possibly a misunderstanding? Did we misinterpret anything that was said or done? Could we have immediately reached out to clear the air?

People hear the same conversation differently. What comes out of our mouth is filtered through our own frames of reference (which are based upon individual experiences and beliefs). Our words are then filtered through the listener/reader's frames of reference. Depending upon that person's individual experiences and beliefs, the most innocent statement/action can have a totally different meaning. That's exactly what happened between me and my friend. Nobody was right and nobody was wrong. It was just a misunderstanding that fortunately got resolved quickly.

The whole world has just witnessed Oprah and Iyanla reconnect after an 11-year separation, all because of a misunderstanding. If such a thing can happen to these two dynamic women, what makes you think it won't happen to us? I am so glad that two of my favorite people chose to embrace peace in the midst of their broken pieces. God has made that same peace available to each and every one of us. And this is one time that I will go churchy and say, "You can have it - just reach up and grab it!"

Be All You Can Be!

(310) 528-5115

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Things People Hate

Hey yall! I'm writing to share some great news. At my November 2010 doctor visit, I was placed on meds to regulate my blood pressure. Granted my numbers were only 138/90 (and half the folks I know over age 40 would kill for those digits) but it has been steadily rising over the last three years. After five days of taking meds and dealing with the side effects, I decided to do something different so I could stop taking those drugs. At my February 2011 doctor visit, my blood pressure had dropped to 117/74 -- lower than three years ago.

How did I get my numbers to decrease? Well, before I tell you what I did, let me first tell you what I did not do. I did not get in a prayer line. I did not jump three times and get slain in the spirit. I did not have anointed hands laid on me. I did not have blessed oil dabbed on me. I did not take a victory lap around the sanctuary. I did not say hecomininahonda or tiemybowtie or eatamosquito. I did not rebuke the high blood pressure demon. I did not sing, 'I can have it, just reach up and grab it.' What did I do? I quit eating the stuff that made my blood pressure rise and the next thing I knew, I had myself a miracle! Look at God!

See, what had happened was my friend's church was doing a 21-day fast: the "Daniel" fast. I could eat everything except meat, dairy, processed foods, and white foods (white rice, white bread, white pasta, white sugar, white frosting, white ice cream, etc). In other words, all the stuff I like! Initially it sounded as though there was very little I could eat but my creativity kicked in quickly. I did my fair share of cheating but overall I hung in there. The only reason I participated in the fast was to provide emotional support for my friend who had never fasted. Needless to say, I was more than pleased by the way my innards responded to the dietary change.

Which brings us to my point. People either want change but they don't want to change, or they want everything around them to change while they stay the same. (Did I just say the same thing twice?) Take myself for instance -- I want to lose 50 pounds but I don't want to keep my feet out of Ken's Ice Cream Parlor. I want to get close to the Lord but I'm usually too tired or too busy or too lazy to attend Bible study. I want to do like the Good Book says and bless those that curse me, but when I try to say 'bless you' guess what that ol' devil makes come out my mouth instead? (FYI: People who refuse to change are very good at playing the blame game.)

I wrote this message a week ago but it remained unsent because I couldn't come up with an ending ... until this morning when my fasting buddy called to share her pastor's sermon from Sunday. I made her repeat everything because it provided the perfect closing. Pastor Diego posed questions to his congregation: "Why do you wait until you are threatened before you decide to change? Why is it that you have to be served divorce papers before you decide to change? Why do you have to go to the doctor and let him tell you all the things wrong before you decide to change? Why do you wait until you are pushed up against the wall instead of doing things right from the beginning? ... There will never be resolution until confrontation takes place.... What needs to change in your life? That's what you need to answer."

If you can't say "amen", then just say "ouch." That brings to mind a quote by Pastor Harun Giles at my church: "There are two things people hate: (1) change, and (2) the way things are. Holla if you hear who? ME!

Be All You Can Be!