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


  1. V said:
    Now that was refreshing. Thanks Yolanda.

  2. From Helen:
    Nice Yolanda. Ok what do you do if the person is crazy as hell, write them off and say forget it?

    YoBo's response: Do as Miss Iyanla said and CROSS THE STREET!

  3. Hey girl!

    You are so right about this! I had to cut off one of my long time associates ove 30 years friends) because she thought that parts of my illness with kidney disease was funny and made fun of me at a family reunion in CO. I just don't deal or talk with her any more. She does not have a history to saying she is sorry. She is just too ignorant to understand about kidney disease.

    Anyway, when it is gossip or lies or something that is truly petty, work it out so that you will not lose that close friend. It is just not worth it. Truly good people are difficult to find, especially long term friends. Keep up the good work and advice!

    Have a great day! I hope that the Valentine's Day Event was a blast. I was just not feeling well and could not come, but my heart and spirit was with you guys!

    Take good care and be well!


  4. From Deedra:
    It is a good one indeed like everything else you send out. So truthful and encouraging. I love Iyanla too and recently met her @ a workshop I attended. Oh and the book...spiritually & emotionally honest to the core! Her evolution is amazing watch and read. That connection between her & Oprah.....Wow!

  5. From Donta the Author:
    This was right on point!!!! It was one of the most helpful interviews I've seen. When Iyanla talked about burying her daughter I wanted to scream. She said "If I could overcome putting my child in a box, I could do anything." I ran through the house shouting!!! lol.

    Thanks for adding the link. I just purchased the book. :-)

  6. From Shirley:
    I don’t know how you got my e-mail, but I’m delighted. I will create an opportunity to contact you for conversation and training possibilities at my church in Rancho Cucamonga where I serve as Director of Corporate Relations. We have a similar mind-set and I have been teaching what you are for many years now (over 30) and I am currently in the Leadership doctoral program at Loma Linda University pursuing my doctorate in Public Health Policy. Thank you for sharing your observations and lessons learned. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  7. From Valerie:
    Thank you for sharing I have my Master Degree in Marriage Family and Children Counseling. So it is always good when you are in touch with self. Continue to love you and be blessed. Do not ever allow outside forces to penetrate your marriage. Only you and Frank can hurt your marriage; no one else. The two of you have the power, no one else does.

  8. From Karen:
    Hi Gurlllllll,
    How have you been? I really enjoyed your views on the show. I will reflect back on some of my misunderstandings along the way as well. So funny how as you said those two very insightful and intelligent women got separated for that long from a mere misunderstanding. One person makes a living from giving advice on how to handle relationships and one is a major force in many people lives. It just goes to show, none of us are perfect and must keep our own porch swept!!!! Take care.......Your sister Gail is so wonderful...I love her so much!

  9. From Corinne:
    Girl, you have me over here in tears!!! Let's talk when we have time!!

  10. Anonymous comment:
    Been going through so much lately and I'm just tired. I realize now, because of what your newsletter says, it's a test from the Lord. My life has to be torn apart to be put back together again with a new foundation!

  11. From Empress:
    mmm hmm very good newsletter. watching the show and seeing people like (oprah) who i grew up believing were larger than life... wow they are human. they deal with the same things and issues regular people deal with.

  12. From Anikta
    Ooh..i love it. YoBo for President!

  13. From Shiela:
    This is wonderful!!!! Food 4 thought and to burp on.