What I Know Now
By Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant
The following is an excerpt from my book, Tapping the Power Within – A Path of Self-Empowerment for Women
What I Know Now is that every living thing has a spirit.
However, there is only one Spirit. The spirit of a thing or being is connected to the Spirit of life, who is God, the Creator and essence of life.
Through breath, God imbues every living thing with its being and its essence. The presence of Spirit is everywhere, at all times, giving life to all things.
What I Know Now is that there is a seed of peace, joy, love, and wisdom in each of us.
My seeds had been trampled upon by the bad behavior of the big people, the adults in my life . . . It would be a spiritual bypass for me to say they did the best they could, because the truth is, we can all be better if we choose to.
What I Know Now about spirituality is that you cannot make it up as you go along.
The principles must be embodied, embraced, and lived. There must be accountability for the development of spiritual integrity. Whether you receive your guidance from a sacred text, a minister, or a spiritual teacher, everyone must be held accountable for the spiritual beliefs that manifest as behavior.
What I Know Now is that making life harder than it needs to be does not make you more valuable, worthy, or stronger. In fact, it gives you wrinkles!
What I Know Now is that most of us simply never received the tools or the information that we need to create the lives we dream of living.
In addition, the challenges and hardships we face in life—more often than not—cause us to lose faith in ourselves, in our abilities, and in our dreams.
What I Know Now is that the people who hurt me, betrayed me, and disappointed me did not change.
My prayers for spiritual clarity, peace of mind, and the desire to be pleasing in my service to God changed how I viewed myself, my life, and the others who come to share the experience of living with me.
What I Know Now is that every woman needs and can do rituals to feed, comfort, and develop her spirit.
A nightly bath can be a ritual. A morning or evening prayer practice can be a ritual. Taking a day for yourself, withdrawing from the world, or doing something that calms and feeds your soul on a regular basis can be a ritual.
What I Know Now is that winter is the time for us to rest and renew.
The cold, frost, and snow encourage us to slow down, go within (physically and spiritually), and rest.
Spring is the time for us to awaken and plant . . . Summer is when we ripen and reap the rewards of what we have planted—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Fall is the most appropriate time for us to evaluate and cleanse.
What I Know Now is that happiness is a temporary condition that arises from external stimulation.
Joy is a state of mind and being that feeds and nurtures the soul. Many things that make us happy satisfy the demands of the ego. Joy is a Spirit-driven, Spirit-given experience. When we have joy, we are centered in the heart, grounded in calm, and unshaken by the world at large.
What I Know Now is that many of us still do not know what we are seeking.
We embark upon a spiritual search with a preconceived idea of what we should experience and what we can expect as a result. Few of us understand our need for mental or emotional healing. Others dismiss the connection between our physical-world experiences and our spiritual curriculum.
What I Know Now is that anyone on the path of spiritual evolution must realize that she will not get full-time rewards for part-time practice.
When it is your desire to make God, your spirit, and a life of spiritual integrity a priority, the blessings you will receive are not for you alone. They are to serve as a demonstration of what is possible to others.