Motivational Monday: 4 Responsibilities in Life by Iyanla Vanzant


Since it is Monday and often times it is a challenge to make it through the day for WHATEVER reason, I want to challenge your norm while inspiring you to become a better You! I dont know what someone is going through and in need of so I hope it touches someone!

4 Responsibilities in Life by Iyanla Vanzant

In the universe, there is only one Mind, one Spirit, one Life.  The Mind, Spirit and Life of God, the Creator, the Source, Infinite Mind.  My understanding is when you say derogatory/disrespectful/dishonorable things about “my father” you are also saying these things about “The Father.”   In the Mind of the universe, “my” is canceled out.  The same is true for Mother.  In the universe of life, what you say, think, attribute to “my father” you are attributing to “The Father.”  In the universe, we are all One.  I believe that the reason many of us have dysfunctional/diminished/distorted relationship with the spiritual Father is because we have the same with our earthly fathers.  Mind you, this is Life – – according to Iyanla, it does not require agreement.

I was taught and, I believe, we all have 4 responsibilities in life:

To respect and honor the Source of life.

To respect and honor your Own head.

To respect and honor your Parents as tools of the Source.

To respect and honor your Ancestors and your community.

These are the principles upon which I based my statement.  There is also a spiritual reality/concept to consider.  The concept is that we all choose where, when and to whom we are born in order to learn the lesson our soul has chosen to learn in this life.  When we have experienced trauma in our childhood, the intellect will argue with this concept.  Notice, however, that I did not say the intellect chose the conditions of our birth – – the soul did.  The soul, which is at all times connected to the Source, knows what it has come to learn, un-learn, grow through and heal.  The intellect has no connection to this information as it is often driven by the ego, the small separate self.  The soul’s work is the purpose of the spiritual journey.  In order to honor the soul’s purpose, we must be aligned with and honor the universe’s laws and principles.  Honoring our parent is one of those principles.

When I said “honor” I did not mean excuse, accommodate or make their “wrongs” right.  I was referring to the judgments and criticisms we make of our parents.  I was referring to name calling.  I was referring to dishonor in word, thought and deed.  These actions take us out of alignment with the universe because as adults we get to choose our relationships – – with parents and all others.  Holding on to childhood wounds keep us stunted and unforgiving.  I was not excusing or justifying bad parenting or bad behavior.  I was not siding with parents who have abused and/or violated their children.  I was not invalidating the trauma some children, some of us, experienced at the hands of mentally or emotionally imbalanced parents; addicted parents; neglectful or violent parents. What I believe is that, “All things are lessons that God would have us learn.  If we believe God is in charge; if we believe that life is about healing growing and learning, then we cannot use selective/intellectual reasoning to evaluate the way our lessons come.

Here is the challenging truth we must all face down, we cannot stand fully in our healing if we are going to pick and choose which of the universal spiritual principles we apply to whom.  We will not free ourselves from the shackles of childhood trauma, wounds and pain if we remain stuck what they “shoulda,” “coulda” “woulda” done as better parents.  We are all human.  We are all in the same boat – – struggling, working, learning to heal our hearts and love unconditionally.  As a mother, I often cringe when I think of the “suffering” my children endured because of the wounds I carried from my childhood.  I have wept over the mistakes I made as a mother and, the things I did not learn until long after my children needed the things I did not know.  As a mother, I can testify that when I “released” my mother from all of my judgments and accusations against her, the relationship with my children blossomed.  Having been abused, abandoned, raped and passed around from one neglectful adult to another, I know well the scars of childhood.  I also know that through forgiveness and honor, I learned the lessons.

Yes, even if they hurt us; even if they left us; even if the violated, abused, traumatized, rejected and abandoned us; we must honor our father and mother.  By honor, I mean to set them free from our judgments, angers, hatred, resentments and criticisms.  As adults, we get to choose how to be or if to be in relationship with them.  As adults, we get to choose compassion over condemnation – – not for them but for our own spiritual and emotional evolution.  Our parents gave us life, whatever the condition was or is, as adults is our choice.  Because we survived whatever they did or did not do and live to tell about it we have an opportunity and choice to express gratitude – – not to them but to our Source.  Our living is God’s grace.


Great is God’s mercy toward me.

God always provides for me.

God’s loving kindness sustains me.

God’s tender mercies I see day-after-day.


This may not be a topic that is considered an appropriate motivational topic BUT I would have to beg to differ. I have been working with children and families for some time now and I see the effects of undesirable and unfortunate circumstances. I can also reflect over my own life and come to terms with my own struggles as a child with a father in and out of my life. It was not an ideal up bringing but by God’s grace, I made it through with a valuable learning experience. I realized what characteristics were and were not suitable for a boyfriend and husband. As  a result, I developed relationships accordingly. As I grew older, I was mature enough to connect the pieces of my past to my present, finally realizing the impact that my poor relationship with my father and other challenges in my childhood had on my present. If I did not get it together, it would be detrimental to my future. I came out a better person in the end; with God’s help, I made the decision to allow the past to be just that…The PAST.

In EVERY situation, we must take responsibility for our lives….

  1. “Don’t let the past steal your present” – Cherralea Morgen
  2. “One has to live in the present. Whatever is past is gone beyond recall; whatever is future remains beyond one’s reach, until it becomes present. Remembering the past and giving thought to the future are important, but only to the extent that they help one deal with the present.” – S.N. Goenka
  3. The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek.
  4. Be present – it is the only moment that matters.” Peaceful Warrior
  5. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” – B. Olatunji
  6. “Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.” ~ Ann Landers
  7. “Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever”. – Deepak Chopra


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