Excerpt from In The Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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In The Meantime

Finding Yourself and the Love that You Want

by Iyanla Vanzant

In The Meantime
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  • First Published:
    Jan 1998, 366 pages
    Sep 1999, 255 pages

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Let's talk about love in the meantime.

Life is all about love. Love is the only true meaning of life. Being alive means that we are occupants in love's house and are accountable to love's rules. Neither life nor love requires us to give up our dignity, self-worth, career objectives, favorite television program, or our good common sense. For some reason, we don't always understand this. We believe in the necessity of giving up one thing in order to get something else. We especially believe this about love. We do not understand that the highest expression of love is the experience and realization of more---more of who you are, what you do, what you believe, and what you have. Love has the ability to bring all of you together under one roof, at one time, as one experience. Love is the experience of oneness, a union of the mind and heart. Unfortunately, we believe we can establish this union with others only if we give up something. We attempt to create this union with others before first creating it within ourselves. This is absolutely impossible. You cannot get love from the outside until you are love on the inside. In the meantime, we do many things in the name of love, for the sake of love.

We live in the meantime while we are learning about love. We flounder around, involving ourselves in strange alliances, making up rules as we go along, in the name of what we think love is, or should be. We watch and listen to others, believing they know all there is to know about love and relationships. The truth is that they, like the rest of us, are learning by trial and error. At best, we pick and choose who to love and how we will love them. At worst, we discover that it is virtually impossible to do enough, fast enough, for enough people, in enough situations to receive from them the love, admiration, or acceptance we seem to need. In the meantime, while we are learning the truth about love, we can make a pretty big mess of most things. Nowhere do we make a bigger mess than in our so-called loving relationships.

They were at it again! He and she both knew that they needed to make a swift but loving departure from the relationships they were in. Neither of them had the courage, strength, or presence of mind to do so. He didn't leave because his attachment had been so good to him. In the three-plus years they had been together, they had really been through a lot---a lot of hysteria about whether or not they should stay together! In the end, they stayed together because they had nowhere else to go. She stayed with her attachment to avoid facing the fear of spending time alone. She had been there and done that so many times before. It was not a very pleasant possibility to look forward to, and she surely did not want to subject herself to it voluntarily. In the meantime, she kept hoping against hope that somehow, some way, her attachment would miraculously disappear or become the love man of her dreams, meaning that she would live happily ever after. That's how she convinced herself, time and time again, to stay. In the meantime, she kept looking elsewhere for something else, although she was not quite sure what it was she was looking for.

Love is the only thing we need. Love is our peace. Love is our joy, health, and wealth. Love is our identity. We go into a relationship looking for love, not realizing that we must bring love with us. We must bring a strong sense of self and purpose into a relationship. We must bring a sense of value, of who we are. We must bring an excitement about ourselves, our lives, and the vision we have for these two essential elements. We must bring a respect for wealth and abundance. Having achieved it to some satisfactory degree on our own, we must move into relationships willing to share what we have, rather than being afraid of someone taking it. Joyful sharing and excitement. Value, purpose, and vision. That's what love is about. When we bring these things to the relationship, love becomes a great multiplier and enhances the experience of life. When we do not have these things in place, the search to find love sets up the experiences we need to discover what is true about love and what is not. The discovery process is called the meantime.

Copyright © 1998 by Iyanla Vanzant

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