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The Fabric of Your Being

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

The Fabric of Your Being

Healing the rips and tears.
Iyanla  Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant More by this author
Aug 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

We all have patterns of thought, belief, and behavior that we inherit from our family of origin. In the same way that our ears, our eyes, our nose, and the texture of our hair are inherited, we inherit certain mental, emotional, and even spiritual proclivities. We call them habits. Habits are hard to break and, despite our most earnest efforts, we usually remain loyal to our family patterns, even when they are dysfunctional. It is a function of the family cloth from which we are cut.

In certain cases, like my case, you can awaken enough to decide early in life, I don’t want to be like these people! Somewhere in your being, you know that something is just not right. Unfortunately, when you are a child, you don’t know how to change. You don’t know how to not be like the people who feed, clothe, and shelter you. So, you wait, growing more like them each day. You wait until you are old enough to move away, run away, hide from, or flat-out deny that you have anything at all to do with “these people.” But sooner or later you realize that whether you are a block away, a state away, or on the other side of the world, you cannot deny the fabric of your being. Somehow, you will discover that you do what they did, or you say what they said, like they said it. Or you find that you act like the one person on earth you would not want to act like. Your mother, perhaps. If not her, your father for sure. And, just in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t matter if you knew them or not. That’s the puzzling part! How is it that you end up with the karmic drainage and inherited damage of people you may not even know? This is the function of the family of origin: The family sets up the pathology and the patterns that you are called to heal in your lifetime.

Understanding the emotional propensities we inherit through our parents’ DNA is the missing puzzle piece. It was my missing piece. I became aware that there were puzzle pieces that I inherited from my parents that were alive in my emotional DNA. These were tapes playing in my subconscious mind. The enemy was within me. The harder I tried to overcome my internal demons, the harder they fought back. My saving grace was God. My only way out was through the Spirit. Somehow I tapped into a sacred knowledge and wisdom that let me know that prayer and meditation could and would save me.

It was my vigilant prayer life that allowed me to speak brilliantly to thousands while my personal life was crumbling. It was my deep and abiding desire to know and serve God that enabled me to bypass the beliefs of guilt and unworthiness to listen within in order to write book after book that changed the lives of many. There were days when, on my way to a speaking engagement, I battled thoughts of suicide. My soul was weary; my heart shattered.

At a personality level I couldn’t get the man I absolutely adored, even worshipped, to treat me with compassion or decency. But at a soul level, God could use me, a deeply flawed vessel, and I could look in the eyes of another human being and speak three words that would pierce their soul resulting in their personal transformation. No matter how much I did, or how “famous” I became I never felt good enough. At the time it made no sense to me at all. Now, I understand the maze of inherited pain. Just knowing that and recognizing that I could live beyond the pain eventually brought me to a sense of peace. Unfortunately, my journey to peace may have cost my daughter her life.

There was a time when I would think about all the things that the adults in my life did not give me and my soul would weep with sadness. That sadness turned to sorrow when I realized I had done the same exact thing to my own children. There were so many things I needed to know that no one taught me; things that would have changed the way I saw myself and lived my life. No one ever taught me about personhood or womanhood or parenthood; love or sex; vision or purpose. I did learn to keep my body and home clean. I learned to make the best of what I had and not dare dream about having more. I also learned how to avoid, ignore, and dismiss the truth. If only I had been raised by adults, instead of wounded children, maybe—just maybe—my path would have been less traumatic. Then again, I’ve learned we all get exactly what we need, when we need it, in order to learn what God intends for us to know so we can be who God intends for us to be.

About Author
Iyanla  Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant is the founder and executive director of Inner Visions International and the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. She is a Yoruba priestess and an ordained minister in Christian New Thought. The author of 13 titles—inc Continue reading