In the


by Iyanla Vanzant

You know where you want to be, but you have no clue how to get there. You know exactly what you want in life, but what you want is nowhere in sight. Perhaps your vision is unclear, your purpose still undefined. On top of it all, your relationships, particularly your romantic relationships, are failing. If these scenarios feel familiar way down in the deepest part of your gut -- then you, my dear, are smack dab in the middle of the meantime.

Your mother, bless her heart, and your father, with all of his good intentions, did not prepare you for the meantime. They did not because they could not. No one can prepare you or help you find what you are looking for. What you need is love, not romance. Love, not more money. Love, not a new car. Love is the only thing that can make the meantime worthwhile. Once you find love, true self-love, and unconditional love for everyone all the time, things will look, feel, and be a lot better. The question is: What do you do in the meantime?

Every living being wants to experience the light of love. The problem is that our windows are dirty! The windows of our hears and minds are streaked with past pains and hurts, past memories and disappointments. The windows are so clouded by fear, self-doubt, and inaccurate information that the light of love cannot shine through. In the meantime, we keep looking through the foggy window, trying to convince ourselves that what we see is the real thing. It's not, and we know it, but we can't seem to figure out what to do until the real thing comes along. What we must do is clean. We must clean the windows, floors, walls, closets, and corners of our mind. We must mop and sweep away the stuff that trips us up, keeps us confused, and makes the meantime miserable. In this book, Iyanla Vanzant tells us how we can do this thorough mental housekeeping. If we do a good job of it, the light will come through. Once that happens, our spirits will shine, bringing in the light of true love and happiness.

[from the dustjacket]

Vanzant, In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want

About the Author

Iyanla Vanzant is the award-winning and bestselling author of Acts of Faith, The Value in the Valley, Faith in the Valley, and One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. As an empowerment specialist, Spiritual Life Counselor, and ordained minister, she lectures and facilitates workshops nationally with a mission to assist in the empowerment of women and men everywhere.

[from the back flap of the hardbound edition]

Table of Contents



There will come a time in your life when all you can do is love. You will have done all you can do, tried all you can try, hurt all you can hurt, given up so many times that love will be the only way in or out. That day will surely come. Just as sure as you are reading this page. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to get ready for the most joyous day of your life: the day you experience true love.

Chapter 1
Love's Got Everything to Do
with the Meantime

Chapter 2
Know Where You Live

Chapter 3
Spring Cleaning

Chapter 4
Doing the Laundry

Chapter 5
Cleaning Out the Refrigerator

Chapter 6
Let's Do a Little Dusting

Chapter 7
Get the Ring Out of Your Tub

Chapter 8
Take Out the Trash

Chapter 9
Cleaning Off the Dresser

Chapter 10
Cleaning Out the Closet

Chapter 11
Pull Up the Shades
and Let Some Sun In

Chapter 12
Rearrange the Furniture

Chapter 13
Put Your Feet Up and Relax!

[from the hardbound edition]


A basement meantime is more than just an experience of uneasy feelings. It is an experience of bringing feelings to the surface with as much pain and drama as you can stand. After all, survival can be painful and dramatic. A basement dweller may attempt to eat or drink away the misery. It rarely works! When there is something wrong inside you, it comes to the surface. When it does, people notice it. They may mention it to you, but when you live in the basement, you cannot stand criticism. You think people are just picking on you. You are confused, and your life tends to be a little chaotic. You are angry, and you always seem to have experiences that make you even more angry. In the basement, you have not been paying attention to what is coming up in you or going on around you. As a result, people are staring at you because they know that something is very wrong. They know, you do not.

If you find yourself in the basement or in a basement type of relationship where you believe you are a victim, where you feel that your survival is at risk, where you are focusing on every unpleasant thing that has happened in your life--STOP! There is a problem about which you may be completely unaware that is coming to the surface. A part of the problem could be your own fears and beliefs. Another contributing factor could be that your childhood programming is surfacing. It could very well be that you are repeating what you heard or doing what you saw being done when you were a child. When this is the case, you must take a moment to examine what you are feeling and thinking. This helps to make you aware of the pattern. Once you recognize the pattern, what you usually do under this or similar circumstances, you can choose a new course of action. The old ways cannot survive your choice of a new way. It will, however, take repeated and consistent practice before the new way can be incorporated into your consciousness. Practice makes perfect!

In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want
pages 98-99

How do you find your center? There are several simple steps you can practice consistently that will help you find your center, your place of equilibrium:

  1. Constantly remind yourself of the experience you want to have. (How do you want to feel?) Do not set any limits on yourself. Let your mind conjure up the best situation it can imagine.

  2. Visualize yourself having that experience so that it will become a familiar feeling in your body. (This is an excellent meditation exercise.) Very often we have no idea of what it would feel like if we got exactly what we desired. Consequently if or when we get it, or get close to getting it, the body becomes uncomfortable, and we think something is wrong.

  3. Acknowledge or confront and release your fears about what you want. It just seems to be a part of human nature that we want something and at the same time are afraid of having it. This is an excellent journaling opportunity. Write out what you fear, what you think could happen, what you would feel if that happened, what would happen to you if that happened, and anything else you can think of that keeps you in fear. End this exercise by writing, "I do not choose to have this experience. I choose to _______." Complete the sentence by writing out what you want.

    Another excellent exercise for confronting and releasing fear is called the Chair Exercise. Place two chairs together facing each another. You sit in one and visualize the person you want to talk to, or write that person's name on a piece of paper and place it face up in the other chair. You can also imagine that sitting in the chair is your guardian angel, your best friend, your minister, your mentor, Christ, or any person/spiritual being whom you acknowledge. Talk through your fears with this person/entity. Say anything and everything that comes to your mind. When you are done, ask for guidance.

  4. Examine what you believe about what is true for you. Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I believe about me? What do I do to support these beliefs? What have I learned about myself that works to make me happy? What have I learned about myself that does not work to make me happy? Be sure to write down what comes to mind as answers to these questions.

In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want
pages 141-142

Can I tell you a secret? We all have the same problem. We all believe that we are separate from each other. We also believe that we are separate from God. As long as we are in bodies we will have the belief that you're over there, and I'm over here. You've got your stuff over there, and this is my stuff over here. Because of our bodies, we cannot see the interaction of the soul. We are not aware of the commonality in Spirit. Our experiences have been varied and different. Life has unfolded in different ways for each of us because of our experiences...

Our souls, however, know the truth. Souls long to be joined, which is why we keep trying to get the relationship stuff right. In relationships, we are called by the higher forces to come together, to learn how to be one. By the time we reach the third floor of love's house, we will be ready to fulfill the urge in our souls, the urge to be one in love. By now, we are so clear about what to do and what not to do, we no longer have to think about it. That is an essential ingredient most of us miss. People always ask, "How will I know? How will I know when it's right? How will I know when I'm right?" If you have to ask, then you are not clear, and you cannot know. This is a lesson we learned down on the first floor! The best way to describe the blessing of mastering your stuff to the degree that you will know love when you see it is to say, "The sheep always know the voice of the shepherd."

As you get closer to the third floor, love will speak to you. It will whisper gently into your heart, reminding you of God's grandest vision of you and for you. Love will sing soft, melodic songs into your mind. The baseline lyric will ask, "How does the lover speak to the beloved?" The choral refrain will be, "I will find a way to honor us both. I will find a way to honor our identity and equality." When love is speaking or singing, you must be listening; otherwise you will not hear its gentle voice. Once you miss it, your thoughts will become preoccupied with the many things you think love is not and does not offer. Love wants you to know and hear its voice above the clamor of your own fearful thoughts about it. You must realize, however, that love will not argue with you. You must learn to listen, to recognize and trust its voice. In the meantime, while you are learning to listen, do not waste time being afraid, lonely, or doubtful.

In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want
pages 252-253

In the Meantime:
Finding Yourself and the Love You Want

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In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want

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Other Books by
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Learn more about these books also written by Iyanla Vanzant:

Until Today!: Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind
Yesterday I Cried: Celebrating the Lessons of Living and Loving
One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Towards Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth
Faith in the Valley: Lessons for Women on the Journey Toward Peace
Don't Give It Away

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