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Iyanla Vanzant Declares Religion Is Demeaning & Hindering Us From Living Our Best Lives, Says It Man-Made and Diminishes Us From Living Our Authentic Lives

Iyanla Vanzant is done fixing lives.  Since 2012, Vanzant’s show Iyanla: Fix My Life was on the air, and in October of last year the life coach and spiritual advisor made the announcement that the current season will be the show’s last.  In a new interview with Madamenoire, Vanzant is revealing her upcoming plans as well as addressing some things pertaining to the show.  But the spiritual teacher has also made a stunning revelation on her thoughts on religion. 

Fix My Life has seen a bevy of celebrities and personalities come on the show in the attempt for Vanzant to redirect their life decisions.  People from Evelyn Lozada, DMX, actress Maia Campbell, the Braxton family, and more have appeared on episodes of the show to spend time with Vanzant.  Vanzant shared the reason for leaving was clear after God revealed to her that it was time to bring the show to a close. 

“I’m leaving because God told me to leave. It’s complete, it’s done,” said Vanzant. “The purpose that I came to serve, the intention that I had. “Fix My Life” has created a whole new genre of television. And I did it with love. I did it with love, honor and dignity, with all my clothes on and very few cuss words, other than gutter snipe.” 

The focus of the conversation soon shifted to mental health, as more and more African-Americans are opening themselves up to therapy.  With the stigma still heavy within the community, Vanzant acknowledges the shift.  It is then that the interviewer asks her, knowing her ministerial background, if she believes that religion can keep people from living whole and healed lives. 

“I would say absolutely! Absolutely,” responds Vanzant, “Because it’s someone else’s experience of God. The real religion is in your heart. Religion is man-made. Spirituality is God-given. Your real religion is the condition of your heart. And so, we’ve been force-fed a theology that diminishes and demeans who we are as people of color and who we are as women. As Dr. Na’im Akbar says, ‘Your religion might stay the same but your theology must evolve.’” 

Vanzant added, “I’m not talking about changing the text of the sacred book, I’m talking about applying it to the way we live.”  Furthermore, she touched on how religion can, has, and continues to be used to oppress people.   

As for the next phase of Vanzant’s life’s work?  “Why would I leave something and planning to do something else. Let me enjoy the leaving. I may be leaving for the next five months. I don’t have to do that anymore. I’m not trying to build a career. I don’t have children to take care of. If I want to go buy a tiny house and catch my dinner in the lake, I can do that too. I don’t know and I don’t need to know. I know it’s going to be just like my dogs. One’s name is Peace and the other’s name is Freedom. That’s where I’m headed.” 

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