Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

We know Iyanla Vanzant for being able to fix other’s lives, but there was a point in time where she had to fix her own life in order to get to where she is today. While in Brooklyn for a stop on her Get Over It tour, the inspirational speaker opened up about her ex-husband who cheated on her, and how she forgave him.

“I spent, right here in New York, 40 years loving the same man. I’m a slow learner,” she said to the audience. “In and out, in and out, in and out of relationship with this one man, trying to get from him what I didn’t get from my daddy. But I didn’t know it at the time. I thought it was love. In denial.” Watch her tell the full story below:

And after giving so much of herself to her marriage, the 65-year-old was shocked to find out her former spouse wanted to leave her life for good: “The last time I married him, we had been together five or six years when he divorced me. ‘How you gonna leave me? I’m Iyanla Vanzant. I’ve been on Oprah!’ Not only did he leave, he left me for somebody I knew. But he was going to do the same thing with a stranger, so it really didn’t make no difference. I was in high pissosity.”

It was after that moment, Iyanla realized she had to leave the place that birthed her, Brooklyn. With her faith on her side and in hopes of something greater, she left. “I’ll never forget the day God told me to get out of Brooklyn. I’d been here all my life, my family was here, everything I knew was here. ‘Get out! Because you’re never going to rise above where you are until you rise above who you are.'”

But it took a while for her to get to that point. “Sometimes you just don’t want to be spiritual, you want somebody to burn in hell,” she said about her ex. “That’s why a lot of the time we won’t forgive, because we want revenge. I want your a** to pay for what you did to me!” But she realized if she didn’t forgive him, it would affect everything she has today. “I knew if I didn’t forgive, my work with you would be tainted, so I had to,” she said.

So how did the life coach forgive? She implemented practices that she uses with her clients and people who appear on her show, Iyanla: Fix My Life on OWN. Writing “I forgive you” over and over, and speaking the words to herself in the mirror helped her to put action behind the words, and eventually truly soften her heart toward everything that happened, according to Essence.

The author is always keeping it real, so you never know what she might say. Remember when she spoke out about Mo’Nique‘s Netflix wage battle last year? But, forgiveness might just be the key to success because look at her now!

TELL US: Can you relate to Iyanla’s struggle with forgiveness?

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