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In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want

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“The most powerful spiritual healer, fixer, teacher on the planet.” —Oprah Winfrey

The #1 national bestseller from the host of the show Iyanla: Fix My Life on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) that answers the question: What’s love got to do with it in the meantime?

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.

Every living being wants to experience the light of love. The problem is that our windows are dirty! The windows of our hearts and minds are streaked with past pains and hurts, past memories and disappointments. In this book, Iyanla Vanzant teaches us how to do our mental housekeeping so that we can clean the windows, floors, walls, closets, and corners of our minds. If we do a good job, our spirits will shine bringing in the light of true love and happiness.

326 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1998

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About the author

Iyanla Vanzant

126 books1,201 followers
In Peace From Broken Pieces New York Times best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant she recounts the last decade of her life and the spiritual lessons learnedfrom the price of success during her meteoric rise as a TV celebrity on Oprah, the Iyanla TV show (produced by Barbara Walters), to the dissolution of her marriage and her daughters 15 months of illness and death on Christmas day. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Iyanla shares why everything we need to learn is reflected in our relationships and the strength and wisdom she has gained by supporting others in their journeys to make sense out of the puzzle pieces of their lives.

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5 stars
4,411 (46%)
4 stars
2,794 (29%)
3 stars
1,534 (16%)
2 stars
463 (4%)
1 star
262 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 362 reviews
15 reviews1 follower
June 27, 2009
Don't let the title fool you--whether you have the love you want, are looking, or don't have any interest, the focus is on learning how to love yourself. I have read and re-read this book many, many times. It is hi-lighted and rabbit eared to the point that I would never be able to lend anyone my copy but it is one of the best self-help books I have ever encountered (and I have read a TON of them, believe me). I find Iyanla's voice very real and she seems to "walk the talk"-very genuine. I also find the book very accessible and user friendly--literally helpful from the first page. This book has helped me get through personal loss, tragedy, transitions, and many other "meantime" experiences for several years now.
Profile Image for Phoenix Brown.
Author 6 books49 followers
February 1, 2012
This book saved my life! I am not saying that to be dramatic...this is my truth! I was in an abusive relationship (verbal, mental & physical) when I came across this book. It was a GODsend! This book taught me that my inner peace was more important than pretending to be a family. My sanity was more important then my son having a father in the house because if I stayed he may not have had either one of us. If you are in the meantime...This book is definitely for you! The love and appreciation that I feel for Iyanla Vanzant for sharing her stories and her life is immeasureable. If you buy this book you won't regret it...It will be one for you to reread years later and get a whole new meaning from it because you are in a different place. Great book that will change your life!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
180 reviews9 followers
December 25, 2015
The truth is that love is buried in your soul, and no relationship with anyone can unearth it or activate it in your life.

I was no longer angry about what i could not and did not have in a relationship. In the meantime, I learned how to mind my own business. The business of loving myself and being excited about me.

The interference from my relationship channel was creating static on every other channel of my life.

In the meantime, if we can remain loving of ourselves and toward other people by staying in conscious and honest communication, a disruption, snag, or delay in a relationship becomes a healing process.When we cannot, we engage in meantime behavior - hurting, fighting, not telling the truth, and moving forward in confusion.

Life is all about love. Love is the only true meaning of life.

Accept the fact that in a relationship the only person you are dealing with is yourself. Your partner does nothing more than reveal your stuff to you.

What you believe about yourself is reflected in the people with whom you choose to align yourself.

Our relationships and the people in them are the tools God uses to give us a soul lift. God, the creator of our life, wants you to elevate the way you view yourself and treat yourself, and ultimately the way you treat others and allow them to treat you.

'Love conquers all.' Wrong! Love cannot work through dishonesty, denial, fear, or people-pleasing.
Profile Image for Vonda Roark-martinez.
6 reviews12 followers
September 1, 2012
I read this book the first time in 1998, I'd taken a self prescribed sabbatical from dating to embark on a journey of self discovery. In The Meantime, became my doctrine my handbook to learning who I was, what I needed/deserved and how to stop sacrificing myself for the sake of others.

Four years after I had turned the last page and closed the book from a second read, I met and married the love of my life, my truest life partner, my husband.

This book taught me about me that I needed to be seilfish on occasion and put me first. That my value was there for my discovery, my knowledge, and my forgiveness. As much as I credit my Grand with the woman I am today I also give credit to this book for breaking me out of my helpless servant shell and allowing me to blossom into the vibrant rose I am today "sweet, beautiful and fragrant w/ thorns to protect and remind me of my journey from the past.
Profile Image for Leslie.
21 reviews
July 30, 2007
This book is very helpful, especially if you are having relationship trouble. The author helps you to look at your life from an interesting perspective. She uses the metaphor of moving up through the floors of a house, needing to take care of each level before moving on to the next. The basement is where you are miserable and hopefully realize that things need to change. As you move up the floors, you need more self-love and appreciation, more spiritality, more honesty, etc. I found this book to be very enlightening and have many highlighted sections to re-read when necessary.
5 reviews1 follower
March 4, 2009
The title really says it all, but Vanzant gets to the heart of the matter by using personal experience and the trials of others to show that loving yourself enough to make difficult personal choices is where love and joy abound. I often found myself in a myriad of emotions reading this book, and abandoned it for some time before picking it up again. I recommend this read to anyone looking to discover real change through learning the secret of truly loving yourself and others.
Profile Image for Laura Tice.
40 reviews
December 28, 2017
I was not all that impressed with this one. It was very repetitive and simplistic in a way that was annoying at times. I couldn't relate to the stories within this book so I found myself skipping from chapter to chapter seeking for the meat of the lesson in each. When I would get to the meat of the lesson I was always left wanting a little more. The other part of this book that bothered me is that it was a Christian-based book. It had encouragements that were based on God's love for you. So since God loves you you have to love yourself - I just don't subscribe to that mindset. There wasn't any practical applications that I derived out of this book.
Profile Image for Yvonne Riggs.
1 review2 followers
December 1, 2012
Must read for women ages 22 & Up. If you are in the reflecting stages of you life wondering where your relationships went wrong, this is for you. Never give up on love. Your meantime is for a reason.

I bought ever copy at a local bookstore and gave it out to friends to read. I highly recommend reading this.
Profile Image for Orishaz.
50 reviews26 followers
August 31, 2010
Another phenomenal read from Ms. Vanzant. I love her writing style and for me this is one of my favorite self-help books. In a nutshell it really is about loving yourself. When you love yourself everything else falls into place. When you love yourself you become open to the abundance that the Universe has to give. I love it, love it, love it! As with most of her writings I can never say that I've finished reading the book because my personal growth journey leads me to different places at different times. I find that I always return to the wisdom of Iyanla's words - some resonate with me right away and some resonate at different times. That's what growth is all about. You absorb the message that you need at that moment. Reading her is a joy. I just recently finished reading this book again and my opinion remains the same.
Profile Image for Angie.
90 reviews6 followers
April 18, 2015
I have upgraded my rating from four to five stars. Not because of the book itself, but because of how I feel about myself after having read the book, which I suppose is a comment on the book itself. I feel bigger, brighter, more centered, having found myself first, but then read the book like someone wandering a slightly overgrown path, discovering the truth in the words and trampling the grasses to make the truth more permanent, more prominent in my life.

I loved the analogy of moving through a house of love, from the basement to the attic, each story a higher consciousness of what you need to do to fully realize yourself. The stories of the couples used as examples sometimes read as romantic novellas, sometimes as Jerry Springer sensationalism (which was highly amusing at times), but overall helps to illustrate the concepts Vanzant is communicating. I also liked that often times we'd be in a chapter of a higher level in the house, but one of the examples called to mind the behavior of a lower level, the author acknowledging that in life one can move down the staircase of consciousness just as much as up it. Like working through stages of grief- there are stages, but they don't necessarily stay in order and you can return to an earlier stage at any time.

I plan to read this book over and over again. At the moment, I've lent it on to a fellow friend, telling him that perhaps it would help him to understand me better, silently planting a seed that it may assist his journey as well.
Profile Image for Michelle Wood.
156 reviews4 followers
April 26, 2015
This is one of my ALL time favorite books. That is saying something because I read quite a few books! I read this back in the 90s when I was in my 20s and I absolutely loved it. It was one of the first books that made me go into myself and be more self-aware. It was also written so simply that I felt any1 at any reading level could understand the concepts at what she was trying to get across. It also helped me to know that while I am single there is always plenty of self-work that I can do become a better person. As well as when to know when to fold em in a relationship (if you don't know what that means you're too young).

Iyanala is one of my favorite people as well as favorite authors and I have never read a book from her that was not uplifting, motivating & thought provoking.
Profile Image for Milestone Jazz.
3 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2008
I would recommend this book to anyone that feels like they can't start over. I would definately recommend this book to someone who is trying to find there place in this world. It's a must read...

Profile Image for Susan Burke.
99 reviews
July 9, 2014
Sometimes we come to a time which may just be the "meantime" of our lives. Iyanla in all her brilliance paints a clear and undeniable picture of just what being "In the Meantime" looks and feels like. She is poignant yet stern in her no-nonsense approach, leaving no stone unturned right down to the actually birthing of our lives having some sort of impact or meaning. Yes, how we actually entered the world, what kind of birth did we endure and how were we taught for the first crucial years of our lives. What were we told about ourselves and what did we come to believe was truth. Why do we settle for meantime or meaningless, loveless relationships; or non-fulfilling interludes while trying to figure out what we really want, need and desire and not letting ourselves be talked out of just those desires. A great read for all who wonder if they are pondering in a "meantime" relationship and how to back out gracefully, hurting no one and forgiving everyone. Loved it!
5 reviews3 followers
December 4, 2010
I love this book! I felt like she was my mentor speaking to me in a spunky yet compassionate manner (just like I need- a soul sister!) She painted a mental picture for me, that helped me to visualize and recognize the different levels I am going to have to work through and acknowledge; in order to fully love my self and my past. This book helped me go lighter on myself in terms of feeling like, I need to change all at once, or that I am bad for my behavior in relationships at times. I felt supported by her words and think Iyanla Vanzant can clearly relate to her readers, if they are open minded and interested in learning to better themselves and find the love - that they in fact are.
Profile Image for Amelia Wise.
3 reviews5 followers
February 27, 2013
This is a book I can see myself picking up again and again when I'm unclear or unsure of life's trials and tribulations. While I think that Vanzant has a great process of getting yourself to a better place in life, I think I might cast aside some of the advice she gives for the "little things" in life. The way in which she compares cleaning yourself up spiritually and emotionally to cleaning out your "house" is brilliant. So simple, yet so true. I don't think there's a one size fits all approach for everyone, but this helped me to understand myself and life's trials more and to appreciate them as opportunities to grow oneself rather than negative or positive events.
Profile Image for Blair Hodgkinson.
662 reviews20 followers
June 24, 2015
I listened to the abridged audio book version from Simon and Schuster/Audible. Like many such self-improvement books, there's much here that is true, if a little obvious, but when you are taking the time to put yourself together in a time of transition, sometimes it's good to review some of these ideas. The book was recommended to me and was worth my time, even if I found the book's concentration on finding a lasting and healthy love relationship a little off target for my needs right now. Still, it offers suggestions on how to correct one's own negative filters and self-defeating behaviours, and that advice is useful in a broad range of life situations.
Profile Image for Debbie.
27 reviews
December 3, 2011
The message that this book is trying to convey along with its solutions are good. However, I found the writing/format to be a little difficult to get through. I had to read several excerpts over in the book before I completely understood what the author was trying to say. Also, a lot of the ideas were repeated throughout the chapters in the book. It could have probably been summed up in just a few chapters.
Profile Image for Ronnie Van.
Author 1 book3 followers
April 19, 2020
Iyanla is such a powerful writer and I have enjoyed this book tremendous ly.I feel that she understands life and is therefore the perfect candidate to give advice on how one should go about living your best life.This book will empower and motivate many people.A must read.
Profile Image for Asia Henshaw.
3 reviews1 follower
May 17, 2013
Great read.... Makes you really stop to take stock of yourself in the realist way possible. You may not connect to all the stories but will be able to relate to one. This book teaches you alot.
Profile Image for Vanessa Thompson.
Author 13 books35 followers
March 9, 2014
This is a self help book, which you can never finish the read. It is always used as a guide. I enjoyed the book, cd and other writing material by this writer.
Profile Image for Rob Murphy.
245 reviews31 followers
June 6, 2018
The simplicity of this book is what makes it great. Vanzant uses an extended metaphor of cleaning your house, floor by floor, to helping the readers understand how to better understand themselves and what they want out of life and out of the relationships in their lives. It outlines how you need to clean each floor of your house one at a time, each relating to a different type of issue you may need to face in order to maximize your life, build up your relationship with yourself so you can be open to others in your life. It focuses on positivity, self-respect and honesty. It is warm and compassionate in its approach. If you are self-aware, this book will reinforce much of what you know and may shed new light on some things. If you are working towards better self-awareness, this book can provide you with insights to set you on the path toward that goal.
June 23, 2014
This book saved my relationship and it saved me. Regardless where you are in life and love, this book brings you to the depths of understanding and grasping self love. It revealed so many things about myself that I needed to face. It helps you understand that it is you that is responsible for how you feel. Your emotions are neutral and it is you and your experience that gives a name to how you feel. Relationships are a mirror of what you give out to your external energy. My children will learn the true definition of love and I hope that I can share this message to them that love really is found from within. Loved loved it!!
Profile Image for Sharrod J.
41 reviews
May 25, 2017
I read this book a while ago. I read In the Meantime while reading One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. I appreciate the way that Iyanla Vanzant walks you through the nooks and crevices of your mind to help you get clear. This is the second time that I've read those two books together.

Whenever I find myself feeling overwhelmed and off course I look for books that show me how to change my attitude immediately. Because I worked at the crazy house. I needed help in changing my view and attitude about MY happiness.

Iyanla Vanzant is an thought provoking writer with the ability to help you see clearly when you get dust in your eyes.

Profile Image for Tru Royalty.
17 reviews
April 29, 2014
Loves house this book has made me face a lot of choices I have made in life, it has shown me that of all the qualities I thought I possess I didn't possess the most important and only quality to have a successful life LOVE. I will constantly refer back to this book I moved through the book without "mastering" each of the floor levels but as long as I received the principle of Love I'm going to make it. This has given tremendous insight and hope. I recommend it to everyone regardless of the level of love you are on you will always learn something from love.
Profile Image for Angela Flake.
Author 2 books
October 19, 2020
So loved this read. It was insightful, challenging, engaging, and very easy to understand. Its one thing for me to read a lengthy book- its another to read a lengthy book and have words I cant relate to. Those things make a big difference for me. I learned so much about ME and the processes I have been through, and need to rearrange- as I continue along my journey of Loving-me. It does a wonderful job of separating you from life and teaching you how to start understanding the role you play and how that role effects so much on your journey. Thank you Iyanla!
Profile Image for Lauri.
224 reviews53 followers
October 3, 2007
I loved this book so much. Iyanla uses the imagery of floors of a house to illustrate how to grow yourself up in matter of life and love. This book is really powerful and it, literally, changed my life. If you're familiar with Iyanla, either from her own show from years back, or as a life coach on the t.v. show "Starting Over" you know all about her wisdom. She does a great job of communicating that wisdome in this book.
Profile Image for Joyce.
63 reviews
November 24, 2007
Starting Over, the TV program was fun for me.
I read Iyanla's book, hoping she would share
stories from her own life. Ended up,
I loved her concept of living at different floor levels.
I went so far as to make a box collage of the different floors.
I needed to SEE the progression. Living in the basement, it is normal to lie, cheat, and steal. 1st floor you become aware that you are doing things not in your/others best interest, and so forth.

Profile Image for Janann des Garennes.
6 reviews1 follower
October 19, 2011
This book is an incredible read for anyone experiencing life issues and looking for a great way to find the love within yourself to conquer it. I personally found help, love, kindness, and a nurturing way to find strength while going through my divorce. Though it may seem to pertain to relationships with a significant other, I believe anyone that reads it will truly be helped in finding the peace and love with in them.
Profile Image for Jessica.
332 reviews42 followers
January 30, 2012
Indeed, this book is all about finding yourself and the love you want. There is no need for love from external sources, although that could be the icing on the cake. This is more about seeing who you are and loving yourself. I actually picked up this book following a breakup. While it has not lessened the pain, the book has helped me learn to appreciate myself more and to acknowledge wherever I am in my life right now.
Profile Image for Angie.
221 reviews
May 11, 2012
wow - this book was life changing. The author has a way, like my amazing pastor, of delivering a message that countless others have told you and tried to impress upon you before, but you never really heard it. Until now. At the core, it's all about learning to love yourself, and in turn, how that will impact every relationship in your life (not just romantic ones). Definitely a re-read. Fabulous.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 362 reviews

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