*I know I am not alone in the sentiment that “Fix My Life” is the most groundbreaking program on television right now. Currently in its fourth season, OWN has more than a hit on its hands…it has a responsibility.
I have always admired Iyanla Vanzant, and the nuggets of wisdom and encouragement she’s deposited in my life during my twenties. There were many times during her “sabbatical” from the mainstream that I questioned her whereabouts, assuming it was her choice to be invisible from the public eye.
It wasn’t until her re-appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2011 that we learned the truth of the tumultuous times she’d experienced as a result of the loss of her career, marriage, financial wealth and even the life of her daughter. Her reconnection with Oprah seemed to come as a blessing for her, and, in turn, a blessing for us.
I have watched from day one, and whether it’s the pastor’s wife realizing she stayed with her cheating husband because of the title, a has-been celebrity trying to
book another gig clean up their messy lives, or a father of 34 children by 17 different women, I realize this show has made me far more empathetic for those that “look like me”, and sympathetic for those I can’t relate to. You see, hurt is at the core of every last issue featured on that show, and that is something we all can lay claim to at some point in our lives.
In the opening sequence of each episode, Iyanla’s voiceover proudly proclaims that she’s “done her work” a powerful statement that many are unable to affirm. Most of us walk around emotionally wounded or broken, masking it with “stuff” that tempt us with temporary comfort, all the while pain festers at the surface of our souls. And since it’s true that hurting people hurt people, that pain transfers from one bruised spirit to the next, destroying lives along the way. Truth be told, I don’t believe we are all doing the best we can, and I appreciate that this show calls us to task on accepting responsibility and consequences for our actions, forgiving ourselves and others, and making a commitment to walk out the healing process no matter how difficult the journey can be.
And no, I don’t agree with everything Iyanla does or says, but I don’t need to. Her intent is pure. I believe if this show becomes anything more than the medicine her subject matters need, she’ll walk. I love that she takes no mess, and isn’t afraid if you don’t like her in the moment. She tells her truth from a place of love, and that is why so many trust her wisdom and advice.
I know “Fix My Life” is already a success for OWN. I just pray that its impact will continue to dive deeper as well as cut a wider path. This isn’t Must See TV, it’s CRITICAL TV.
Tanya Tatum is the outspoken host of “The Tatum Talks,” a live Blog Talk Radio show focusing on African-American interests. PLEASE VOTE FOR 3T as “BEST NEW BLOG” and “BEST FACEBOOK PAGE” for the Black Weblog Awards here. Join in the daily discussions at www.TheTatumTalks.com. Follow her on Facebook and @TheTatumTalks on Twitter.