A Woman of Virtue
I believe that Iyanla Vanzant exemplifies the type of women that Christine De Pizzant would have been proud to have in her City of Ladies. Iyanla was woman born into difficult times. She was born in the back of a taxicab to an alcoholic mother. Orphaned at two years old Iyanla was sent to live with her abusive grandmother. Iyanla speaks of having never felt loved by her grandmother or anyone for that matter. At the age of nine she moved into her aunt house where she was raped and sexually abused by her uncle on numerous occasions. Deeply emotionally scarred Iyanla confused sex for love and found herself pregnant at the age of thirteen. Six months later the baby girl Iyanla bore died. By the time she was sixteen she had attempted suicide and found herself pregnant again. She married the father of her son but eventually his drug abuse caused them to divorce. Her next marriage ended in physical and emotional abuse and a nervous breakdown that she refers to as a breakthrough. From welfare, teen pregnancy, abuse, and rape Ms.Vanzant found the courage to heal herself and her life. She went to college became a lawyer, a Yoruba priestess, a best-selling author and a nationally recognized motivational speaker. Iyanla?s virtue is found in her enduring spirit and her ability to persevere despite the almost insurmountable odds she faced. Iyanla found the courage to love herself and then gave that gift to the millions of men and women who have heard her speak, read her books or have been counseled by her story of triumph. It is for this reason that Iyanla Vanzant is truly a woman of virtue.