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In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want

In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want

4.5 87
by Iyanla Vanzant

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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


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. The bestselling author of Acts of Faith and The Value in the Valley -- whose books have empowered countless women -- now reaches out to anyone who yearns for love, in a book about relationships that can help them reach new levels of awareness, spiritual growth, and fulfillment.

Your mother, bless her heart, and your father, with all of his good intentions, did not prepare you for the meantime. They did not because they could not. No one can prepare you or help you find what you are looking for. What you need is love, not romance. Love, not more money. Love, not a new car. Love is the only thing that can make the meantime worthwhile. Once you find love, true self-love, and unconditional love for everyone all the time, things will look, feel, and be a lot better. The question is: What do you do in the meantime? We must mop and sweep away the stuff that trips us up, keeps us confused, and makes the meantime miserable. In this book, Iyanla Vanzant tells us how we can do this thorough mental housekeeping. If we do a good job of it, the light will come through. Once that happens, our spirits will shine, bringing in the light of true love and happiness.

Editorial Reviews

Through the years, we sometimes build psychological and emotional walls around ourselves and our dreams. Reconnecting internally can be a challenge. But with a strong, empathetic guide like Vanzant, the journey is manageable, the goal achievable. Stop postponing the act of living, pretending that all will be better tomorrow. Unless you engage the world, life will pass you by.
USA Today
Iyanla Vanzant taps the universality of spiritual yearning.
From the Publisher
USA Today Iyanla Vanzant taps the universality of spiritual yearning.

Los Angeles Times Iyanla Vanzant focuses on healing lives and letting people know that someone cares.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:
Inspirational Series
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.47(h) x 0.91(d)

Read an Excerpt

People cannot fulfill your needs. They may want to, they may try to. They may convince you that they can, but they cannot. What people can do for one another is make the need seem less urgent. We distract one another so that we forget, temporarily, what we need. We help one another replace a pressing need with something else. In the meantime, the need does not disappear. It dissipates. In a nutshell, people need love. God is love. What we need is God, but that's too esoteric for most of us to handle. It's also pretty frightening!

To say we need God conjures up some pretty frightening images for most of us, the most frightening of all being those things we believe we will have to give up to get to God. Instead, we say we need the love of another person because this is the kind of love most of us believe we can handle -- to some degree or another. We also think we need a house, a car, a few kids, and a job so that we can feed the kids. Of course, these things are important, even essential to our well-being, but what we really need to live on, and live in, is love. We also think that things and people bring more love into our lives. Do they? On some level they do. What they do in actuality is provide us with the opportunity to share the love we are and the love we have within, which is God's love.

We are not always aware of how our needs lead us into dark corners. Try as we might to be alert, strong, and positive when it comes to love matters, many of us seem to always end up someplace we do not want to be -- alone in the meantime, looking for a relationship.

Over the years, I have heard absolute horror stories about the goings-on called love. At times I have been amazed that we could believe that something as divine as love could show up looking so ridiculous. In other situations, I have been appalled at the foul things people do in the name of love. Finally, I had to stop. To smack myself. To realize -- there is a pattern here! The players are different. The events are different, but somewhere underneath it all there is a sameness. Men and women have a tendency to do the same things when they are trying to get their needs met. I decided to keep a list. I wrote down the thirteen most common things we do in search of love or a relationship in which we want to be loved. Each of these things will inevitably fail to meet our needs. They will take us to a hellish meantime experience:

1. All the signs say this is not the one, but you ignore your internal alarms, and move ahead into a love fantasy.

2. Because you fear being alone, or because you believe you cannot have what you want in a relationship, you accept the first person who comes along, only to be left, beaten, ripped off, or impregnated and then left, beaten, ripped off.

3. You confuse friendship and niceness with romantic love.

4. Because someone is nice to you and you are not used to it, you don't know how to say no to them when you realize they are not who you want.

5. You get caught up in the packaging and promises.

6. You force your desires for a relationship onto another person, or issue an ultimatum. Because the person does not know how to say no, s/he goes along with you . . . for a while.

7. Because the other person expresses an interest in you, you respond without really exploring if this is who or what you want.

8. You allow blind faith, which leads to blind love, to take you into a relationship that is unhealthy.

9. You choose to believe that what your partner has done to another person, s/he will not do to you.
10. Sexual compatibility is mistaken for love.

11. You stay in a relationship although you are miserable, trying to work things out even when your partner shows no interest in working through the difficulty.

12. You don't express what you really feel because you believe it will hurt your partner's feelings.

13. You choose to believe your partner's lies even when you know the truth. You act like you do not know what is going on when you do.


What can you do when a relationship is not going the way you would like? When things are not working the way you want them to work? How do you learn to take what you have and make it work to your advantage? As I ask these questions, I am reminded of a story I heard about a woman named Luanne Bellarts, who was born with cerebral palsy. As a result of this disease, Luanne had full use of one toe, on one foot. Raised by very religious parents, she learned a great deal about truth, trust, patience, faith, and love as it related to her capabilities. I am sure most of us would consider this kind of physical limitation to be an insurmountable or monumental defeat. Luanne, however, learned to type on a computer keyboard using her big toe. She wrote the story of her life, Bird with a Broken Wing, in this way. Her book was her testimony to the power of faith, in which she eloquently described how to turn trouble into triumph, tragedy into victory. She wrote about the meantime, about learning how to take what you are, what you have, and what you can do, and make it work for you.

Luanne's story is not about relationships per se. It is, however, about principles. Truth, trust, patience, honor, and faith are the cornerstone principles of all life's relationships. They are also all the things we receive in the presence of unconditional love. Having learned so much about family relationships, friendships, and, more important, the selfship, Luanne documented how to develop and nurture all relationships with the vigilant employment of loving principles. What she learned while lying flat on her back, sitting in a wheelchair, and being totally dependent on others is exactly what we able-bodied beings stumble over, muddle through, fall into, and fail to recognize about relationships. Although Luanne never experienced an intimate, loving relationship with a man, the way we believe it should be, she did with one toe, on one foot, what we spend most of our lives trying to do. She discovered love. Love for herself. The love for and of others. The love of God. She figured out what love looks like and what it should not look like. She understood what love felt like and what it felt like when there is an absence of love. She discovered how to find love, nurture it, and make it last in yourself, for yourself, and within your life. At age thirty- six, Luanne died of cancer. In the meantime, during the course of her life, she lived in and for love with a tremendous amount of dignity. Finding love and maintaining our dignity is something we often struggle to do in our relationships. The experience of the struggle is called the meantime.

Excerpt from IN THE MEANTIME, copyright © 1998 by Iyanla Vanzant. Published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

With more than 8 million books in print, Iyanla Vanzant has truly established a dedicated fan base.
Iyanla's path to success took her through a multitude of life-changing experiences that shaped the profound insights she eagerly shares with others. A neglected, overweight, sexually abused child who was shuttled from one family to another, she became a teenage mother on welfare living in the projects of a major urban city. Vanzant took control of her life when she walked out of her second abusive marriage and entered Medgar Evers College in New York and then the City University of New York Law School. She moved to Philadelphia with her children and became a public defender for three years. Then she eventually became an ordained minister, who was committed to a message based on the principles of divine power and self-determination.

Iyanla combined her professional skills with her life's lessons and embarked on a writing and speaking career. Her mass appeal is evident in her overwhelming success as an author. In the Meantime was a #1 New York Times bestseller, where it spent 20 weeks on the list, and she has had numerous other major bestsellers. As a nationally recognized speaker she has sold out such prestigious venues as New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center, Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, Atlanta's Civic Center, and the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Vanzant is also familiar to the daytime TV audience from her role as a regular contributor on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Acclaimed journalist and producer Barbara Walters recognized Vanzant's extraordinary appeal, seeing in her a "breakaway talent" with the potential for huge success in daytime television. With Walters and partner Bill Geddie on board to executive produce, Buena Vista Productions to develop the show, and Buena Vista Television as distributor, the road to Iyanla was forged.

Vanzant has received numerous accolades for her work. In 1992 Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley named October 21st "Tapping the Power Within Day" in honor of a workshop she presented in that city for African-American women. In 1994, the National Association of Equal Opportunity in Education, an organization comprised of the presidents and administrators of the 117 predominantly Black colleges in the United States named her Alumni of the Year. She also was awarded an "Oni" by the International Congress of Black Women as one of the nation's unsung heroes, and she served as the national spokesperson for Literacy Volunteers of America in 1998.

In 1999 she was listed among the 100 Most Influential African-Americans by Ebony magazine. Later that year, she was awarded the 31st NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Literary Work, Non-Fiction" for Yesterday I Cried. She also earned her first Honorary Doctorate degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from the City University of New York, Medgar Evars College. In 2000, she earned her second honorary degree, Doctor of Divinity, from the Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, Ebony has named her one of their "55 Most Intriguing People," Vibe magazine tabbed her one of "100 Leaders of the New Millennium" and Newsweek recently included her as one of the "Women of the New Century."

The mother of three and grandmother of four, Vanzant lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband Adeyemi and Mr. Coco, their cat.

To learn how Iyanla can help you get started on your journey toward spiritual enlightenment, visit Inner Visions Worldwide, Inc., at

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In the Meantime 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to everyone, regardless of age, background or religious beliefs. Although, I believe that you will not reap the full benefits of this book if you are not ready to accept the TRUTH-and I was not , one year ago when I was first introduced to this book through a friend (Murchelle Bates). Now, that I am ready, I feel that the book truly opens your mind to explore and come to terms with yourself. It has helped me to realize who I have become based on the experiences I have encountered throughout my life, and has given me the strength and knowledge to apply these situations to work for me; ultimately making me the person I knew I could be. I have re-learned to put God first in my life, therefore allowing my needs to be forfilled in accordance to the divine will. My tip to you, is to take time out of the day to 'do you'. I have started a routine every morning which consists of yoga exercise when I first wake up, followed by 15 minutes of meditation, then ending my 'morning ceremony' with prayer. I find that no matter what I am confronted with that day, I can have closure, because I am relaxed and I have put my faith in the Lord so that he can fight my battles. Feel free to e-mail me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
SavhSweetie More than 1 year ago
This book is the best relationship book ever written! I am now happily married, but about five years ago this book showed me my true worth. At that time I didn't know, that love was not abusive and painful.It inspired me to move pass the "basement" of my thinking. I now feel worthy of love, and desired as a women. This is the book I recommend to all my friends going through a rough time in a marriage or relationship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book on my partner's nightstand and begin reading it over candles and a hot bath. A beautiful book, written with ease and I laughed several times upong hitting page fifty! I tried to sneak it away but my partner refused (we live apart). Guess I will have to wait or go buy my own copy. Trust me, this Author is telling the truth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had this book for 2 years and did not read it. After asking my friend many questions on my issues in regards to relationship, her answer everytime to me was 'You need to read in the meantime' after my finals last year spring I read it! 'Oh my god!' This is the first book that took me 3 months to read, reason, I had to read, put the book down, digest, cry and be willing to face my bad habits and change them.' Everything that was happening to me was because of me! me! me! warning! You cannot read this book unless you are willing to face the truth about yourself because somewhere in this book you will be revealed! first you will be resentful, then a little angry at Ms. Vanzant, then you will either start from the basement upwards or dig from the basement and go below. Ms. Vanzant thank you for revealing your experiences and putting yourself out there. I thank you from the buttom of my heart. Fear is like a bad curse if we are not careful it will consume the very best of us. It begins with you. Stop blaming everyone around you, take responsibility for your own actions. 'work in progress'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 34 year seperated from the one whom I thought who knew about love.I read this book and cried. I have never found anyone who told me about myself other than this book. thanks for letting me love my self when there was no one around and finding out what true love is all about. I have learned to love myself. I have also start changing my life from the basement to the top floor. Oh what a mess i've found. The mess include people whose suppose to be friends and so on. I have turned a new leaf.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mind and soul has truly been resurrected!!!! For many many years, I was lost believing that since I borne 4 children by the time I was 21 that I was accursed!!!Now, over 10yrs later, I can TRULY relate to Iyanla with the term 'In The Meantime' I spent most my life in DEAD END relations even a DEAD END marriage to someone I should have never even opened myself up to....Through it all your book help me to see that it is normal to be 'in the meantime' while God is cleaning us up for the truth LOVER in our life..Thanks, Iyanla for saving my MIND.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this down. As a young black female this book helped me realize that the issues that I thought others had were actually my own. It also gave me a way to make myself a better person.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do believe the adage is true, in order to be able to fully love others, you have to be able to love yourself. This book opens up the great plain of understanding how to do just that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first read in the meantime I found myself in the basement of love. This book really helped me to realize in order to find true love from any one else-I must first love myself. After reading this book I applied everything I read, and that is when true love walked in to my life. I am very happy and I love myself dearly. I have a new love in my life (Damon) and he loves me just as much as I love myself. I am still working my way up to the attic. I truly love myself-I love Murchelle!
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Excellent book to learn from ang grow
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njpat More than 1 year ago
This was very inspiring and helps you look at things in a different way. As human beings we blame others for our problems and never take the time to see our part in it and this helps you do that. This is helping me see things clearer in my own life. Great job Iyanla!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was AMAZING ! Definitely one of my favorites and considering the fact that the list only consists of two books including this one, you know that it was really good!  I had to choose a book for my class reading and this was recommended and I do not regret taking the risk at all! I learned so much about myself and about love that you would think we all know already but in actuality have not come to grips with in completeness. This book is for young girls going through self esteem issues, for young women  having relationship issues, for married women who are having some issues within themselves, this book is for everyone and guys, why not? I absolutely  recommend that if you  looking into it, to give it a go, you will not be disappointed. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an easy read.  It is about having realistic expectations in relationships, taking time to learn from past relationships.  It encourages you use your time being single as an opportunity to grow and accept yourself as opposed to looking for relationships to fill that void.  It also encourages the meditations on God's love and learning how to love accept and give unconditional love to others. 
Lernin2Live More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book over 10 years ago,read two pages and put it down, I should have continued but I wasn't ready. Now I that I am faced with one my of most difficult challenges, and I knew I needed to reevaluate, I have started reading again. I think things happen at a time when you most need it,and I needed it most now. I am able to understand and appreciate the guidance. Thank you
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I have never written a review on anything much less a book! But i could not keep the secret of what an amazing, eye opening, life changing book this is. If you are feel like your at a stand still in your life and something has to give.... do yourself a favor and read this book! Ive read it twice and passed out several copies to friends.... one of a kind!!