Commitment

Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

56 – February 25

“Do or do not. There is no try.”—Yoda in Star Wars by George Lucas

Punkin, Corinne’s cat, had just had kittens. Five of the cutest little calico kitties you could imagine. I hadn’t had a pet in years, and had always had dogs. Now I thought it might be fun to have a cat. So, on this bright June afternoon, I visited Corinne, Punkin and the kittens in order to choose one for my own.

The littlest, scaredy-cat, runt of the litter with the big ears and wide golden eyes was mine the minute I saw her. “She looks like Yoda from Star Wars,” I declared, and that promptly became my kitten’s name. I told Corrine I wanted her, but was going on vacation in a couple of weeks and didn’t want to leave the kitten alone, so could I please leave her there and pick her up after I got home? Corinne thought about this and said okay, but pressed me to make sure I was committed to owning this cat. She wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to change my mind and bail out of the deal at the last minute. I gave her my assurances, but could tell Corinne wasn’t totally convinced.

I left Corinne’s house and immediately went to the pet store to go shopping for my new kitty! I bought her food bowl, her water dish, some play toys, lots of cat food, a litter box, and a big, carpeted cat tree. After I unloaded all my cat loot at home, I called Corinne.

“I just spent $150 on my cat,” I told her. “I’m committed!”

(Continued on page 56 of The Wealthy Spirit)

Today’s Affirmation: “I relish the commitments I make and keep.”

There is another kind of commitment – the commitment to your friends. To stand by them, support them and love them, and sometimes to do so publicly.

My friend, Rhonda Britten, starred in the NBC Emmy Award winning television show Starting Over, in which a number of women with problems to solve and goals to accomplish lived together in a house for several months and received coaching from two or three coaches. Rhonda was terrific and amazingly talented at creating strategies to help these women.

The second season, one of the coaches was replaced by Iyanla Vanzant, who had made a splash on the Oprah show in the late 90s, but whose own show had failed and she had fallen on hard times. Oprah had Iyanla on her show this week to talk about these problems.

I had previously enjoyed Iyanla’s appearances on Oprah, but I have not been a fan since she was on Starting Over and treated Rhonda badly. This is what Rhonda had to say about her experience:

“The Iyanla that I thought I bonded with on the phone was not the Iyanla that showed up to start taping. Iyanla, and this is my perception, walked on the show exhausted, with little to give. She overcompensated with a huge chip on her shoulder that came with a sense of entitlement and yes, what appeared to be a big head (as Oprah astutely asked). Yes, I get that it was just a mask for fear. Yes, I get that she was spinning out of control. Yes, I get that she was trying to protect herself. Yes, I had, and have, deep compassion for her. And on a human level, it was difficult to be the receiver of her rolling eyes, sharp comments and looks of disgust day in and day out.

“If she could one up me, she did. If she could get more TV time by walking over my coaching moments, she did. If she could mutter under her breath some put down that no one else could hear but me and the audio people, she did.”

Well, you know, I just can’t be a fan of someone who treated my friend like that.

Many people asked Rhonda what she felt about Iyanla’s appearance and if she had forgiven her. She wrote about how she felt on her blog at www.rhondabritten.com/blog. I read her account and marveled at her bravery in discussing it publicly. Some of the people who commented on her blog took her to task for not having forgiven and forgotten, like we should all be saints and forgive regardless of the provocation. I think Rhonda has forgiven Iyanla.

But I haven’t.

I know we all struggle from time to time with forgiveness when we’ve been hurt. I find I can more easily forgive those who have hurt me than those who have hurt people I love. I was there when Rhonda cried over the agony of trying to work with Iyanla when she undermined her at every turn, made cutting remarks, tried to assume the lead position and put her down at every opportunity. I remember how Rhonda put all of Iyanla’s bad behavior aside and tried to help her learn the show and gave her organizing cards when she tried to wing it and failed. She never said thank you.

I’d be more likely to believe in Iyanla’s change of heart if she had made her apology to Rhonda rather than Oprah, who obviously has a cable network and could give Iyanla a TV show. Even then, when Oprah said, “Do you think you had a big head?” her response was to say no, it wasn’t her ego, but God wanted her to go through challenges for her learning. Please. We have challenges because we screw up.

If she ever reaches out to Rhonda and makes a true apology, my forgiveness of her can begin. Not until then. People can say what they like about that – maybe I’m not all that spiritual after all.  Sometimes Demon Chellie pushes Saint Chellie aside. But I think we’re supposed to be discriminating, and not fall for Sharks in Dolphin’s clothing. Oprah is fond of saying, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I know you by your actions, not your words. I never met an obnoxious con-man.

What hurt my friend hurts me. And I require more proof of change than a self-serving apology on an Oprah segment, designed to sell books and another television show.

My close friends know this: Don’t make the redhead mad.

Comments

  1. As a former redhead myself, whose nickname is “Momma Grizzly,” as in, you don’t want to mess with Momma’s cubs, I completely LOVE you, Chellie, for standing up for your friend! Grrr!

  2. My roommate said, “Just because someone asks for forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to forgive them.” Heh. When someone has hurt my friends, it hurts me. They may claim that they’ve changed, but they can practice that on someone new. What do you think, my friends?