The Burden of Black Women Burying their Pain: 3 Ways to Fix It “Iyanla” Style

Select Page The Burden of Black Women Burying their Pain: 3 Ways to Fix It “Iyanla” Style

After Iyanla took everyone’s edges when she called Neffe a #GutterSnipe this season I had to take a pause and truly reflect on how exactly Iyanla helps people “fix their life.”  Each season I take notes and study her process as if I am a student in “Fix My Life” 101. The lessons are endless and valuable if apply to your own life.

For your reference, here is the d

efinition of gutter snipe!

Now everyone may not agree with her methods, but I for one do since my work as a Confidence Coach for Women requires similar tools and techniques to help women unleash their fierce.

Neffe’s case in particular was a hard one. This was evident when Iyanla appeared to go off and called her a b**** and #guttersnipe from the hood.

It was obvious that Nefeteria (her real name) was buried under the mask of “Neffe” (her nickname).

Her pain was buried so deep that she didn’t even realize she was carrying it.

As a confidence coach often times when I do speaking engagements especially workshops with black women there is always a handful (if not more) of teen girls and even women who noticeably bury their pain so deep and are disconnected from what is being shared because there parents raised them to be “strong” and “to just get over it and keep going.”

This was written all over Neffe’s face and body language. She acted like there was no problem with her life, marriage, and even the fact that her husband was under serious distress.

She admitted, “We will get through this,” and Iyanla was confused because she knew that Neffe was denying the healing process by continuing to see fault in what everyone else is saying or doing but herself.

When it was revealed that Neffe had been sexually abused as a child, abandoned by her parents, and lost her 3 month child in a previous marriage, it was evident that she had never truly handled this trauma.

Even when Iyanla asked her to read her own submission of pain with sexual abuse when she applied to be on the show. She still denied it bothered her yet it was right on the paper from her own mouth.

This is what it looks like to bury your pain and resist the healing process.

What we resist will persist.

It’s true that going through the process will hurt like hell at first, but what’s most important is what’s o

n the other side of it.

Her husband, Shelby got to experience this firsthand with the guidance of Iyanla as a mother figure. It was uncomfortable for him at first, but she held space for him to express himself, to cry, to be pampered, and to be loved.

At one point, it was hard for him to receive this shift because he couldn’t stop thinking of the pain of the past. However, that’s a normal part of the healing process.

However, one could see him starting the process and starting to shift which is the benefit of releasing the burdens that we carry.

Within our culture, it has been normalized to bury pain and to focus on surviving. But how can we ever move to a place of thriving and healing when we carry so much on shoulders day in and day out.

But the reality is that you can’t FIX what you refuse to FACE.

Reflect (in writing, if possible):

  • How many of the things you’re carrying aren’t meant for you to carry?
  • What have you buried inside of you that needs to be healed?
  • What are you in denial about? What is deeply bothering you?
  • Who have you depended on to rescue you, save you, or give you permission?
  • What dysfunctional patterns are running your relationship and life choices?


3 Steps to Fix Your Life “Iyanla” Style

  1. Discover your dysfunctional patterns and behaviors (look at repeat occurrences in your life)
  2. Feel the pain that you deny and release it
  3. Express what you need from others clearly


If you find that this has resonated with you, then I encourage you to download or order you copy of my latest book, Born FIERCE: How to Unleash the Confident Woman Within from Amazon or Barnes & Noble now and/or seek help from a licensed mental health professional for ongoing support.


Comment Below:

  • What did you think of Neffe’s episodes?
  • What did you discover about yourself from the reflection questions?
  • What part of the fixing “healing” process are you in? Why?

Search for:

FIERCE Quotes to Live By

Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get

— Ingrid Bergman

Recent Posts