A "Fight for Your Life" Tug-of-War Exercise That Provides a Crucial Lesson

Season 4 Episode 402
Aired on 09/17/2016 | CC tv-14
Black woman, Iyanla says, are conditioned to always be strong and hold on to their pain with a brave face, no matter what. But there comes a moment when healing must take priority over holding. So, Iyanla invites the women of the House of Healing to participate in a revealing exercise: a tug-of-war.

On one side of the rope are Alana, Rita, Chrystale and Lira. "You represent the part of you that does not want to heal," Iyanla tells the women. On the other side, Jaimeka, Lita, Gloria and Drea represent the part that does.

The tug-of-war begins, and as the women on each side of the rope pull with all their might, Iyanla shouts from the sidelines. "Fight for your life," she continuously repeats to Jaimeka's group. "Fight for your life!"

However, it's a fight Jaimeka's side loses. The side that "does not want to heal" is victorious.

"They represent your sadness, your hopelessness, your defeat and feeling abandoned," Iyanla says, pointing to the winning team. She then turns to the winners. "And you know what else you represent? What you're willing to do to hold on to who you are and what you have right now."

She then poses a powerful question to Alana, Rita, Chrystale and Lira. "Did it ever dawn on you, as representing the side that doesn't want to heal, to just drop the rope?"

The women are quiet. Alana says she considered dropping the rope, but didn't want the other team to fall. Iyanla responds with an important lesson that each woman in the house needs to hear. "Why do you second-guess yourself? ... You got to think on your feet, not try to figure out what's the 'right' thing to do. Check in with how you feel," she says. "Be willing to let somebody else fall on their ass to save yourself."

Another moment of truth:
The women put their teachings to the test at a mixer with black men who only date outside their race