Iyanla meets two women struggling to leave their life in the streets behind.
Tonight’s episode focuses on two women who have been selling their bodies, Canitra and Lauren. Iyanla says, “They’re trapped to do what they need to do just to keep a roof over their head.”
Lauren says she ran away from home at 15 and began selling her body soon after. Canitra calls herself an escort. She says her family is not “happy about that.”
“I do it to take care of me and my kids.” – Canitra
Despite the dangers, Lauren said it allowed her to pay her bills and remain independent.
However, it’s taken a toll on Lauren, and she doesn’t want to do it any more.
“It’s a violation of privacy.” – Lauren
Canitra began doing this because jobs were scarce in her small town.
“It’s amazing what people do when they feel trapped.” – Iyanla
Next, Canitra and Lauren tell their story to Iyanla.
Canitra meets with Iyanla first. She says that after she sees her client, she feels “used and disgusted.”
Eventually, it stopped bothering her, and she became numbed by it.
Lauren knew about the industry from television, before she ran away. But she tells Iyanla that she’s ready for a change. Canitra says she is looking for guidance in a non-judgmental way.
Iyanla hangs on Canitra’s words of trying “to break the habit.”
“You do know that this behavior is a habit, do you?” – Iyanla
Both Canitra and Lauren acknowledge the habit. Afterwards, Iyanla digs into why she ran away from home. Lauren’s mom wasn’t around and her father was too busy, “Being a rolling stone.” Iyanla acknowledges Lauren and her pain behind that.
But Lauren says she’s numb to that pain now. She remembers the first time she was paid. She slept with up to six men.
“Do you feel it in your body, because I see it.” – Iyanla
Next, Canitra explains her story. Canitra lost her job at a factory. Her friend introduced her into the lifestyle. She met her friend at the hotel with two men and made $180 that night.
Iyanla is probing into them because she wants Canitra and Lauren to acknowledge and accept who they are and what they did.
Otherwise, they won’t be able to accept themselves and heal.
Canitra continues to explain that she has two children, including one in high school. Being pregnant in high school, her mom moved out of the trailer. Eventually, Canitra apologized to her mom and her family for having a baby at 15.
“I put them down.” – Canitra
“How about you put yourself down,” Iyanla replies.
Iyanla feels both of their families let them down.
“Daddyless daughters.” – Iyanla
Lastly, Iyanla gets a commitment from the ladies, but she feels that Lauren is skeptical. She sensed her hesitation, noting that she may not move forward from the street.
Canitra breaks down to Iyanla.
Next, Iyanla had the ladies work on an exercise. She asks them for their street names and they write them on a blank silhouette. They then write what they’ve called their street identities. Canitra’s identity is Monroe and Lauren’s is Tasha.
But first, Iyanla speaks with Lauren one on one. Iyanla tries to break through Lauren’s mom. Lauren’s grandmother passed away and she’s been by herself since.
Iyanla tells her that she senses Lauren doesn’t feel safe. Lauren says she just wants to get through it.
“But that’s how you treat your tricks; just get through it.” – Iyanla
She then tells Lauren to give herself permission to feel safe. But Lauren still fees numb and trapped. Next, she works with Canitra one on one. She wants to know why she hasn’t quit.
Iyanla notes that Canitra enjoys turning tricks. But Iyanla gets through to Canitra by bringing up how Canitra will have to explain this to her 12-year-old son.
“You are the mother of an African-American male who will be someone’s husband and someone’s father. What have you taught him about being a man?” – Iyanla
Canitra begins to cry. “Having my son was the worse thing ever,” Canitra says. But Iyanla refutes this immediately.
“Oh baby, that’s not true.” – Iyanla
She explains to Iyanla that her family abandoned her and let her down. Iyanla takes her to her kneeling bench and Canitra cries in her arms.
Then Iyanla asks why isn’t her son’s father culpable in getting her pregnant.
“Lets just give him some of it today, d***it.” – Iyanla
Finally, Iyanla tells Canitra to trust herself, and she feels abandoned by her mom and family.
Afterwards, Iyanla checks their work on the silhouettes and critiques them. Iyanla then dismisses them for the evening to work on their “homework.”
Lauren expresses her desire to leave the process.
Later on, Lauren approached the producers and asked to leave. Iyanla confronts her about it. Lauren says she has other things to worry about.
“I have a lot of other things to worry about.” – Lauren
Iyanla confronts her about this because Lauren did contact the show.
“What did you write me for?” – Iyanala
Lauren says she thought she would be getting more out of the experience, but doesn’t know what she’s missing. Iyanla presses her about this because she feels Lauren is second guessing herself.
“How bout you’re just scared because you ain’t in control,” Iyanla tells Lauren
“So this is what you do? Walk out in the middle of God’s work?” – Iyanla
It seems Lauren decided to stay for now, but Iyanla says she isn’t doing good. Iyanla thinks she’s so broken, some things may not be fixed.
Iyanla does her best to keep Lauren committed to her healing.
It’s day two and Iyanla has Canitra and Lauren start with yoga. But before they begin, Lauren says she doesn’t want to do it. The instructor tries to convince Lauren to do it but It doesn’t work out and Lauren walks off.
Iyanla sees what she did and confronts Lauren about it. Lauren says she is tired of the cameras. Iyanla digs in saying, “Why would you come to a television show and be tired of cameras?”
She then pulls Lauren aside for another talk, showing her the letter Lauren wrote the show.
Iyanla digs into her for not putting anything into her healing.
“This ain’t the street.” – Iyanla
But Lauren still stand behind not wanting to do something she didn’t feel like doing. Iyanla tells her, “Sometimes, as a woman, you have to do things sometimes that you don’t feel like doing.”
Lauren continues her healing process. Next, Iyanla brings Lauren with Canitra to read aloud answers to questions in the back of their books. One of the questions was, “What are you ashamed of today?”
Lauren answers she’s ashamed of being used and believing lies. Iyanla asks her if she feels used in that moment, and she says, “Yes.”
But it’s a good thing to Lauren because she’s being used as “an example of what not to do.”
Canitra says she is tired of being tough and unable to have her kids.
“I’m tired of being on the road.” – Canitra
Iyanla then asks them if they are willing to get uncomfortable and use the same skills to elevate themselves that they used to “trick and to tip.”
She then takes them back upstairs to answer the question. Iyanla notes that they know what they want to do but won’t give themselves permission to do it.
Suddenly, Lauren begins to cry out and Iyanla consoles her. Lauren tells Iyanla that she wants to accept who she is.
Iyanla tells them, “Who you are ain’t what you do.”
“You’ve done some pretty foul things but it’s ain’t what you are.” – Iyanla
Canitra and Lauren realize their street skills are marketable.
Next, Iyanla helps them realize that the skills they used skills to survive in the streets are marketable. Finally, Iyanla has them “kill” their street personas Monroe and Tasha. They destroy their silhouettes where they posted their descriptions.
Iyanla hopes this begins the two of them regaining their lives.
After this exercise, Iyanla takes them to a room full of stylists, makeup artists and a hair dresser. She gives them a makeover in effort to confirm the loss of their street personalities.
Iyanla introduces Canitra and Lauren to Miss Katherine.
Once the makeovers are done, Iyanla introduces them to Miss Katherine. She’s a former escort that runs a program in Houston, TX for women that want to leave the lifestyle.
Iyanla tells them Miss Katherine “is someone you are becoming.”
Miss Katherine then tells them that they need to understand what they need to “learn to like you first.”
She then snatches her ponytail off to demonstrate this notion.
Lastly, Miss Katherine explains to them that they are going to Houston for their program.
“I am coach and I want you to win, by any LEGAL means necessary.” – Miss Katherine
After the show, both Canitra and Lauren are taking steps to leave the industry. Lauren is working towards a job in home health care. Canitra says she is “getting blessed daily.”
What are your thoughts on the episode?