Sunday, May 09th

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Whitney Houston: Life Lessons For Us All


Whitney Houston was one of the most beautiful, talented and beloved women in the world. Her talent and beauty was so pure, and so authentic that much like a baby's laugh or church bells ringing, the feel and sound of it is seared into our cultural collective consciousness.

In fact, her voice was so strong and her beauty so stunning that even as she began to decay right in front of our eyes, the public still only chose to see her as the vibrant and popular party girl in I Want to Dance with Somebody, the young ingénue in The Bodyguard, and even as Lady Liberty herself as she belted out the National Anthem.

Perhaps the realities of Whitney's demons were held in check by her favorite saying, "I got this". Whether she was sitting down with Diane Sawyer, or Oprah, Whitney "had this", and staring into those warm coffee eyes, her sexy and bouncy curls, and her glowing, perfectly honey colored skin, we wanted to believe her.

In the aftermath of her death, however, it's starkly clear that Whitney was lying to herself, just as we often do in our everyday lives. However, how different would Whitney's life and ours be if we instead whispered the words, "I don't think I have this?

Relationships and Marriage: I Don't Think I Have This

No one has the right to scrutinize or intrude on a marriage or a relationship. Any marriage is typically filled with complex situations, tangled emotions, and hard to define intricacies. What we can know, however, is that it's never beneficial to lose and isolate yourself, to accept violence as a side effect of anger and frustration, and to bury your head in the sand when your mate is treating you with disrespect.

Addiction: I Don't Think I Have This

Whitney Houston truly believed that she had the dragon's tail of addition firmly in her grasp, but she didn't, and that is true for anyone suffering with addition. However, have even a cursory conversation with anyone in recovery and the first thing he or she will tell you is that both drugs and alcohol are powerful liars. These substances seduce you into thinking you have control, but the only way to escape the fiery grip of abuse is to admit that you are powerless. Whitney couldn't do that, but we can.

Talent: I Don't Think I Have This

Talent is a true gift and Whitney had it in spades, but like any muscle in the body that is not used or flexed, over time, atrophy will set in. Lesson here? Don't take your talent for granted, no matter what it might happen to be. Instead, treat it like the divine gift it is and use it to help enrich your life and the lives of others.

Whitney: We Got This

Everything happens for a reason, even the passing of those we love and hold dear. The trick is understanding what our loved ones are trying to teach us in their absence and Whitney is no exception.

Whitney represented everything worldly we can aspire to be; perfection in both talent and in physical beauty. The tragedy is that her actions and choices seemed to reinforce the old adage that everything comes with a price, but is that true? No, it's not. What is true is that when we subvert and detract from our own innate light, we invite unnecessary complications and problems. What if Whitney had instead entertained the thought, "You know, I don't think I have this?" What if we entertained that thought? How different would our lives be?

Imagine a world where women don't feel stressed, harassed and push to their mental and emotional limits because they reach out for help. Imagine a world where our partners are true equals, where we don't try to prop up their egos at the expensive of our own because we know our worth, as well as theirs? Imagine a life without dishonesty, half-truths, and that gnawing feeling that something's not quite right because we ask questions, and are willing to stand in the truth of those answers.

Whitney's life lessons to us are clear; we are each born with tremendous talent, shining beauty and integrity that is beyond reproach. These are divinely given gifts. However, over time, we slowly give away that sense of self to others, either out of a misplaced sense of duty, or because we don't accept who we are. However, in truth, we don't need to make that mistake.

Whitney always said, "I got this". Now, through taking stock of her life, we can honestly and finally say, "No, Whitney, you didn't get it, but we got you".

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