“Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all” - Whitney Houston
This particular blog has been in development for a long while. Even as early as a year ago. I finally felt ready to put the formula on paper and untangle the thoughts, ideas, and experiences that had led me to this point.
The recent death of singer Whitney Houston this week touched me deeply. I guess I could have looked at it as a “typical” finale to any “text book” Hollywood story littered with too much money, passion, excess, and substance abuse, but it stuck with me. I kept thinking about this ethereal, mahogany beauty who had the voice of an angel and all the notoriety Faust himself would envy. What had gone wrong? I dug deep and watched old interviews and put pieces together. The unfortunate demise had come from feelings of insecurity and emotional abuse. There was a desire to please and to destroy even herself to gain the approval and love of her husband who lashed out due to never reconciling those feelings within himself. In the end the substance abuse that was originally a couples “activity” became a way to numb and escape the increasing pain of not finding the worth within. The world lost a great talent and we all MOURNED.
It brought me back to my own weaknesses and the price I had to pay for making wrong decisions and how about a year ago I nearly lost EVERYTHING. I started to go over the events in my head and the timeline of loss, pain, recovery, understanding, and reckoning I traveled. I realized I had survived the worst and that there is REALLY could be truth in the phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!" So now what? After winning the battle where do you start to move forward?
I started to think about the peace and clarity I now carried with me and how I wanted to use them in a positive way, both personally and in my work. I realized after almost 10 years in a field of inspiring others artistically I had done some pretty damn good work. I started to allow myself to feel proud and purposeful in the roll of "Muse". That maybe there was substance and depth to a world that can appear to some to be so shallow. I realized a lot of my past programming (that comes from upbringing, self esteem, and the relationships we surround ourselves with) came from a deep lack of belief in my self. I was able to function, live, and even carve out an impressive reputation in my profession, but I was not ever really able to say I ENJOYED it. My mind was always spinning like a rat on a treadmill with chaotic statements about failure and rejection. Surprising, but true. This type of toxic thought process can destroy even the strongest individual. We can set ourselves up for a painful demise down the rabbit hole unless we learn to re-program and uplift ourselves.
I started the process of undoing all this damage by learning to control and abstain from destructive behavior. This took some time and was really painful. We become creatures of habit and become addicted to the familiar, however negative the situation is. Terror of the unknown is a feeling most people carry within. That is why so many people numb with substance abuse or stay in long term abusive relationships. We think we can fix a situation and that in turn will FIX us. I started to think about Whitney Houston again and how her inability to overcome this destroyed her.
My own journey was not that epic or large, but there were similar parallels. It made me realize the work I was doing was making a difference and that the chance of ending up losing everything, including a life, had passed. The only way to go was forward. I gave myself permission to let go of the past and started working on moving into a place of positivity, self love, and GRACE.
My relationships that held me back didn't seem to fit into this new perspective. Old habits and people went by the wayside and despite being lonely at first, I realized it got BETTER. One must have enough faith that the Universe (or whatever your Higher Power is to you) will not leave you empty for long. The more you grow and change, the more things that fit your new, whole, and harmonious existence will fill you up. I am AMAZED at the changes that are happening, however subtle or epic, they are working for me in a positive way. I have just started, but the results that are manifesting are filling me with awe and wonder. I am able to sit still and have mastered the art of "letting go" completely. Communication and expression are flowing freely and I can say honestly that I am doing some of the BEST work of my career.
I am sure there is much more to come, but for now, I am content.