In his eulogy for Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner acknowledged the questions Whitney carried in her heart … Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me? He went on to say that it was the burden that made her great and the part that caused her to stumble in the end.
I listened to Kevin speaking lovingly and respectfully about Whitney and I wept. Oh Whitney! You stumbled from not knowing if you were good enough? I could have helped you with that. As a psychotherapist, I work with people all the time who suffer from the same thing. It didn’t have to bring you down.
To begin with, it’s so sad you felt that way. And it’s so sad you had so many resources with which to get help and never found someone to help you with your own painful questions. It’s so very sad. And it is so sad that so many people feel that way.
So I say to you, Whitney, to your daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and to millions all over our world . . . if you are suffering from questions like these about whether or not you are good enough, it is possible to heal this suffering to the root.
As we can see from your struggles, Whitney, it’s important that people know of this possibility. Too many in our world don’t know. Too often in our world the help advocated and given only offers bandaids and techniques through which to manage the pain, manage the questions, manage the aching, broken relationship with self. The bandaids and quick fixes delude people into imagining they’re healing, while actually it keeps them stuck, haunted by the inner world of ‘not good enough,’ that’s been pushed further into the ground and not at all resolved. But you can find people – psychotherapists – who truly know how to help you utilize those agonizing questions, experiences, decisions, and feelings as a passageway through to real healing.
There is hope. Imagine what it would be like to heal your experience of not being good enough. Imagine what it would be like for you. And imagine what it would be like communally, as each person who doesn’t feel like she/he is good enough heals individually and, as a result, has a healing impact on our world.
Imagine, Whitney, if that healing becomes part of your legacy!
© Judith Barr, 2012