Exhale, then inhale: Whitney Houston

Posted on February 12, 2012. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, Jann entered our home with the news of Whitney Houston’s passing.  What a shock.  All I could think about was why someone didn’t intervene.   I am going to go out on a limb and make controversial commentary.

For 14 years, I worked in law enforcement, in close quarters with those incarcerated.  Being thrust into social situations, you have to make small talk.  One of the most important lessons I learned is about pain.  I saw a pattern develop among people with extreme behaviors, there was always one significant, traumatic event that was the catalyst of their self destructive behavior.   I sat in (off to the side) of many an intervention meeting, listening to heartbreaking testimonies.  There was always a ground zero to their pain.  

I’ve heard testimonies that will make you curl in a ball and cry, which I did many times after shift.  I only cried once on duty, holding a woman holding a 4 month old fetus, but that story is for another time.

There are many examples of extreme behavior.  It’s not just drugs or alcohol.  I knew one man who was bullied viciously as a child while his older brothers did nothing.  He grew up bitter and rebellious, and really big and strong, becoming known for his hulk-like rampage.  He shut people who cared out of his world.  He learned how to deal with some of the surface issues, but alas, even as a pastor, the hurt boy and hulk rampage remains to this day.  I had several conversations with him over a 5 year period and when his world became more challenging, I witnessed his reverting to old behaviors.   Sadly, our friendship dissolved, because you cannot make people change, and you cannot force people to care about the change.

Everyone has had some moment of struggle, no one goes completely unscathed.  It’s not for us to judge one worse than another.  It’s not for us to judge the person for the coping mechanisms they have in place.   I have mentored people at the lowest point in their lives where for some, the only downward step left was losing their very life.  For some, it appears easier to mask the pain than to let it ride and see how deep the pain actually is.  I am a fan of the “It Gets Better” video series, because I agree with the message, it does get better, it can get better.  Coping mechanisms get a person to the point of functioning, but at some point, they have to dig down, with support, and address the foundation of their hurt to live life true and free.  They need support to become the best person they can be, and everyone deserves a chance to be that best person.  

Dear Whitney Houston:  I wish our circles were closer.  I wish the right intervention found you, and that you embraced it.  You have been waiting to exhale, and the pain that has burdened you is no more.  How we wish you could inhale once again, and take renewed breath without that pain.  You are loved.Image

I pray that the next person at a crossroads, waiting to exhale, finds the strength and support they need.  As bad as things have been, they can get better.  You are worth that better world.

With love…

 

 

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