This past weekend, I got the chance to sit down and watch Whitney, a documentary film that was released in 2018 about the legendary Whitney Houston. Watching this documentary left me with so many emotions, mainly sadness that such an amazing woman with such a divine gift left the world at such a young age without receiving the healing she needed to leave the legacy she had the potential to. What stood out to me most, beyond the fact that she undoubtedly had the greatest voice this world has ever heard, was that in a world where so many think that fame and money will make them happy, those two things seemed to be the biggest factors that hastened Whitney’s demise.
As a woman who experienced being molested as a child, I could totally relate to how the allegations that Whitney was molested as a child likely caused her to seek out ways to numb the pain that experience caused her. After watching the entire documentary, I was left with greater compassion for Whitney Houston. Learning more about what she may have been going through mentally and emotionally, as a result of the trauma and losses she experienced, made the drug abuse and erratic behavior make more sense. I have always said that women should share their stories to shine the light in the lives of others who may be walking through darkness. Even though Whitney didn’t aim for her life to become a cautionary tale, the choices she made in the toxic environment she was in made it clear that fame and money should not take priority over mental and emotional health. In Whitney’s case, having a lot of money only provided her with the ability to have more access to the things that inevitably killed her and less people in her circle to hold her accountable for her actions. Having fame only increased the pressure for her to appear perfect in the public eye and reduced the urgency for her to get the help that she needed to be truly healthy and happy.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are convincing themselves right now that if only they could get more money and/or more attention, that will solve all of their problems and they will be well on their way to living their best lives. Unfortunately, there are a lot of talented people who the world has witnessed rise and fall due to not being mentally and emotionally prepared for life with great financial wealth and overwhelming popularity. It is my hope that more of us will learn from these people’s lives and avoid making the same mistakes that they did. Money and fame are not bad and do not have to be the cause of anyone’s demise, but they are most definitely powerful enough to do so. I am a firm believer that more money only leads to more problems when a person is not mentally and emotionally educated and empowered to earn, spend, and invest their money wisely.
Society has created so many ways for us to be distracted by and focused on looking good externally that many of us spend our lives ignoring what’s going on internally and never find true happiness. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how much money you have or how many people like you if you don’t value and love yourself. I am all for seeing women be free and able to go and do whatever they want without financial restrictions. However, while we are striving to reach our financial goals, let’s be sure that we are not neglecting ourselves and the important things in our lives that money can’t buy.