Why We Are HerePosted: February 29th, 2012.
Like many of you, I have been haunted by the untimely passing of Whitney Houston. At the height of her ase’, she possessed one of the greatest voices that ever existed, with power and emotion sufficient to send chills coursing down your spine. And she was able to command our attention and respect without the vocal histrionics, scanty wardrobe, or hyper-sexuality of many of the current popular singers who are clearly trying to emulate her.
Her descent into addiction was painful to witness, and for that reason I stopped paying attention for over a decade. Now that she is gone, I have been reflecting not on the tragedy of her self-destruction, but rather on her seemingly effortless ability to transcend the artificial boundaries we place between ourselves and Spirit.
Author Ruth King, a recognized authority on Emotional Wisdom writes, “She forced us to have a direct experience with the essence of love. Through her thunderous sounds, she made us stop, listen, and slowly shake our heads in amazement and gratitude. Imagine what it takes to belong to the world in this way.”
In Ifa, we believe that before we are born, we choose our own destiny, complete with the nature of our character, the experiences we want to have, and the tools (such as a powerful voice or a regal beauty) that we carry to achieve these goals. It is not a given that everyone chooses a life of ease and wealth; material success does not necessarily designate what is considered worthwhile for our existence. Indeed, our character can be better developed by how we meet life’s challenges. However, as it takes many years for us to gain wisdom sufficient to add to the pool of ancestral knowledge, we also believe that we are meant to live long lives on this earth. We are all meant to contribute, in our own unique way, our unique gifts, (our ase’) to benefit the lives of others here in this existence and eventually from the world of Spirit.
Along the way, our destiny can be altered, for good or for ill, by our character and free will. We may make choices that take us off our path. It is so important to have good character, to stay in balance and on track so as to fully achieve our best possible destiny.
But regardless how successful we are in that effort, if we do our best to share our gifts, nothing but good can come of that.
Ms. Whitney’s story seems to illustrate how important it is for us to understand the nature of our own gifts, to recognize them as such and to be willing to share them with the world. “Death offers a message to the living,” continues Ms. King, “and her life invites us to ask: What is my artistry? Do I trust it? Am I willing to offer it generously? In the end of this earth body, would I have touched someone’s heart?”