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Sunday, February 12, 2012


This Post Is Dedicated to the Life, Legend, Lessons, and the LOVE Whitney Houston Shared With Us

** At the end of this post are five ABC Primetime video links with Whitney Houston and Diane Sawyer that offer insights regarding the following discussion.

I have been planning this post about True Self since last year. Following the very sad news about the passing of Whitney Houston, I decided to post it today as a reminder of the life journey we each share, and the importance of listening to our True Self, we each have, that is ALWAYS within us and activiely guiding us. When we listen to our False Self, negative consequences ALWAYS occur. The challenge for each of us, is to listen more closely to our True Self, especially in the midst of great turmoil.

Each of our life journeys is filled with many challenges, some outward, but mostly inward. Each of us has to deal with the measure of our challenges, the level of difficulty and pain they bring, the complex ways these challenges affect our life journey, the major transitions we experience, and how they affect the time and energy we try put into our career-life roles. Every career-life choice we make, in any life role, is based on our core values. Sometimes the challenges we face can confuse us about what truly is important to us in life, including life itself, and the meaning life holds for us.

Yet ALL our challenges are also carefully wrapped in life lessons. It's up to each of us to make choices that CAN change the directions of our lives, and learn from these lessons. Sometimes we are successful; sometimes we aren't. Yet, even in our apparent failure to learn a life lesson, others will learn from that lesson that was so very challenging for us, and for our personal life journey.

Whitney Houston has gifted us through her voice that sends chills through most people when they hear her sing. She once siad, "I knew it was an infectious thing God had given me."

Whitney Houston still gifts us through her sharing about the public challenges she faced, her personal struggles, and her steadfast belief in God, in Jesus, and the love she always had for using her gift to touch others so deeply.

Dear Whitney, this post is for you; with deep appreciation for your gifts you shared while here on this earth; with empathy for your struggles and the challenges you faced that can serve as lessons for so many of us yearning to listen better to our True Self; and with a real love for you as our sister, whose gifted voice and energy have stirred our very hearts and spirits and made us better because of knowing you through your music and how you chose to share The Greatest LOVE of ALL.


What is True Self?
Do we each have a True Self?
How powerful is our True Self?
How can True Self provide us with the knowledge to deal more successfully with our life challenges?
Why don't we listen all the time to this wonderful older and wiser "sister/brother" True Self?
How does listening to our True Self relate to aspiring to be whatever we aspire to be?
How does True Self inform our special calling to BE and live our potential to contribute our gifts and talents to others and this world?


Imagine for a moment, there is no limitation to our self-knowledge that will help us deal more successfully with our life challenges.
Imagine that the access to this knowledge and the secrets of living our potential, are always within our grasp, daily. That's what our True Self IS.
Imagine that we have control over how to access to our True Self.

Now imagine each of us has three selves:
a) A Regular Self who experiences life, all the challenges and complexities, including all the feelings we humans have as we expereince our life journey and its many challenges...

b) A True Self who guides us and offers us unconditional love and wisdom through what some describe as our intuition or our "inner voice". Others might experience True Self as connected to God/Higher Power, the Holy Spirit, the Buddha within, Atman, Angels, our guides, universal love and energy that unites all life, or the beauty and life-force of nature and how we can attune with nature and have remarkable insights.

* True Self speaks only in whispers and silence to train us to listen more attentively to her, and always from a source of LOVE,  to guide us in life journey, discover our special callings, learn lessons, and live our life with purpose.
How do we listen to her whispers? By putting our heart close to her's and listening carefully for her promptings.
How do we listen to her silence? By simply experiencing her presence in our lives, usually taking time for ourselves away from others, often in a quiet space, yet sometimes with nature or music.

c) A False Self that forms as a result of our "human" experiences from early on; the self that is our naysayer and uses fear and self-doubt to lower our self-confidence and efficacy beliefs, and does everything possible to contradict our True Self, and simultaneously confuse our Regular Self which is working so hard to navigate life's journey with all its bumps and challenges.

* False Self usually speaks with a loud voice and always works from a source of FEAR, which gives rise to self-doubt, confuses us, and distracts us from our path, our purpose, and our callings.

*** True Self Is ALWAYS More Powerful Than False Self; Only Regular Self OFTEN Forgets This!


Thomas Keating speaks and writes extensively about some of these ideas, and effectively communicates with many people from many faith traditions regarding this concept of True Self.

This TwitLonger Link provides a very brief specific summary of his interpretation of True and False Self, afflictive emotions that tie into habits, addictions, and life challenges, the spiritual journey, and suggested readings, PLUS, an additional special link at the end, to a brief 3-minute video of Thomas Keating offering a brilliant, yet simple, summary of the Spiritual Journey.


Listening to True Self is challenging, especially when stress is abundant in our lives. Taking time to be quiet facilitates reflection and listening to True Self. Even taking times to breath very deeply 6-7 times, when faced with stress, changes brain chemistry and body physiology in seconds.

The lessons Whitney offers us about following our callings are excellent lessons for everyone, the young and not-so-young; everyone has callings; everyone is here for a purpose; everyone has something of value to contribute! This is true for people who give their gifts quietly in ANY of the major career-life roles, especialy being a parent. And this is true for others who might want to share their gifts more openly, perhaps even in the public eye, such as Whitney did as a young girl singing in Church about Jesus, and this young eleven year-old Brianna Mazzola who loves to sing, has wonderful aspirations, and sings a Carrie Underwood hit, "Jesus Take The Wheel" and ""On My Own" ~ Les Miserables.

And just as important are the lessons Whitney leaves us about trying ever so hard to listen and be attentive to our True Self, despite the loud, distracting voice of False Self that all of us experience during our life journey; a false voice with false messages that would have us get off-track from our intented life purposes. Her struggles were NOT unlike those struggles we each face in our own life context and journey.

I wish Whitney could have been exposed to this paradigm so she could have had another tool to help her deal with her challenges. The five ABC interviews with Diane Sawyer posted below offer powerful insights about how Whitney's Regular Self (Whitney Houston the singer, Mom, daughter, friend, etc.) struggled to listen to her True Self (her guide who loves her and is always connected to God/Higher Power and speaks to her daily with real wisdom).

The real enemy was her False Self (who influences Regular Self to do the opposite of True Self), who Whitney WAS NOT.

When Whitney shared, "I am my own worst enemy", she is correct in not blamimg others and taking full responsibility; most of us do not do that as directly as she did when she spoke to Diane Sawyer.

But she was so incorrect thinking that SHE, Whitney Houston, was her own worst enemy. It was never Whitney Houston (Regular Self, the singer, the little girl with the big voice) who was the enemy. It was ALWAYS her False Self, who was NOT who Whitney Houston was, who was the REAL enemy. Perceptions are so very important!

Unfortunately, some of the time, during those challenging years, Whitney THOUGHT she was her False Self, and perhaps, did not understood that her True Self really was WHO she ALWAYS WAS...and now IS, forever.

Ultimately it's all about OUR choice whether we listen to True Self or False Self, as Whitney herself shares here, about "deciding" and being a "child of God".

"It's my deciding, it's my heart, it's what I want and what I don't want to do. Nobody makes me do anything I don't want to do. It's my decision".

"I know I am a child of God and Jesus loves me. This I know"


** The following are five ABC Primetime video links (Parts 1-5) with Whitney Houston and Diane Sawyer that offer insights regarding this post.

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5

Dear Whitney, You ARE with God and Jesus now, singing with God's Angels and hitting those high notes again! Thank you for your One Moment In Time  You ARE now free.

 And we will always love you Whitney...


Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment. If you do not want to leave your name, you may simply make your comment as "anonymous". Also please share this website or post with friends or colleagues who might be interested.

This related post on my website site called The Power of ONE offers useful links and resources for discovering your own personal power. This post also discusses a NEW view of the traditional term  'career' NOT as paid work, but rather a more dynamic and accurate paradigm that sees career as continuously playing several of nine life roles, ALL of which allow opportunities to give/receive CARE for ourselves and others via "caring experiewnces". Once this CARE is experienced, this dynamic immediatley produces an energy release (ER) of 90-100 trillion cells, and the by-product is a measure of happiness, fullfilment and self-actualization. Thus career is simple giving/receiving CARE across these nine life roles, one of which is paid work. CARE +ER =CAREER.

If you are interested in a special post and video I had been asked to post on the Deepak Chopra Well World site, I am in the process of making that link available on my website because the Well World site no longer is available.  This is a unique video born from the USA 911 experience that is FREE and can be used by anyone in any country as a resource for promoting greater understanding for youth and adults about multicultural differences, including faith traditions.

** I am available for in-person or distance support regarding topics in my posts, and offer a complimentary phone "mini-assessment" for those who might be interested in career-life counseling/coaching.

Please e-mail me and leave your best phone and time to call, and I will be happy to call you back if you are in the USA. Skype is also an option for anyone in the USA or abroad.

Contact me directly at (781) 721-1200 or 
Day, evening or weekend appointments are available.

Follow Ed on Twitter @EdwardColozzi , my LinkedIn site  or the schools2life LinkedIn site


  1. Thank you, Ed for a thoughtful reflective post. A great voice has left us but is not silenced.

    1. So true Peg,
      Her voice and music will live on as will the lessons youth and adults can learn from her life. Whitney Houston was born with multiple callings, one of which was her sacred gift to perfom and sing to millions. I believe her other more challenging calling was to experience the challenges she faced, make her choices, experience the consequences, and then talk about them as she did in those ABC interviews with Diane Sawyer. Maybe this is how God uses us and our free-will choices; teaching us lessons about the vulnerabilty of our human condition in the context of God's abundant love Whitney surly felt, even amidst her strugglers. She certainly knew she was indeed a child of God as she said in the quote I included at the end of my post.

      Thank you Peg for your comment. EdC

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this very powerful post - a hard lesson for most of us. We MUST listen to the whispers of the soul and follow it's calling.

    1. Thank you Shelley,
      So true, listening to those whispers of our True Self and then following her wise counsel. A real challenge, especially in the context of challenging times or even simply having a bad day and experiencing upset feelings. The human journey is fraught with many challenges, yet always surrounded by a loving God who gives us this amazing free will and then watches and guides us (through our True Self) and always loves us unconditionally.

      Thanks for your reply. EdC

  3. I believe one of the joys of Whitney's life is that she addressed this bigger than life gift of voice she owned. She recognized its power and the gift of its presence in her life, and yet she also owned her own imperfections, struggles, and awareness of God and the darkness she fought as well....what a powerful thing, this honesty of hard and extraordinary moments lived out loud....God be with her family and everyone she loved...what a hard hard thing to lose her.
    Best Regards,

    1. Thanks Sweetie,
      Yes she was authentic to the core in the context of her imperfections. I admire how she recognized her gift from God as a most special talent and used it to bring happiness to others. It is very hard to lose her as a fan. I can't imagine how difficult it is for her daughter and all of her family. I join you in prayers to God that they somehow receive God's Blessings through this difficult transition.

      Thanks Sweeite for taking the time to comment, EdC

  4. As usual, Ed, you are your warmhearted, kind and insightful self. Your gentle spiritual soul shines through in your writing and I know your non-judgemental counseling has helped and will continue to help many follow their heart (true self) while using their head to help lead them to a better place on their career-life journey. It's too bad Whitney Houston's life was on such a negative path for far too long. She was so very talented, but surely a tortured soul who initially found and then lost her true self much too early in her journey. Too bad she didn't know you. j

  5. Thanks Jane,
    And I would have wanted to at least speak to her and share a few thoughts, but mostly to allow her to just share her heart which was so heavy with pain.

    My strong belief is that she is truly with God now having done the best she was able to do. That's all any of us can do, trying to do our best. She surely touched so many with her incredible talent, and yet still can touch us through the lessons we can learn from her life, her words on the ABC interviews, and her precious music.

    Thanks again Jane, EdC

  6. Dear Edward,

    As always you touch upon what is the heart of the matter. Your thoughtfulness and your heart is shown all that you do. This is a powerful post.

    Lead From Within

    1. Thank you Lolly,
      You know well the tug of war we humans face between True Self and False Self from your own amazing life journey you have shared on your website ( ), and from the many people with whom you interact in your work, and the thousands you inspire thorough your social media efforts, especially your transformative Tweet Chat every Tuesday at 8 Pm EDT at #leadfromwithin. All of your efforts are centered in love and your strong belief that each of does have a True Self, our guide we can choose to listen to daily, and be better able to lead from within.

      I appreciate your kind comment Lolly, EdC

  7. A very heart-felt post, Ed, especially sensitive in the way you blend your thoughts about True Self with Whitney's gifts and life path. Because of her fame, exposure, the expectations and projections placed on her, her presence became iconic. It's so hard to hold all that stuff up. And it's good to remember that any of us can be vulnerable to the pressures. In a chaotic, turbulent time, many people are experiencing lots of pain. And this, too, makes your advice so timely.

    Coincidentally, Greg Richardson over at Strategic Monk also posted recently about True Self and I added a couple of my own personal favorite quotations there -- for all of us on the journey. If you haven't already seen it, you might enjoy his short meditation there.

  8. Hi Dan,
    I do believe there are so many powerful lessons we all can learn from Whitney's life ranging from "following our calling", "believing in God/Higher Power", "dealing with the tug of war between True Self and False Self" and "the role of love in our lives and 'right relationships' that foster our best and True Self to emerge", to name a few. I agree that she experienced huge stress and found it challenging to "hold up all that stuff", as you stated, and yes, each of us has to learn to deal with those stressors in our lives, so they don't lead to burnout, and other more dire consequences.

    I did see Greg's post and your excellent addition. Seems like True Self is an important topic these day, and rightly so.

    Thanks Dan. EdC

  9. Ed, Thank you for this very heartfelt and insightful post. You have addressed a very real conflict all of us face...what is our true self and how do we avoid our false self? I am glad you tied it to Whitney Houston's death. I makes it even more meaningful for all of us who enjoyed her music.

    1. Thank you Lyn,
      What Whitney basically faced was not so different compared to what all humans face on their life journey (this tug of war between True Self and False Self). Yet her experience was much larger for several reasons, mostly due to the amazing and powerful gift she had, the unfortunate challenges of being under such public scrutiny, and the ease with which she had more access to temptations than most people because of her life style and certain people who used her vs supported her, especially regarding her self-admitted addiction problems.

      It is very sad, and I believe if she had even a basic understanding of this True Self/False Self paradigm, she might have weathered the storm. I'm sure she was also very stressed about her voice and any damage to her vocal cords during the last ten years. Many have recently shared, perhaps even those precious vocal cords of Whitney's could have been rehabilitated to almost perfect pitch with the right lifestyle and medical assistance Adele (winner of six Grammy Awards) was fortunate to receive here in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital.

      Whitney's life still teaches us so much about the importance of passion for following your calling, and while other lessons can also be learned by reflecting on her life, it is her amazing voice that will live on and continue to inspire generations.

      Thank you Lyn for your comment. EdC

  10. Ed, thank you very much for this insightful and heartfelt expression of defining and discerning True Self. You beautifully connected the ideas with the recent passing of a beautiful Legend, Whitney Houston. Thank you for inspiring us and for honoring Whitney in your writing. May God continue to bless you!

  11. HI Caroline,
    Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post and found it useful. Whitney had this magnificent gift she shared throughout much of her career-life journey. Many producers are now sharing how professional she was, especially in those earlier days when she was in the studio, never asking for the special colored M&Ms, fancy bottled water, etc., yet ALWAYS smiling and ready to work with her voice and record great inspiring music for others to enjoy. She truly LOVED her work and saw her voice as a gift from God.

    Indeed, there are important lessons Whitney offers each of us about her life, her calling, her struggles, and in her passing, what we each must do to stay on track with our own career-life journey.

    Thnak you Caroline. EdC

    1. Dear Ed,

      Thank you very much for your reply, and you are most welcome! I was blessed in reading your post, and I have all the more respect and admiration for Whitney. I appreciate the honor you give her, and I thank you for extracting lessons for all to apply.

      The post resonated strongly with me, as the tag line for my ministry is helping others to "Find their Paths, Live with Purpose, Walk GOD'S Way." I agree wholeheartedly that using our God-given gifts to glorify Him and bless others is the way to live fully - and love fully!

      Thank you, Ed, for loving what you do and blessing me and many others in your work!

      Abundant blessings always,

    2. Thanks Caroline for taking the time to comment..again:)
      We are all blessed by knowing Whitney as we do through the love she put into her music because she DID see her gifts as coming from God, and she DID follow her heart and live it fully.

      AND through her life, with its struggles, she also gifts us with lessons that apply to every human life on this earth.

      Our challenge is to try and apply lessons from Whitney's life experiences, to our own daily journey, and listen beter than most of are presently listening.

      Your own ministry sounds so relevant to this topic, and I;'m sure you are contributing your own gifts to assist others. Keep up your excellent efforts. EdC

  12. Edward,

    Excellent, excellent article about our True Self. I admire how you broke down the different "Selves" and related this with Whitney Houston. She was one of my favorite singers when I was older teen and her lessons have much to offer us about our true selves. Thanks for sharing such this heartfelt post with us--I will be sharing it with others. Hugs~Joanne

  13. Thanks Joanne,
    One of mine as well, actually my favorite:) I used to play her "One Moment In Time" song at the closing of my career-life workshops in Hawaii in the late 1980's early 90's, and people still are touched deeply by the lyrics, music, and of course, her incredible gifted voice.

    I agree we can learn so much from observing her life, her choices, her love for God despite her many challenges, and especially in the context of trying to listen better to our Ture Self.

    Thank you Joanne for your comment and also for sharing this post. EdC

  14. Thank you for sharing this! So many people only want to look at her faults and they forget that like all of us, she was human. I always loved that no matter what, she always stayed steadfast in her love of God and she was never afraid or ashamed to proclaim it. She was a truly inspirational being, and yes God did gift her with her talent of singing--I am so very happy that she walked in her calling in sharing that gift with the world. Thank you again for this post!

    1. I appreciate your comments Melisa,
      You have focused on the essence of Whitney, and her relationship with God that she never abandoned, her most important choice in her life. People who are distracted by their False Self don't stop needing a more evident relationship with True Self, even though at some level they have it, but often do not recognize it. We are always connected, at some core level, to our True Self. But, False Self influences us to "perceive" we are NOT our True Self, especially in those moments/months/years when we are distracted. This triggers a state of angst, and we feel convinced WE are the problem, vs our separate False Self. We are NEVER our False Self; We always have been, are, and will be, our True Self and connected to God. But the choices our Regular Self makes when listening to False Self, distort our thinking, and influence us to sometimes abandon our hope for improvement or resolution of a problem.

      Whitney is an excellent example of a person who dealt with this conflict and seemed to be very aware of God, Jesus, and her "child of God" relationship throughout her life, despite her many distractions. No doubt she is with God, and yet still among us whispering gentle songs from her True Self to us, offering inspiration and love to nudge our lives on track and live our callings with purpose and meaning. It's our choice to listen and act appropriately.
      Thanks Melisa, EdC


    1. Thank You Dear Katherine,
      Yes, I agree with your wonderful scripture, "To everything there is a season...". I think many agree that we can see a part of us in Whitney's own struggles. We are all on this career-life journey together, and the more we learn from each other, the easier the journey. Her interviews with Diane Sawyer are powerful.
      Regards, EdC

  16. Hi Ed,
    To echo previous comment contributors, GREAT write! Thank you for your inclusion in sharing this! I too can appreciate the levels or layers, if you will, of oneself, especially concerning True Self. Your spot-on in the comparison of the internal conflicts we all share within ourselves. Leadership; continued learning and sharing of so many insightful perspectives helps us all form a "united self" harvesting the good and quality values from within ourselves to be able to share and encourage others to grow. Thank you for sharing, very well done! I want to encourage you to continue to share more! May Whitney find Peace and Light, and may it continue to be reflected upon you and conveyed to others through your words!

    1. Hi Darrell,
      Thank you for your comments. I agree that the more we each are able to dismantle our false self, we can better "harvest the good and quality values from within ourselves...and encourage others to grow". I appreciate your encouragement to write and share more:) I am just about to publish mt next post, so I hope you get an opportunity to read it. Be well, EdC

  17. Thanks Ed for that poignant post. Her true self will live on forever via her musical gift. Based on your observations, what would you say is the percentage of expression of the 3 selves. My guess would be a higher percentage of false and regular but that this is shifting towards more true self expression.


    1. Wow Shelia, A great question! Thank you.
      My sense is that Regular Self struggles each day trying to listen to the gentle whispers of True Self, while being constantly distracted by the loud voice of false Self. This is probably a continuous dialoge, throughout the day and throughout our career-life journey.

      As one gains self awareness, discovers a sence of meaning and purpose, learns NOT to have attachment to outcomes, and learns to go within and lead from a place of LOVE vs fear, this greatly dismantles the power of False Self and allows Regular Self to better hear True Self.

      Thus perhaps the percentages shift from more of a False Self influence on Regular Self in youth and through the ages of forty to fifty, and then perhaps a growing ability to listen better to True Self as one hopefully matures and grows into more wisdom resulting from many years of "learning experiences". Of course a regular practice of meditation can facilitate this process as well as having an attitude of gratitude:) Thanks Shelia, EdC

  18. Thank you for writing and sharing such a meaningful post to honor Whitney. I may have heard of this paradigm of a true and false self using some other terminology before, but it all seemed new to me when I initially read it here. I think it is very significant and I am so grateful to be reminded of it. I intend to read more about it. Also your workbook looks wonderful, I have added it to my wish list and hope to purchase it soon.

    1. Thank you Jennifer,
      There's numerous discussions about this topic, and within various faith traditions. Truth is ONE and paths are many. I guess when we are ready to listen, whoever or whatever source seems to appear in our lives to faciliate our journey, will suddenly manifest. That's the beauty of our life journey which is really our spiritual journey.

      I hope you enjoy reading my workbook and are able to use it to discern meaning and purpose and some measure of your own life calling. Stay in touch:) EdC

    2. Edward, thank you for your insightful post. I find it helpful to relate to a real live person when talking about such ethereal topics.
      Thank you also for taking the time to remember a troubled soul who was & is a part of the universal oneness of us all. Maybe by creating and sending out your the gems you've found through her life you are creating more positive flow for her and all of us. You contribute to The Greatest Love of All helping us all to believe.
      I am working toward this goal too and offer to the community that you've created my blog to keep these conversations going. Much peace.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Hi Kathleen, 
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. I agree that talking about a real person and their personal story can facilitate a discussion that involves concepts such as True Self and the struggles that the spiritual journey always entails. It really is the same spiritual journey for each of us, and Whitney's struggles are our struggles as well, perhaps in a different form or degree of intensity. I believe we are all connected and part of ONESpirit, and recently started a hashtag called #ONESpirit in case you are interested in posting your ideas there. The more we understand some of these concepts, especially the power of, as Whitney so beautifully shared, Learning to Love Yourself, we will start communicating more effectively based on understanding and empathy, and move humanity a few notches forward. Thanks again Kathleen, and Blessings:) EdC

  19. Hi Ed, It is always encouraging to me when someone finds a way to utilize their life talents to bless other people. It is alarming how many people live their lives in some quagmire of misery, that might have been avoidable; with only a modified way of thinking and elevated point of view. Thank you for being an uplifting voice to help people find their own "higher way." God bless you. Tim G. Carter - a.k.a. "Slam"

  20. Hi Slam,
    I want to share a very belated and sincere thank YOU for taking the time to read and then comment on my post. I believe every individual has this amazing magnificence within them, and once discovered, they have an opportunity to discover what gives them meaning in life so they can live their calling and contribute back to the rest of us:) Blessings to you, EdC