Finding the Peace

Learning to Love Yourself, the Greatest Love of All

With the onslaught of tributes being made to Whitney Houston from across the world, the depth and breadth of Whitney’s impact can be found in the stories being told, the memories being recited, and the sound of the particular song being played that touched our heart. With Whitney’s death, I immediately went to her song, “The Greatest Love of All”.  And yes, I have played it over and over this morning.  And with the song and Whitney’s explicit voice ringing out the words, almost as if to blanket me with reassurance when I most needed it, comes the memory of what was going on in my life at the moment that I first heard the song.  And it further reminds me of how this difficult time in my life was impacted with Whitney’s pure voice, the words of the song becoming my touchstone, my life support. Because at this time, back in 1987, I had no clue how to love myself, nor did I realize there was real wisdom in the words. But the words rang of truth within me and I listened to the song during these tough times as I labored to birth myself, learn who I was, and begin to love this person – myself.

It saddens me to realize that Whitney has shown what I believe — that the most difficult feat we have here on earth is learning to love ourselves.  Yes, it is through learning to love ourselves that we can find contentment and peace – the greatest love of all.  Sometimes I think it is the greatest secret of all, that if we learn to love ourselves, we will find the secret to happiness. But other times I realize that this feat, loving ourselves, is also the hardest feat so even if we know it is the secret to happiness, we struggle to conquer it. It is much harder to treat ourselves with the kindness and compassion we often find for others . . . we all loved Whitney and could see her goodness shining through. If only she could have seen it. Spend some time today reflecting upon your own goodness, sending yourself a morsel of love and gratitude for your own essence.  This may be the best tribute to Whitney and the world we can give.



  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.


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