by Geraldine Cunha-Herbert
I recently found myself in the most precarious situation. An entanglement you may call it. Well, it was the month of August, so that was quite understandable… lol…Dear Journal,
I’m laughing now, but seriously, I was not proud of myself at all. I had written all these rules for myself, and I had been doing well at keeping those rules and honouring the values that I had set for myself.
But then it happened and it was as if all my senses just evaded me.
I was drawn in…I loved it…I enjoyed it, but worst of all, I knew fully well that it went against everything that I represented and wanted for myself, but I went in for the ride.
When all was done, when I realized that I was going further than intended, I became extremely disappointed with myself.
I was so disappointed that I didn’t even know how to address myself about the situation. I simply wanted to pretend that it never happened. Clearly, that would not have been a wise decision. I knew that if I couldn’t be accountable to myself, I would simply continue with the same behaviour, and the last thing I wanted was to entrap myself in the same old cycle that I have been breaking free from.
So, I sucked it up and faced myself. Having this conversation with myself was not easy. Coming to the acceptance that I had practically violated my own self was definitely not easy. But I knew I had to face myself. I knew that more than anything, I also had to be gracious with myself and forgive myself. I knew that the last thing I wanted to do was to ‘guilt trip’ myself about it. I was NOT going to allow myself to engage in all the pity talks like “how did you end up here?…Why are you here?…You should have known better”. No way! We were not going to do that this time! That would only make me feel more terrible about myself, lock myself away and soon enough I’d be in the cycle again.
So I gathered the courage, and I stood in front of my mirror and spoke to myself. (I recently began practicing looking at myself and talking to myself in the mirror and it has really allowed me to appreciate, honour, listen to and trust myself). I didn’t beat myself up with words. Nope! Not this time. I reminded myself of how beautiful I am, how precious, and honourable I am. I reminded myself of the values that I had set for myself, and as I spoke to myself the tears couldn’t help but rush down my face. I wasn’t sorry for myself. In fact, I wished I could have wrapped my arms around myself. In that moment I was really able to empathize with and forgive myself.
I assured myself that it was ok. We had “slipped up”, but we would rise, wipe the wounds, and keep going. As we say in Spanish, Adelante!! As I looked at myself gently and empathetically I reassured myself that I was proud of myself. I really was. I really am! I affirmed my courage to rise from this situation not with bitterness, anger or even zealousness. It was simply with gentleness and humility. I smiled at the woman looking back at me. I was happy with her. She has made so much progress! So much progress. I couldn’t believe I was almost about to put her on the chopping block for one mistake. One little mistake! Well, maybe it was more than a little mistake, but I know that she can never ever be defined by one moment in time.
I looked her in the eyes and assured her that it would be okay. We got this! I reassured her that I love her! I really do!
Sending Love and Light,
Geraldine Cunha-Herbert is a passionate and revolutionary Belizean Educator. She is also an advocate for mental and spiritual wellness for women and girls.