ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 244: My Coach and I
Sometimes I hold tight to my middle when I feel myself about to fly apart.
Sometimes I cross my arms about my shoulders, hugging myself.
I am learning to ground myself and to love myself.
I’m also learning to think for myself and to be assertive. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. I have a history of muteness.
As a co-dependent, I thought that disagreeing with Ernie destroyed the “oneness” or “sameness” of our relationship. He didn’t like conflict, either, so he caved in to my wishes. We rarely discussed anything — even something of high importance. We didn’t know about the practice of conflict resolution. We knew either control or caving in. That’s what we did.
This I now know: I betray myself when I don’t reveal my own thoughts and feelings. I turn traitor to myself. I act in a cowardly way. I hurt myself.
I am practicing being assertive with Joshua. After spending time with him, I critique myself — so that I’ll do better next time. I am in training. I am training myself to be honest.
Stop rushing through your thoughts, Ernestina. Don’t freeze in fear, either. Instead, give yourself enough time to think through whatever you need to think through.
Remembering this helps me respond in a new way rather than react in the old way.
Don’t be passive, Ernestina. And don’t be aggressive. Rather, be assertive and honest. Be authentic. Be your authentic self.
I am coaching myself. With help from others, I am coaching myself.