It’s been a while! I was pleasantly surprised to hear you this past week. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since you were introduced to the world. Listen: I for one have no problem with your decision to do the Vanity Fair interview. If this is what you have to do today as part of living out your Best Life Ever, then so be it. Hell, so many people have spoken on your behalf, put words into your mouth and told your story over the years. Your time now!
Your own story illustrates the hypocrisy that exists where women and sex are concerned. Bill was the married one. He was the boss. Today he remains an uber celebrity, making speeches, being warmly welcomed everywhere he goes. Yet, you seem to have faded into the shadows, seeming to live every day in apology for something that you participated in years and years ago.
I can imagine how difficult it has been for you. It started off so heady and exhilarating, didn’t it… repeated flirtatious encounters with the very charismatic President. It probably knocked you off your rocker every single time it struck you that this man that is flirting back with you was The Bill Clinton! That he saw you, complimented you, paid attention to you was almost unbelievable to you I would imagine. Those encounters probably became the high and focal points of your days. In those moments, you were unable and unwilling to comprehend the likely consequences of any fall-out. That doesn’t make you a bad person, Monica. It makes you human. Let me repeat: it makes you human. It is over time that most of us build up our own self worth and become less dependent on the validation of others. I think that I can identify with what happened way back then. And I’m pretty sure that there are many more like us who do identify and shake our heads sadly at how the fall-out affected you in particular. And there’s no need for us to re-hash the fall-out. You lived it. You felt it. Those close to you did too. That certain knowledge probably caused huge amounts of pain and guilt and regret for you.
I’d see you in the months and few years after you were publicly drawn and quartered for things that many of us had done and were lucky enough to crawl away from in private. You bravely tried to tell your story, but I’d see the sadness in your eyes. I’d see the slightly bowed shoulders. I’d hear the constant apology in your voice. And then we didn’t see or hear from you. My heart went out for you back then. I wanted to tell you that it could be ok. I wanted to tell you that you were no worse a person that any of us out there. I wanted to tell you that you could get through this and emerge with dignity. I wanted to say to you: “I can imagine how tough this is. Here’s a hug”. I really did.
I have done things that I am not proud of, Monica. And what I am going to say next is not meant to be a lecture, or admonition, or anything like that. It’s simply my story, and if you can relate or find use, go right ahead. I had to accept forgiveness from God first. I eventually did. And then I struggled with trying to forgive those close to me that had hurt me. I really wanted to forgive and move one. You see, cerebrally I accepted and believed that living my best life ever would never happen with bitterness, resentment and anger tying me up. Every day I got up and asked God to help me to forgive. I acknowledged that I wanted to forgive but that it was so darned hard. I tried. I spoke to my shrink. Some days were better than others, and then on other days, the hurt would just rush in and I felt like I was right back at square one. And then I read a book by Gary Chapman about Apology. It was very useful, but the real benefit for me didn’t come until near the end of the book. It struck me like a lightning bolt that I couldn’t move forward until I forgave MYSELF. Long story short, I purposed to forgive myself. That doesn’t mean that I pretended that I had done nothing wrong. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t accept responsibility for my actions. It simply meant that I accepted that in spite of what I had done, I didn’t have to live with guilt forever more. I went through a process that took strength and humility to forgive myself. And that is why I cannot sit in judgement of anyone. And that is why I cannot allow anyone to judge me. What I did does not define me. Not in the least.
You have the same name as my own mother and her mother. They are formidable, awesome people. I suspect you are too. Live strong, Monica. It’s past time for you to take your finger off the pause button of your life and live your best life ever. Don’t look back, Love. Don’t look back in remorse and regret over what some would call (maybe you do too) your lost years. Living your best life ever starting today can more than compensate for those years. This is Your Story. Own it. Learn from it. Tuck and roll.
I can tell that there are people who have shown you unconditional love through this period. My own mother remained my biggest cheerleader and rock. My aunt was another huge support, who barked at the opposition when all I wanted to do was cry and regret. When you feel weak, remember them.
You’re obviously a smart woman who still rocks the most fabulous hair!
|Photo Courtesy of Getty
I wish for you every good thing.
You are not alone.