I lived so many years of my life feeling like a victim. I’ve had a hard life, and have been through lots of difficult things, including being infected with HIV more than 30 years ago. I hated the world. I was scared of it and I didn’t trust many people.
However, about 12-13 years ago, my life started to change. I realized I didn’t have to be a victim. I started seeing a therapist. My friends began challenging me more and more. It helped hearing things that were told to me “straight up.” I remember one of my friends telling me, “I don’t mind hearing you talk about stuff, but why don’t you do something about it? You don’t have to be a victim.” Those words hit me hard, and it took me a few years to finally start opening up to what my friends and therapist were telling me.
I learned that when you change the way you look at things in life, the things you look at in life change. It’s all about how we perceive things. Yes, I have HIV, but instead of saying, “woe is me,” I am working to do something positive about it. I’ve learned that in order to grow and move forward, we have to break the patterns we have been living. I know that for most of us, we are doing the best with what we’ve got, but sometimes we get stuck! I know you’re thinking, “Oh, you just don’t understand.” But, I say to that, “No, YOU don’t understand!” Unless we change something, the world will keep coming around and smacking us in the face. Changing my perspective about living with HIV and to stop thinking about myself as a victim has helped me to open new doors and take advantage of new opportunities I never would have seen before.
Today, I leave you with a challenge: Take a look at the way you perceive issues or problems — can you look at them from a different perspective?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!