Appreciating the Right Now Moments!
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
December 19, 2011
This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.
Have you ever had a period in time when you actually didn't know what you were feeling? I mean, on the one level the circumstance says you should be sad, but on the other, you want to beat the darkness so you try to fight it with a chipper you.
I'm neither of those right now. I guess I'm sort of numb having to face another round of IV medication.
You heard me right! Tomorrow I go to the hospital to get the picc line in my arm and on Wednesday I start IV medication yet again to treat herpes that is resistant to oral medication. This is round 13 in three years.
In the scheme of it all, after the last 8 months of what seemed like hell on earth battling herpes, this 3 month reprieve was a God sent; Considering, over the summer I only had 1-2 weeks before I was back on IV. It seemed we couldn't stop this virus for nothing. But now, I've had a 3 month break and I'm truly grateful.
I've decided to not allow "it" to consume all of my emotions one way or the other all of the time. It is what it is and I cannot change a thing. I've been down this road many times and I cannot allow how I feel today to affect my tomorrow. Today I'm neutral. I will accept it for what it is and face tomorrow when it comes. Often times we get so ahead of ourselves that we miss out on the right now.
Many times we allow what's to come affect the right now and miss the opportunity of the moment. We anticipate the pain, the hardship, the stress that a situation will bring and that anticipation allows no space for an unexpected other; And it also takes away from whatever goodness you might have at that moment.
If you are so caught up in the pain that will happen, you miss the joy and the peace that is happening in the moment. So I will not get ahead of myself. Yes, I have a lot of experience with this IV treatment and it is hard, very hard. Two times a day for two hours of aggressive medication with a host of crazy side effects, diarrhea, nausea and fatigue is no joke.
But at this moment, I'm sitting in my living room with Sophie, enjoying my Christmas Tree. I'm learning to appreciate the right now moments in my life.
As you go into this Holiday week. Stop worrying about what didn't happen: Who you won't see, What you won't get or give, What family member you miss because of death, and enjoy the right now of your life. I know it will be hard for some of us, but I will be right there with you, reminding myself every step of the way that there is goodness in the moments of the right now, tomorrow will unfold on tomorrow, so don't let the anticipation of tomorrow consume the goodness of today.
Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.
Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on TheBody.com about Rae's social media activities.
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