Monday Reflection: Gratitude for Today!
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
September 29, 2010
This article originally appeared on September 13 on Rae's Web site, Diva Living With AIDS.
I've been so off lately. Behind in ALL my work because of my health and the move. Blogs haven't been written, bracelet orders haven't been sent out, and emails and messages have not been answered. For sure I'm moving slower than normal doing the bare necessities. When this happens, it seems like my whole life is in shambles. Like the overachiever in me is an epic failure. But actually it's not and I have to remind myself to keep things in perspective. Not to allow the magnitude of it all create more drama than what it actually is. It's hard though.
Yes, it is true that I am sick. But it is also true that I am getting better. I've been off my HIV medication now going into my third week and I can see slow improvement. My diarrhea has completely stopped. I'm not as nauseous all day everyday. Just periods throughout the day, especially after I eat. I'm able to eat more food each day. But it is still hit or miss. Like yesterday I was able to eat peach cobbler but then the ice cream was too sweet, the salad but then the dressing made me sick to my stomach. I can eat a cupcake but not the icing. So while I see some progress I know that I am still not at my normal.
The problem is that the longer I'm off my HIV medication the more afraid I become. I'm wondering how much virus activity is happening in my body. Like, what's it (HIV) really doing now that there is nothing to fight back. I know in the long run my immune system does not stand a chance fighting HIV without any help. While I know I have to take this drug holiday to get better so that I can tolerate my HIV medications, I want microwave progress. But that's not always the real world, huh? And with that said, I must be grateful for what I've got and not stuck on what I don't have.
And yes, work is behind, but I'm writing a blog today. I'm on the road speaking today and I answered at least 50 of my emails so far today. So it's all in perspective. We are a greedy society. American's over indulge in everything. As an overachiever I have to remind myself that a blessing is a blessing. Like my girlfriend Alicia was in town. I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked, but I did get to see her. She did made it count. She came bearing gifts, with lots of love and that's all that matters. What comes from the heart touches the heart no matter how big or small. And likewise some movement is better than no movement.
Last week I said it was better to muddle through chaos then to be stuck in chaos. Today I'm suggesting that we have to keep it all in perspective. Call a spade a spade in both good and in bad. So often we get stuck on what didn't happen and how we want it to happen that we rarely stop and take account of the goodness that is happening. God makes no mistakes and what is suppose to happen does. Surrender your greediness to God's goodness and it will then open the flood gates for the blessings to overflow.
Remember the Children of Israel and the manna. Well God ordered them to eat for the day and not worry about tomorrow. And each time they disobeyed God, the manna spoiled. So keep it in perspective, both the good and the bad. The blessing in the right now is better than no blessing at all. There is a lot of wisdom in the AA saying "One Day At A Time." I have to remind myself that all I have is today. The blessing of today is more important than what I want for tomorrow. And out of the gratitude of today, God will give us a better tomorrow.
This piece originally appeared on Rae's Web site, Diva Living With AIDS.
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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.
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