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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Fake It Till You Make It

By Richard Cordova III

November 30, 2010

That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

My first two blog entries flowed out of me as easy as wine does among friends on a summer's night. This one, not so much! In my first blog entry I mentioned how it's easier to have that positive attitude when things are going well but that it can be a real challenge when things aren't going so well.

The situation: My boyfriend and I broke up.

I won't go into the details, but I will say that I am angry at how it all went down. I feel disrespected and abandoned. So the challenge, for me anyways, is still honoring and respecting the not-so-positive feelings I have while still moving towards a place of peace with the given situation. Recognizing where those feelings come from is an important part of the process for me too. For instance, this situation makes me feel abandoned because that is the baggage I carry from my own family upbringing. I think we all carry some form of baggage, whether it is from our family upbringing or from previous relationships. It helps me to recognize where the feelings are coming from so then I can act more appropriately. As for feeling disrespected, that is most definitely because of the particulars of how the breakup happened.

Herein lies the challenge. It's easy to just be completely angry because I feel like I have been wronged and act out towards him. However, if I do that, who wins? Not me -- not him -- no one wins!

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that coming to a place of acceptance and peace with a situation that has made you feel wronged is easy. When I feel angry about something it is a challenge to consistently remind myself in those moments of anger that I need to look towards the positive side of things and also remind myself about the lessons that I am trying to take from the situation. It is easier if I ask myself "OK, what will I do differently next time?" In asking that question I make it less about the other person and more about the changes I want to make for myself. To be clear this isn't about blame either! I refuse to get down on myself for making the choices I have made. We all make choices and some are better than others. All I can do is endeavor to learn from the less-than-stellar choices I make, course correct and move on.

I hope this blog entry makes enough sense to everyone that is reading it. It might be a bit easier to understand if I gave you the details behind the situation but that wouldn't be fair to my ex-boyfriend. Besides, stories are told from the perspective of the teller and like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike!

I'm taking lessons from this situation, that's for sure. I know that in the future I'm going to be more vocal about my needs, especially if they aren't getting met.

For those of you facing a situation that is making you angry, my challenge to you is to find the lesson in the situation. I can assure that it will not be easy and you may have to force yourself to find it. Then when you have those sad or angry thoughts you can acknowledge them and then remind yourself of the more positive view you have chosen to take on the situation.

I know taking the time to write this down has helped me come to a place of peace in my life. Feel free to share your stories with me via email or with everyone via the comments section.

Till next time. Yours in positivity.


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Positive Indeed

RRichard Cordova

Richard Cordova

Richard finds a positive attitude and a sense of humor to be two of his most powerful weapons in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Richard is the Director of Athletic Events at TPAN, and teaches Spinning classes at a local gym in Chicago. He also answers questions on's "Ask the Experts" forum on Safe Sex and HIV Prevention.

He enjoys talking about himself in the third person (on occasions like these) and finding new and exciting ways to be healthier physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He has been living with HIV since 2002. Diagnosed with 123 T-cells, he is technically by government standards not HIV positive, but in fact a person living with AIDS. To that he says HA!

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