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Monday, November 2, 2009
disease vs. cure
I met with my program advisor recently to discuss my options for the spring semester in graduate school. After talking about the future he wanted to know more about the present. I have had some issues transitioning from one way of life to another. Atlanta is not New York City by any stretch of the imagination, so adjustments over the last year have been made. One issue we spoke about was my incomplete courses; these are courses of which I have not turned in remaining required assignments. This creates a problem as both the incomplete coursework and current course work need to be completed. Otherwise it becomes costly, both monetarily and GPA-wise.
I listed all the usual excuses and jibber-jabber, but clearly the look on my advisor's face said it all: WHO CARES! The world does not stop because you had a bad day, someone died or you don't understand something. One can choose to focus on the can nots, did nots, was not able tos of life; slowly sliding backwards or one can see the cans, dos, am able tos and move forward - or as my Branch President would always say, "Onward and Upward!"
After some discussion of what needed to change and what is expected of me if I plan to move forward we got on more of a personal discussion. My advisor knows about my HIV status so he knows that when I found out I was HIV-positive I felt like I was the disease. Everything became unmanageable or undo-able because I had a potentially terminal illness; I was a disease. He expressed to me that I was still in that defeatest mode while in school. When assignments felt too large to comprehend or tasks were too technical to handle; I took the defeatest path and slid backwards, but who has that helped?
Be the cure, live the cure, you are the cure! That's essentially the message my advisor presented me. Stop deciding you're going to fail because you're "damaged" and move forward becoming better than you were before the disease. After he said this he stopped and looked at me and said, "Swallow." I was puzzled. "Swallow that pill that is so difficult for you to get down; your ego, your defeatest mode, your feelings of inadequacy; just swallow, then breathe." I realized that my face must have read, "But I don't want to, I enjoy the conflict in my life" but I knew he was right. Like I have previously written, it is time to let go; now I know what I need to let go of. This disease is not my life; not even the end of my life, merely a small part of it. In fact it takes up a minute of my life each day when I have to, wait for it, swallow my medication and a few doctor visits here and there.
It reads in 2 Nephi 2:11, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things." In this story there is the path and life of the disease or the path and life of the cure. I think that this can apply to all areas of my life that I am, as it reads in 2 Nephi 2:27, "free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." Regardless of accident, God's will or disease, I choose how to deal what is given to me to deal with and accepted such terms before coming to this Earth and this life.
Simply put, I choose to live or die. After some discussion I think living life in all of its definition is the best choice.
You have caught me Jey Walking!