Friday 18 October 2019

Thought Picnic: I own my stupid choices to overcome my human weaknesses

Count your blessings
In our seemingly ordinary, uneventful and mundane lives, a bit of introspection, reflection and recollection can reveal a life of adventure and enchantment, in the moments, events, experiences and adventures that have engaged us.
As the old song goes, “Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” The many times we forget to be appreciative of the little and large things that have come into our lives to give us a sense of contentment, maybe happiness or even the joy of living. There is much to celebrate about life that we could so easily forget.
The human misery
Beyond this, there is another matter of serious import that pertains to how we see ourselves in the world, in relationships, in friendships and other interactions in the community, in society, at work and within the expression of the expanse of the humanity we might have.
Each and everyone might have encountered something in the spectrum of adversity, of crises, of infirmity, of incapacity, in failure, in disappointment, in despair and whatever negative situation has tested our sense of self.
Admit your choices
One would not be remiss to state that where many issues might be unfortunate, there are some where we must honestly admit responsibility for. The courage to admit to one’s choices and the consequences that have resulted from those choices then face up to them even if it reveals ignorance, foolishness, stupidity, obduracy, truculence, hypocrisy, vulnerability, selfishness, cowardice, or evasiveness on our part is probably the beginning of self-awareness.
In my own life, I have made many bad choices that have resulted in life-changing circumstances, I am gay, it is no impediment. I chose on certain occasions to practice unsafe sex despite the risks it posed. By reason of this, I discovered in 2002 that I was HIV positive.
Freedom by truth
Then, there was no policy to adopt immediate treatment, out of fear, possibly ignorance and maybe even a sense of invincibility, I allowed over 7 years for HIV to ravage my body whilst I lived in denial of what might happen. Then in early 2009, the discolourations on the soles of my feet which I first ignored and then thought was Athlete’s foot fungus was then diagnosed as Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a kind of skin cancer and a clear indication of full-blown AIDS.
I could say I was unfortunate, yet the truth is I allowed this to happen because of the choices I made and the resulting consequences of loss in many areas of my life that I had to rebuild my life again are part of what I must face as my own folly for which I found remediation and treatment to give me a new lease on life. I own my faults, to first forgive me, to then understand myself better, to learn from my mistakes and misstep and hope that the knowledge gives me a better respect for life, in me and in others along with a spirit of encouragement to impart to others that come across my way.
Our burdensome responsibility
Owning our choices in career decision-making, in choosing partners for friendship, companionship, relationship, marriage, or business is another area where was should not seek to claim all the benefits when they come and be quick to blame others when things turn sour. If it did not work out, such is life, we move on rather than cultivate resentment to others and allow bitterness to take root.
Too many people are hurting from all sorts of experiences, the wrongs we think have been done to us by family near and others not so near in the many encounters we have in life, we tend to think we can assuage our hurt by hurting others. Even in my own experiences, there are things that still rankle and hurt, yet, I must find the peace I need in myself through forgiveness, through not reacting to every provocation, through finding a positive seam in a negative situation, sometimes by laughing through the pain because the apparent delirium is a surprising painkiller.
Lemonade from lemons
Yes, making the choice to walk away after the choice that made you walk into the pit of indignity and every inconvenience that heralds the most uncomfortable place to be is quite within our power to exercise and execute, albeit with difficulty, but it must be done for the story of our lives to get better than they seem to be when enmeshment in turmoil.
Indeed, from where I stand today, I have been given a better story because accepting the humility of my stupid choices have given me the capacity to have a vision, a hope and a path that starts from this moment into a better version of myself and the possibility of dreams coming true.
I count my blessings, embrace my privilege, I do not condemn myself in the things I have allowed, I don’t repudiate my identity, I honour my expression with candour and count myself among the blessed, the fortunate and the lucky. I am full of gratitude and thankfulness; this journey has been one that is appreciative of everyone friend and foe that has taught me to be more human.

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