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Like a bird on a perch

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Spirituality, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Revolving Door, Guest Authors

The’s Enrique Franco's tip for living with HIV: wait out the storms for they will pass

Like a bird on a perch

This article by Enrique Franco originally appeared on here.

With ALL of the negative situations that I am forced to face head on, my focus and point of view is slowly maturing into an understanding. A significant awareness and understanding of what my Higher Power is doing in my life and why. All of these events are indeed serious but not life threatening. None of these situations appear to be easy to handle. None of them are what I would willingly or actively throw myself into. But, here I am.

Sure, I could have been promoted to supervisor at work. Sure, there could be a magical pill that would completely free me of this HIV. Sure, I could happily live a life stress free and worry free, exempt from ALL of the bad things in life. But that is not reality. Reality is there is an existing storm all around me. And yet, I am in a spot where I am kept warm and dry. These things happening in my life are almost like when I found out I was HIV positive.

When I was sitting there in that Army medical center, as the Major who was the doctor rattled on and on about me being positive for HIV and the things I needed to start doing, I felt calm and at peace for a moment. I completely zoned him out. My Captain and Platoon Sergeant were sitting right by me. I zoned them out too. It felt like I was a Major League pitcher on the mound. It's bottom of the seventh inning at home. No outs and I just loaded up the bases. All of those fans out there are screaming and cursing my name. I'm getting cold stares from my teammates. The head coach is about to pull me out of the game. But, I stand there calmly and focus. I zone them all out. In fact, I zone the entire situation out.

I remember sitting there and asking myself why and HOW did I let this happen to me? But then I immediately shifted to thinking OK, this is MY life. I gotta start taking control of this all. I must refocus. I was in the zone.

Getting to the bird title: You ever been out in the rain on a cold, nasty day? You're out there walking through this wet, nasty rain and you look up and spot a little bird frantically flying in search of some shelter. All of a sudden, as if guided by God, you watch the little bird find a spot on a perch way up in the corner of some tall building. He calmly lands there and patiently waits. Right by his little feet are a cluster of crumbs for him to eat. And there he is, safe and dry. Even though he is completely surrounded by this ugly, cold, wet storm. And this little bird on a perch, in my own way of knowing things, is ME. Or, it could be YOU in your own storm.

All of this stuff I am engulfed in and STILL I find myself safe at home. Surrounded by my loved ones. I have clothing to cover my back. I have food to fill my stomach. I HAVE my HEALTH even with the HIV in me. But, I am surrounded by a storm. So, what do I do?

Like that little bird, I do nothing but just sit this storm out. I have my Higher Power to deal with ALL of the other crap that I actually have NO CONTROL over. And, when this storm passes me, I will be able to see the light and keep moving forward with life. I guess that's what life is about in some aspects. And I understand that it will NOT always be this easy to view my life as but, for now, this works for me.

So, I am asking all of you that when you feel that you will be eaten from this crap storm that is all around you, PLEASE remember this blog entry and try to refocus and rethink the situation. Whether it's an HIV storm or a financial storm or an emotional storm, whatever the situation ... rethink, refocus, and recharge.

Things like having HIV or AIDS and feeling lonely and scared will and sometimes DO happen to all of us. But, it's only as bad as we make it. We empower those bad storms. And if we have the inner courage, faith, and tenacity to overcome them WE CAN OVERCOME THEM. So, in the midst of any rain, look up ... look beyond ... and keep moving forward.

About the author: Enrique was discharged from the U.S. Army for refusing to hide that he was gay. He also tested HIV positive at that time. Enrique draws strength and inspiration from all his experiences -- from walking his dog to musing about God.

Read Enriques's blog A Brighter Vision here.