“’20 Years Strong’ means Atlanta Black Gay Pride is about more than just a party. It's about expanding the mind for the true meaning of Black Gay Pride; affirmation, advocacy, unity and educatioRead More Read More
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
As an openly HIV positive man, I’ve grown to understand the importance of using positive affirmations to uplift yourself. This past year I wrote my first book entitled Pos+tively Beautiful: A Book of Affirmations, Advice & Advocacy and I hadn’t realized how broken I was until I attempted to write the very first sentence of the first chapter. I, like so many of us, had been in denial about who I was and what I stood for because past hurts continued to linger. Outwardly, I was an immensely jovial, well-groomed and in-control young man but inwardly, I suffered more than you would ever believe. I suffered because I had not forgiven myself for the past mistakes I had made. I forgave my molesters, I forgave the man who raped me at 19 and I even forgave my father for abandoning me but I simply could not forgive the man in the mirror.
After seeking therapy for the demons I harbored, my therapist introduced me to the notion of using positive affirmations as an effective way of self-preservation and self-forgiveness. Although we only met for a total of five 1-hour sessions, he was able to change my way of thinking by reaffirming what I already knew about myself. Since our brains really only recognize the present, he recommended I use present-tense affirmations like, “I AM Strong, I AM Worth it, I AM Fearless & I am Wise”. Believe it or not, these simple yet often used affirmations began to change my life. Why? Because I said them with great emotion and passion but mainly because I desperately wanted to believe I was these things. I began using these affirmations daily to combat the depression and negative thoughts that constantly haunted me. My outlook on my past changed and I was finally able to write the very first line of the first chapter of not just my book but my future.
I pose this question to you, why do you believe it’s easier to forgive others but not ourselves?