As a therapist, I hear a variety of everything from individuals. My friends and family consult with me about everything. This year I have heard several times about people are ready for this year to end. Recently, someone told me they regret a lot of the decisions they made. Personally, 2016 started out a little rocky, but after MLK weekend I evaluated a few things and decided I did not want to deal with several things, and I didn’t want to feel like that anymore, so I made some personal changes. For the first time in a long time, I woke up to choices and patterns that led me down a road of destruction. At that moment I noticed that I should have ended some things a long time ago. I had a choice to feel guilty, or live with regrets, or find some compassion for the choices I made. The pain and rejection were information that I needed to evolve into the next chapter of my life. The thing about a lesson is once you learn them; you don’t have to revisit them again. Everything happens for a reason. Don’t stress the could haves.
I remember having a conversation with my coworker/friend, and she was explaining to me that 2016 was her year of “Yes.” I encouraged her to step out on faith and trust the process, and explore opportunities. During that conversation, I told my coworker that this would be my year of “NO.” 2016 was a year of me learning that to whom much is given…….saying “NO” may be required. I made a decision to focus on building myself, and if it wasn’t about advancing or elevating me personally or professionally then, the answer was “NO.” I was only interested in building myself emotionally, spiritually, financially, and mentally.
The remainder of 2016 has been an excellent chapter on my journey on this thing we call life. I was able to regain my focus and close out one of the most challenging hurdles in my life since boot camp, and I am counting down the days to graduation. I don’t have regrets about sacrificing and taking breaks from school to help someone. I can learn from the mistakes, and keep it moving.
Career wise I have been blessed with several opportunities to work with PESI as a consultant and travel to new cities meeting new people. Another opportunity I was blessed to receive a call from someone who attended one of my workshops and extended the offer for me to teach at The Catholic University Master of Social Work Program. Receiving the request to teach has been a blessing because it reminded me how much I missed and loved teaching about the knowledge that I have learned over the years with my future colleagues. My real estate business has been doing very well, and I was able to assist with several refinance opportunities. Last but not least, I met someone that I wasn’t expecting to meet, but now I can’t imagine my life without them. As I am closing out 2016, I still have a few strained relationships that I am not 100% happy about, but it takes two people to make a relationship work. I am still praying about each of those situations, but I refuse to stress over spilled milk.
You can’t expect for things to be perfect every day. You will make mistakes when it comes to love, life, career, and personal relationships. There will be moments when you will be the best and worst version of yourself. Take accountability, and commit yourself to living at your highest level of knowledge.
You will have moments on your personal journey where you will struggle, but remember you are human. Life is about making the mistakes, but learning how to become a better person. Be gentle with yourself, and remain committed to growing and learning from the mistakes of 2016 so you can continue to offer compassion for all of the new lessons that will come your way.
Life is what you make of it and if you choose to find the silver lining in situations; your struggles suddenly become your triumphs. We are in December make the last chapter of 2016 a great one.
World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.
Too many people are thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, when they need just to water the grass they are standing on and know their status. To date, more than 30 million people have died from AIDS, and some 34 million are currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 1 in 5 people with HIV doesn’t know they have it. Get tested & know your status! #WorldAIDSDay
Currently, only 30% of Americans who are infected are virologically suppressed. Identifying HIV-positive persons and improving the administration of care will increase the number of persons retained in care. Someday soon, we may be able to welcome a new generation into an AIDS-free world.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Make a goal to educate everyone on the importance of getting tested for HIV.
Educate your family, friends, students, children, and patients and reduce stigma. Stigma and discrimination prevent people from getting tested and receiving treatment. Educate individuals about the disease, risk factors, and available treatments, and explain what it means to be infected.
Keep negatives negative. Even after someone has tested negative for HIV, ensure that they understand how to maintain a healthy, low-risk lifestyle.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?
To find out more about HIV/AIDS, visit https://www.apa.org/pi/aids/resources/exchange/2012/04/hope-program.aspx
If you are need of HIV and mental health training to your staff (social workers, psychiatrists, medical doctors, nurses, school counselors), and students, please contact Michael D. Gatson, (318) 663-1068 (C), or (240) 706-7187 (H)