Your Life’s Journey in Advocacy
Last updated: January 2023
Advocacy is not a decision you make on a whim, and it is not for the meek, it takes demanding work and dedication. There are people who are not living with HIV who advocate extremely hard for the HIV community, but it is especially not easy for the people who are open about their HIV status.
Because once you let that cat out of the bag you cannot take it back, it is out there for the world to know. You deal with criticism, people pointing fingers at you, and the bad feeling of not being supported by others.
Listening to your inner voice
The only way to know if this advocacy journey is what you were meant to do is to listen to your inner voice in your head. In spite of how hard it is, you do not give up; you wipe yourself off and push on anyway. Your passion would never be hindered by anyone. Nobody, not even your family, friends, or partner.
The journey to advocate may not have been your life's calling if it seems easy to give up. Your presence is vital to people around the world who need you. I remember reading something that said our journey in life is about producing results and following the necessary processes, but also staying on course and not deviating.
When advocacy feels right for you, you light up when you do it, it makes you happy to be doing it, and the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are helping others makes you feel peaceful.
Thinking about the people I have reached
When you leave you must think of the people who need you. What will they do now? To whom will they turn? My commitment to advocacy has been torn and I have wanted to give up. Then I think about the people I have reached; I think about if I stop what will happen.
I cannot let advocacy go for one second, which has led me to believe it is my calling and part of my journey. I say that it is my life, and I cannot turn back now. The only way I will stop is if the creator tells me to. Until then advocacy is me, I am advocacy.
The importance of HIV education
In the mornings and at night, I spend time contemplating how I can reach the people, so they will not end up contracting HIV as I did. We are not taught about our sexual health and what that means. The only way to get their attention is to produce creative ways about HIV so they can notice it and hear you.
Tired of course I am at times but there is no room to give up on the people who need it most. This is not for everyone and disclosing your HIV is not for everyone, but you can even advocate and not tell the world you are living with HIV. So, I tell you to do some serious thinking to see if advocacy is for you.
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