I recently got this in my inbox. It’s an example of a message I’ve gotten a lot over the years. And it’s at the source of a lot of the pain and suffering I see all the time. Is herpes an opportunity or a curse (or something in between)?

“You know honestly, while i appreciate your forum and your perspective on everything, it’s not an opportunity, it’s a curse. Why? Because people are short sighted, judgmental, and ignorant … Just had to say how I feel.”

Here’s my response …

I appreciate you being real about it and reaching out! As you can imagine, I get these kinds of messages a lot. And I totally get it. How I came to this perspective was through many years of suffering … So I truly, deeply get how much it can hurt and how scary it can be. 

And you want to know something fascinating? You’re absolutely right: It IS a curse … And you want to know something else equally fascinating? It IS an opportunity. Either can be 100% true. Beliefs can be a tricky thing. And beliefs are subjective: There is no universal truth about any of this. Beliefs can magically pull in any supporting data and label it “proof” of whatever belief you’re holding. Be careful. Notice. 

The psychology behind this is called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. And you’ve probably heard this yourself in the new car analogy. When you buy a brand new red car, it seems you’re noticing red cars all over the place! (But that doesn’t mean that all of the sudden non-red cars have vanished from the roads.) So, if you believe that all people are short-sighted, judgmental, and ignorant, you’re going to find all the examples to prove that belief. Your brain is a pattern recognizing machine. And it works hand-in-hand with your thoughts and beliefs. It takes more energy and focus to notice things that are outside of the scope of your beliefs. That’s why it takes practice to shift your beliefs to ones that suit the life you want to live. 

And really, when it comes down to it, even though I want you to live your best possible life … it ultimately doesn’t impact me whether you believe it’s an opportunity or a curse. But I’ll tell you who it will most certainly impact: You. 

So I’m not here to convince you. I simply offer this Opportunity perspective to people as an alternative to suffering through your self-limiting beliefs … This is an empowered alternative that you either decide to take on or not. And yes, it does take work.

So wake up. Or not. It is totally up to you. It always has been. (And that is very good news.)

“Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford

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Are you wanting to shift from believing it’s a curse to making it an opportunity?
Check out the Lifestyle Guides (they’re what I wish I had when I was first diagnosed)

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