One magic phrase to empower your perspective

Are you feeling like you’re bashing your head against a wall trying to figure out how to deal with this virus? Are you constantly beating yourself up about where you find yourself right now (“Why did I just have to have sex with that person …”)? There’s one magic phrase that will help with herpes … Here it is (drum roll, please)…

“If this, then what?”

Yep, that’s it. Yep, it’s an amazingly powerful and magical phrase. Elegant in its simplicity. How? Let’s break it down into its two basic parts …

PART 1: “If this (ex: If I have herpes)…”

Say it. Say it outloud. “I have herpes.” Accept it. That part is done. No amount of self-pity will change that fact. You got it. It’s for life. Now that the acceptance part is over with, you move on (quite literally) to the next part of this magic phrase.

Another part that keeps so many people from accepting this is all of the beliefs they have about what herpes means. Does it mean that you’re a dirty, damaged person or does it mean that you are compassionate, considerate and driven by integrity? What if herpes doesn’t actually mean all these horrible things you’ve been believing about it? What if you make it mean the opposite?

Where all of the suffering comes from is hanging out in the part that can’t be changed, beating ourselves up about that person we slept with, if only we could go back and walk away, if only, if only, if only … But why are we dwelling on something that is unchangeable? There’s not likely going to be a herpes cure anytime soon. And time machines aren't quite here yet.

Acceptance around simply having herpes allows us to drop that irrational hope of somehow getting rid of herpes so we can go back to “how it used to be.” This acceptance around herpes allows us to move into our lives as it actually is without the fantasy. Dropping this false expectation allows us to move on cleanly into part 2 …

PART 2: “… then what?”

This is the part where we get to experience our life as it actually is. Hey, you know what? Everyone’s got their “stuff” … everyone has their baggage. Ours includes herpes (and maybe a few other carry-on items we’ve collected over the years). So what are we going to do with our lives now that we’ve accepted we have baggage? (First step is to welcome you to being a human being.) Yes, life with herpes doesn’t look exactly the same as life without herpes. But what are you still comparing for anyway? (Refer back to Part 1 … no need to compare when it is what it is, right?)

One thing that may jump out at us: Now we have a responsibility to have the herpes talk before we sleep with someone; and hey, I’ll hand it to you: the herpes talk ain’t always the easiest thing to do — it takes courage! And it’s something that we honest people do now that we’ve accepted herpes. Ultimately, just deciding to have the talk demonstrates some pretty admirable (and attractive) qualities. By us disclosing, it shows the kind of person we are. (By the way, the herpes talk can be a positive, connecting experience if you focus on the right things when you disclose; check out the herpes disclosure e-book for more on that.)

So let’s wrap this baby up ...

Ask yourself this question: “If I’m in total acceptance that I have herpes, then what?” What does a person who has accepted and integrated the fact of having herpes do in their life? What kind of awesome, courageous and open-hearted human do you become? You can be that person right now.

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