I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.





RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.


RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!




Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris


Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST







For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No Easy Way Out...

If never fails, every time I try to take a shortcut in life, it ends up being a bad decision that cost more then it would had I just gone ahead and not tried to find an easy way out!

How many times have you gotten off the express way to get out of traffic to discover that the side streets were a pain in the behind?

I do that a lot with my beads. I live in a one bedroom apartment and my workshop is right here with me. Maybe one day I will be blessed with a studio, even if it's just a second bedroom; but until then, my bracelets are designed and made in my private space.

Well, in the 3 years since I've launched RLT Collection, I have accumulated so many gemstones that it seems that I'm running out of space. Recently, I acquired a couple of pieces of furniture to store my beads and needless to say, it's been a job organizing hundreds of loose beads. I got a system going, but every so often, I lose patience and try an easy way out and before I know it, beads are rolling all across my living room floor. Then I have to start over again, but first I have to spend the time collecting the beads that are rolling under my sofa.

In this microwavable society we want everything quick and we certainly want what comes easy.

I know I'm at fault too. I've stayed in unhealthy relationships because they in my mind, were easier than the work required to develop a new one.

 I've even gone back into unhealthy relationships because it was easier than being alone. Now that is the saddest of all! You free yourself from the madness, to back into the madness because it was easier than being by yourself. Easy ain't always right, nor is it always good.

We take shortcuts every chance we get disrupting the natural growth of life. Have you ever noticed a short cut to a building? We have one over by my HIV Clinic. Instead of walking around, we have created a shortcut right through the grass. But our easy way, has destroyed the grass to the point that it won't even grow on the path anymore.

I know a drug dealer that did the same thing. He disrupted the natural order of his life and his dream of working with children never grew. With a college degree in tote, he started selling drugs for some easy cash. He liked how easy the money came and kept telling himself that he was going to quit once he had saved up enough money. But the more money he made, the more he wanted. It was never enough.

Before long he was a major drug dealer and as they always do, he eventually got caught and served some time in federal prison. That original goal of working with children was destroyed from the greed of quick and easy cash. He has had to create an entire new life for himself with a worthless degree because no school will hire a convicted felon. Seeking easy wealth made life harder than he ever imaged and most importantly, harder than it should have been had he not been looking for easy cash.

What he think is easy is not always best. My gemstones has taught me that lesson over and over again.

Yesterday I got it! As I was shifting beads around to get to that bottom container I was on the verge of insanity yet again; doing the same thing over and again and expecting a different outcome.

 I wanted to get to the bottom container of beads ASAP and as I was trying to lift too many containers at one time to get to the one I wanted. I caught myself. "Rae," I said to myself. "Haven't you learned this fuckin lesson enough?" I looked down at the four containers stacked on top of each other in that tight spot by my curio cabinet. There was a natural order and I was in the process of a major disruption. It was an, "Aha Moment," that hit me in my face hard just like Chicago's wind at -15.

There is no easy way out! Shortcuts are created in the idle mind of the devil's workshop. Shortcuts disrupt the natural order of life whether it's with people or things. They get in your way and they get in God's way. When you take the easy way out, God has to rework God's plan for your life and often times you have to work harder to get to your destination.

Lesson Learned! I unstacked each container one by one and placed them where they wouldn't topple over, until I got to the container that I actually needed. When it was all done, I realized that it was painless. But most importantly, I didn't have to take a detour from my original project to pick up spilled beads and I learned that doing things in their natural order really is the best and easiest way to live. Go ahead and try it! I give you permission, to put one foot in front of the other; for that is how God created us to walk.












Tuesday, March 26, 2013

RLT Reads! The Twelve Tribes of Hattie Book Review!

Oprah is always on point. I've read over a third of of her book club picks and they have all made think a certain kind of way; that to me is good writing.  My goal is to read them all.

Now, honestly, some of her picks have provoked more thinking than others. Nonetheless, her books are typically great writing and great story telling.

Over the years, I've liked some writing styles over others and some story lines over others, but at the end of the day, I've never had a bad read from her book club picks. So when she said that, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was transformative, I was all in. Now, I cannot say that it didn't transform her life, but for sure I can say, that it didn't transform mine. Was it a good read? Yes, without a doubt! Transformative No!

The author tackled some important issues; child sexual abuse, class, race, infidelity, womanizing, homosexuality and the complicated issue of abuse in the black family. It's all there, and when you think about it, with 12 children you are certainly going to have all these important and disconcerting issues within a family.

This book started as a wonderful migration story. Chapter one was brilliant; a young marriage seeking a better life in a Northern city and the failure of that promise rooted in the hard reality of life up North and youthful pride. I was all in!

Then came chapter two and I said hummm and by chapter three I was confuse. Now don't get me wrong, each chapter was great story telling. Where the book went left for me was with the structure. By the third chapter, I felt like I was reading short stories and not a novel. The thing that made this book great was the thing that made this a weak novel.

Each chapter told the story of one or two of Hattie's children and it may or may not have mentioned the other children. Even Hattie was a passing thought. Yes, each child was birthed by Hattie and therefore this book is true to it's title, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, but the thread that connected them in the writing was incredibility thin at best, with a failed attempt in my opinion, to try and bring them all together in the last chapter.

What makes this book powerful is that each chapter is a well written and the author tackle's important issues. Each chapter is a page turner for sure, but with each new chapter, there was a level of disappointment waiting to see how this was going to become a novel.

I gave it 4 stars on Good Reads because over all it really was a good book and each chapter was thought provoking. This is Ayana Mathis first novel and she is well on her way, not just because Oprah choose it, but because she is clearly not afraid to deal head on with important issues in the African-American community such as, Homophobia Class, Skin Color and Child Abuse.

I recommend this book! Now, Black folks are always talking about how Oprah never chooses African-American authors, which by the way is not true, so this is your time to pick up this book and not only join the discussion, but support this raising star! I'm already waiting on Ayana Mathis next book.



Friday, March 22, 2013

RLT Collection News...

In RLT Collection News... All of the fall/winter Bracelets have been marked down and for the rest of March, you can take an additional 20% off. The coupon code at is Marchmadness2013. This sale ends April 3rd  Shop Here



If you had your eye on a particular bracelet from those collections now is the time. Remember, once a bracelet is gone, it's gone.

The first Spring Collection 2013 is up! The Love of Chrysoprase-- Chrysoprase is a rare gemstone in the Chalcedony family. This is a very expensive gemstone and I was fortunate to luck up on. I have paired the stone with freshwater pearls and there are some pretty green agate bracelet to mix and match for texture. This Collection is classic and sophisticated.  They are also 20% off! Shop Here For Chrysoprase Collection! Coupon Code MarchMadness2013


 I love this stone so much, I actually kept one of all the bracelets designs for myself and I'm working on a Chrysoprase and pearl necklace.


You can still purchase my book, The Politics of Respectability  Shop Here for a autographed copy. Shop Here for Amazon Kindle... Shop Here to get the book from Amazon...



Post Script: I'm working on one more Spring Collection and two Summer Collections! Lots of Color and they will be priced very reasonably. I picked up some Jade Gemstones in fun colors for the Spring Forward Collection at a great price, so I'm able to turn them around at a great price.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Woman's Vagina Should Not Be A Pawn...

I was speechless when I watched this video that one of my Twitter followers, Ann sent to me. As I was shaking my head, I had to look down at my PJ's and remind myself that I am a woman, with a vagina and HIV.

So this guy Mike Frey actually said a woman's vagina protects her from contracting HIV. This reminds me of the 1987 article in Cosmopolitan Magazine that said a, "Woman with a healthy vagina couldn't get HIV." That was 1987 when we didn't know that much about HIIV and they still got picketed by Act-Up.

This is 2013, thirty-two years into the AIDS Pandemic and HIV/AIDS has had some of the most ground breaking research in a short period of time. To think that someone actually believes this crap and would part their lips and say it. *Blank Stare* Not only was his information WRONG about woman, but it was also WRONG on the why same sex male's contract HIV.

The internet is buzzing with articles challenging his views on male same sex and HIV, but I've seen very little on what he said about women. I get it, Gay Activist are on their A game and I ain't mad. So my blog post is not on the same sex point  or same sex marriage that Mike Frey tried to make; I'm speaking for and about women. But just so you know, I do support civil unions of the same sex.

I so dislike when people USE HIV to spread hate. If you don't support same sex marriage then say it. But don't push some ill-informed, jack ass reason to support your position.

I practically dislike men using women's vagina's for their politics. When I was in undergrad I did a 30 page research paper looking at how men have used a woman's vagina to promote there political agenda, usually around birth control, but even around issues of race.

The problem with misinformation around HIV, for both Women and Men, could be the difference between life and death.

To tell women that they can't get HIV through heterosexual sex and to speak it with authority is just pure sinful and irresponsible..

So he claimed that female to male sex is safer because a woman has a, "Barrier of cellular tissue that doesn't allow the sperm... to penetrate the blood flow," but anal sex doesn't have this protection. With 34 million adults living with HIV world-wide and approximately half are women, I wonder what planet is Mike living on?

The fact of the matter, women are generally at greater risk of heterosexual transmission, meaning it's easier for a man to transmit to a women, then for a women to a man. According to the HIV/AIDS Charity Avert, "Biologically, women are twice as more likely to become infected with HIV through unprotected heterosexual intercourse than a man."

According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Women are at greater risk for infection through heterosexual contact for the following reason:

  • The vagina has a larger area (compared to the penis), that can be exposed to HIV-infected semen.
  • Semen can stay in the vagina for days after sex, while men are only exposed to HIV-infected fluids during sex. Semen left in the vagina means a longer exposure to the virus for women.
  • Having untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) makes it more likely for a person to get HIV. This is especially true for women. Small cuts on the skin of the vagina are hard to notice but may allow HIV to pass into a woman's body.


In the back drop of Woman and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on this pass Sunday, I am aware of the fact that we must educate our women and girls about their risk factors around HIV/AIDS.

While treatment is great, I believe that prevention is our best defense against this disease. We cannot save lives with half-truths and misinformation. I have no idea who Mike Frey is, but what I know for sure is this kind of misinformation coming out of his mouth is dangerous.  I was reading some of the comments people made on line at various articles on this topic and for sure, people cling to crazy out of the fear of the truth.

When a woman believes the truth that she is at risk for HIV, she has to then adjust her behavior to meet this new information. Half truths are easier to embrace sometimes. Who wants to believe that their boyfriend  or even husband, could put them at risk? Who wants to think about using condoms with that man who is your best thing since slice bread? The truth then becomes the barrier between what you hope for  in a relationship and what is the reality.

Condoms have become our enemy that is buried under the hope for a better truth; My Partner will keep me self, I am not at risk, I'm in a monogamous relationship, He loves me...

But when you pull the layers back, the most profound question you must ask yourself is, how much do I love me?

In 2013, we have come a lone way. But clearly Mike Frey has reminded us how far we still must go. We must challenge misinformation head on. The TRUTH is our sword in the fight against new infections, against stigma and shaming.

 A Man who cannot respect the truth about a Woman's vagina, should not be privileged to enter it.  And a Woman who loves the love of a man, over the love of her own vagina, is living in the world of Mike Frey.

A Woman's vagina should not be a pawn... Bottom Line.





Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Shades of Grey: Forgiveness and Friendship

I've never been able to have a poker face or heart. Nope, I wear my emotions all over my face right down to my core. When I hurt I hurt and when someone really, really hurts me, I don't know how to regroup.

But yet my heart is so good. There's something about me that picks up strays all day long. I mean I'm the person who tried to keep the baby pigeon alive on my back porch after her mother deserted her. I'm the person who moved a young gay male into my home after his grandmother throw him out over his lifestyle and I practically raised a teenage girl, moving her into my home and assuming a good deal of the responsibility for her. My Pastor calls it the Pastor spirit. He told me, there's this impulse to save.

Not only is my heart good, it's tough. I take hurt in stride and forgiveness serious. But I tend to be a black and white person with very little grey. Right is right and wrong is wrong and whatever grey that lies in between I've learned over the years can be a very dangerous thing.

I've learned over the years that when someone hurts you, you better take notice. Loyalty and trust is everything to me. So when that teenage girl, became a young lady and looked me in the face and lied with tears running down her face, "Mommie, I would never do such a thing." She had been stealing my BMW while I was on the road speaking and one day she left the garage door open and the other tenant's car was burglarized. My landlord said to me over the phone, "Mrs. Thornton, when I came into the garbage the door was wide open." I side with confidence, "But Mrs. Hawkins, I'm out of town. I have nothing to do with this." She replied, "Mrs. Thornton, but your car was gone."

When I came home from speaking I had to deal with it head on. We had our share of growing pains. Of young adult disrespect. That's why she was living down the street and no longer with me. You can't live in my house and disrespect me. We teach people how to treat us; what is acceptable behavior and what is not. But I never thought for one moment that I couldn't trust her, I mean with my life.

As the drama escalated over the week. This girl whom I had given the world to looked me right back in my face less then a week later and said with a straight face, "Yeah I lied. You just mad cause I'm not kissing your ass."

It didn't take a rocket science to see that we had moved into a dangerous shade of grey. That's when I asked for all of my keys home and car. When lying becomes that easy, you take notice. The saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. But it's a hard thing taking notice when you love someone.

Like what do you do with those grey areas for people that you love? With my keys in tote I continued to make an effort and each time I would learn a new lesson the hard way right down to the core of my heart. Then one day I decided that this is not what love should be like.

But their lingered my Pastor Spirit, something inside of me that told me that she needed me to save her... To love all her pain away... But I was trying to save her and killing me in the process.


It was the same thing with my biological mother. A heroine addict for a good part of her life, yet by the time I met her when I was 18, she was clean, married and living an upper middle class life. But by the time I was 24 her demons took center stage and mental illness became a way of life. I had to learn how to protect myself and keep her in my life it was a hard balance and I did it for over 20 years.

Same thing with Mama who raised me. She was a walking contradiction. One moment she was sweet as pie and the next I was bitch this and motherfucker that. But for the most part in my adult years, I negotiated and found balance well. I made my visits and calls short with Mama, because I could never trust her next move.

And after years of finding balance with my biological mother, mental illness, she dug a knife in my heart and twisted it. Lead by her mental illness, she sent me the most horrific letter. It began like this,
 "Dear Rae, I hate you and all Niggers."

My therapist  at the time, didn't bat an eye, he looked me straight in the face and said, "Leave her alone. Her mental illness is dangerous for you." And I walked away until the week before she died, when I dropped everything to go to her sick bed and then followed through by taking care of all of her affairs during and after her death. Her mother, my grandmother, whom I've never met in person, didn't want anything to do with it. I buried my mother in the tradition of her faith, Buddhism. It was me or the State and it was the right thing to do.

It was the same with Mama. I took care of her for two years in her battle with cancer and then buried her with class and dignity. A girlfriend asked me the day I buried Mama, "How did you do it?" I said, "I took care of Mama because of who I am, not because of who she was."

I try my best to practice what I preach. I try not to judge. I try to meet people where they are at, not where I want them to be. I mean in the end, all a person can be is themselves. But sometimes who a person is, is not a good thing for you. I had to learn, especially in the age of Social Media, that everyone is not meant to be your friend.

I try to love others, like how I want to be loved. But when someone hurts you whether it's a lover or a friend you are left with many shades of grey. Like how do you look someone in the face and smile and they dug a knife into you? And does it make you any less of a person that you can't be their friend? We throw this quote around like confetti, "When someone shows you who they are believe them." But when it's time to put this saying into practice, some how we are judged because we don't want to fuck with hurt no more.

Does forgiveness means friendship? I mean how does that really work? You hurt me beyond anything I could ever image and now I'm suppose to chit chat with your ass?

It's like catching your lover in bed with someone, are you suppose to crawl back into that same bed he shared with another? In this case you are left with a lot of hurt and often times a deep abiding love for that person. At least the person you thought they were. I mean did you ever think your lover would be in bed with someone other than you? Like how am I suppose to trust you ever again? How do I determine who you really are, and who I loved?

I'm faced with this dilemma in my life right now; a friendship that was violated in unimaginable terms. It left my new therapist speechless. And after she regained herself, She said to me, "This sort of stuff happens on TV, not in real life."

For months now I've been trying to sort out the pieces. The different shades of grey. The why? The how could I have been so blind sided? The what the fuck do you do with this kind of hurt; The kind of hurt that scares the fuck out of you, a fear of your own personal well being, physically and emotionally. The profound emotional abuse that comes with this level of betrayal. The working through what is real and what ain't.

Yes, there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to the people you love who hurt you, but I've had to learn that loving me first was the greatest love that I can render.

So, I'm finally at a place where I can work it out in therapy. I need to heal, and you can't heal holding onto the hurt. Nor can you pretend this shit didn't happen. You have to deal with it, all of it and deal with it at face value. You must be willing to  call a spade a spade  no matter how painful it may be, or you are no better off then you were living in the hurt.

 For sure, healing must take place before their can ever be a friendship again. And the thing is, while you can be sure of your own healing, you can never quite be sure of the other persons healing. Like have they really worked on the thing that made them violate you in these proportions?

It's been a heavy load. I've had to unpack everything that has been said and perform an autopsy on every single word and deed in the months since the initial hurt. Then on top of that, reexamine the entire friendship. That's a lot of work.

Like for real, for real, trying to determine what's real and what ain't has taken over my life. That's why I'm glad I'm giving it over to a mental health professional who can help me sort out the truths and accept the lies. To help me heal from this unfathomable breach of trust.

What I know for sure, is that Forgiveness is a must in order to heal. Forgiveness is a must if you live the life of a Christian. There is peace in forgiveness. You must do it because it's who you say you are, not because of you they are, or what they did to you.


But forgiveness does not, nor should not guarantee friendship. The betrayal forfeited their right to friendship. Love is a mandate but friendship is a choice that is developed, earned and kept on merit. 

For sure, I know that once their has been a breach of mass portions, nothing can be the same again. The author Nella Larson has a line in her book Passing, If a man calls me a nigger it's his fault the first time, but mine if he has the opportunity to do it again.






Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Reflection: Three Years In Social Media...

I've been called a whore, a hypocrite, a fraud, a bitch, interesting though I've never been called a liar.

Yep, as I review my 3 year anniversary to my blog and my use of Social Media to educate and fight stigma around HIV/AIDS people have said the darnedest things to me. I've been told that I was going to hell. I was told that if I'm a Christian then they wouldn't want to be one. I've been told that I definitely had a gift, but ummm I was definitely squandering it... hummm... Really? God been talking to you about me?

Yep, I've even been told if people really knew who I were, then they wouldn't fuck with me. People have told me that they have lost, "respect for me." I've been kicked out of my sorority. I've been told that I was selfish and self-centered and ummmm I was even told that my, "Pussy was a death trap." I've been lied to and lied on.

I've been unfollowed by people, cursed out directly, sub-tweeted by cowards. Threaten to be sued if I tell publicly, the mean shit that was said to me privately through DM..... umm BTW it don't work like that. You can't tell someone privately that they are a horrible person, then turn around in the same breath and tell them that you will sue if they tell *blank stare*

Yep, blogging and being active in Social Media has been a whirlwind these last 3 years. But at the end of the day I thank God for it. The good, the bad and the ugly. Well I've told you some of the ugly, but it ain't all been bad.

I've met some wonderful people. Reconnected with people along my journey. Expanded my message's reach by leaps and bounds.

I've Grown my bracelet business RLT Collection. I've learned that I am a writer, actually a great story teller. I didn't know that I had it in me. I even wrote a book, The Politics of Respectability. And this has given me the courage for start working on the re-write for my memoir. It's coming this year!  I've expanded my brand to, Tea With Rae, RLT Reads and RLT Inspires.

My blog is now syndicated on thebody.com the largest on line HIV/AIDS resource in the country and Poz Magazine, the oldest HIV/AIDS magazine in the country, as well as Black Doctors.org. I''ve received CBS Most Valuable Blogger Award in Health and Wellness and The BlackWeBlog Award in Health and Wellness and the British Academy Golden Twit Award in public service.

The Diva Living With AIDS Blog is just short 200,000 views from a million views! My Twitter went from 250 followers to 8,000. My Facebook personal page went from 1,500 to 5,000 and my fan page that I started the same time as the blog is over 7,000 fans. My You Tube went from around 2,000 views this summer to over 160,000. I've seen growth beyond anything I could have ever imaged when I wrote that first blog post on March 8, 2010.

But most importantly, I've made people think about their lives and how they are living it! And that at the end of the day means everything. I've encouraged and given voice to other people living with HIV/AIDS. I've bonded with other women who have been raped and sexually abused by brothers, uncles, mama's boyfriend and even daddy and giving them hope for healing.

I've helped people living with other sexually transmitted diseases, Herpes, HPV, Gonorrhea and Syphilis, stand tall. Thank you for trusting me with your stories. Based on emails, tweets and private messages that I have received, my use of Social Media has been a blessing! Women and even some men are rethinking their dating and sex lives and that alone is worth the bad and the ugly that I continue to get through Social Media.

Making yourself open to public scrutiny is more than a notion. It's left me somedays in outrage and other days in tears but with a clear understanding of my gifts and my call, my purpose, I press forward.

I told my friend Keith years ago, "Dr. Negro," as I call him, "Get over yourself, they talked about Jesus. Who are you, not to be talked about?" He and I laugh about that all the time. He says when times get tough, he is reminded of that one point.

Not only did they talk about Jesus, they challenged His ministry over and over again. Pastor preached about that on Sunday. How the leaders challenged the fact that Jesus dared to heal someone on the Sabbath, breaking law and custom. They betrayed Him, beat Him and eventually crucified Him. So who am I in the scheme of things? I get it, I'm just a peon in the scheme of this life. But I also understand that my life is not my own. God has kept me here for a purpose and I press toward that mark everyday of my life.

I'm not a perfect person or a perfect servant, but as long as I keep trying, nothing else really matters. My therapist and I were talking about my need to always fight back, "prove" that I'm right. At the end of the day, I know my truths and I'm the one that have to live with myself. Let people believe what they want. I remind myself every day, you are not responsible for people living in a lie. Let them work through their own shit, discover their own truths.

WOW!!! I got it!!! So with this understanding I through up a white flag and kept right on steppin. What people think of me good and bad will not change who I am. It took me a long time to like myself and then to start living like I like myself. I can't let others derail me nor the work that God has called me to do.


When I launched this blog I said this.....

Diva Living With AIDS blog will be true to the essence of my work and life as a woman. I will educate and inform through my eyes and life. Like in the past, I will address a gamut of issues including: HIV/AIDS, childhood sexual abuse, dating, overall health, politics, and of course beauty, Diva style. I am not limiting myself to one genre; the sky is the limit. I made a promise sixteen years ago that I would be a voice for the voiceless, face for the faceless, bring hope to the hopeless and tear down barriers and stand with DIGNITY, as a Woman living with AIDS. This Blog is another way for me to keep this promise. I am not a professional writer, just a Diva Living with AIDS and having her say........

I've stayed true to this and will continue to do so, until God says it's over. I thank each of you for your support. Like for real... For real if it had not been for you, I would be blogging to myself. 
Your support means everything

Thank you for sticking with me  and my misspelled words. I'm looking for a new editor now. Thank you for sticking with me when my health derail my productivity and blog post were far, few and in between. Thank you for defending me and protecting me from the madness that I get in my blog comments. Thank you for sharing my blog with others... Thank you... thank you.... thank you for coming back over and over again... #IcannotdoitAlone

Post Script: My health is gettin better each day... And I'm gettin back to work, this means I will be blogging regularly...  Thank you for your prayers...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Reflection:Each New Day!

 So we've made it to March already! Where has the time gone? I know for me this year has been non-stop health issues. I've been trying simply to keep my head above water. Honestly, today I can say that I'm starting to feel a lot better!

The mediport seems to be actually healing now. The herpes is gone. I'm not really sure how the herpes went away. I only had one round of the Cidofovir and by that time it was basically healed.  It typically takes 3-5 rounds.

Maybe it was the acupuncture. I'm not sure, I'm just grateful. The one day on Cidofovir, I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. It's a very hard drug to take. So the fact that the herpes went away so quickly was a blessing for sure and if truth be told nothing short of a miracle.

So here we are in March and today starts my first day of trying to play catch up! I have to complete my spring RLT Collection and get it to the photographers. I have so so so many blogs in my spirit to share with you! This week makes 3 years for my blog and I'm so happy! We will be having a new look by next month. So stay tuned...

I don't have anything profound to say today! My mind is to cluttered to put anything on paper. I just wanted to say, no matter what life throws your way, just keep right on living! Keep living because each new day is a new day filled with possibilities.

Back at the beginning of February I thought I wouldn't make it to March without cracking up, but I did. I did it one day at a time.; embracing whatever came my way each new day. And each new day got me closer and closer to better.

I know I make it sound simple. When you are going through, tomorrow seems impossible. But as sure as I'm alive and today is Monday, each new day has a miracle in it!

 
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