Matthew Carter – A Positive, Happy Life.
By S. Riviera, VivaLaRiviera.com
Photos by Photosphere Studios
(Book cover photo by Robert Mercer Jr. Make up by Lettie Simpson)
You meet many people in New York but you never really know who or what they are or do. Well in the case of author Matthew Carter, he’s also a model/actor/dancer/mime/instructor, I got lucky. We met on set of a Netflix series and right away I found out he had written a book. He said he had written, edited and published it himself. I was automatically impressed. Not an easy thing to do people especially when writing about your own life AND your experiences living a happy positive life even after being diagnosed as HIV/AIDS positive. Which for many it can mean the end of an existence. But not for Matthew. He instead decided to turn his life around and concentrate on the good things in life. Being that he had been religious and spiritual most of his life it came naturally. Now he lives an even happier life and influences many with his optimistic point of view on life and its conditions. War-Angel: The Awakening the book about his lifes experiences is out now. A must read for anyone who loves to be inspired!
Samara: You’ve been bullied and attacked for being who you are. How does one turn that into a positive later on in life?
Matthew: For me, I quickly remembered how I treated others, and because of my relationship with God he showed me a lot of alternatives that I began to accept instead of being full of anger. Getting in trouble and fighting all the time didn’t make me cool. And responding in anger all the time because of what people called me gave them power over me. At the age of 16 is when I had a true revelation. I was in Juvenal Hall for stealing a car, and I met a boyfriend in there believe it or not, but I realized that was not where I was supposed to be for the rest of my life and began to let go. I’m not perfect, but I do my best to be understanding of others, and instead of asking “What Would Jesus Do?” I ask “What Did Jesus Do?” as well as my mother, and other leaders who lead others. I decided I want to live in a world without judging others or forcing them to be like me. I’ve been hurt on many levels, and I NEVER want to be the one purposely hurting others the way others hurt me, because I know too well how it feels.
Samara: And now you’ve written a book. Tell us about War-Angel: The Awakening?
Matthew: “War-Angel: The Awakening” is a book based off personal things I’ve been through spiritually and physically. I’ve been attacked on both levels many times. This story mostly revolves around me as a younger adult after being outed to my mom by my sibling. Though I accepted God at a very early age. I was afraid to fully accept my purpose because of fear after getting HIV and then getting AIDS because of depression. After another soul searching journey I was once again led to help the masses who felt neglected and thrown away. I tell of things I encountered living both in Florida and in Georgia, hoping my story can uplift someone. I speak of how the doctor reacted upon telling me I had AIDS to understanding I can still have a life. This book is really my biography, well some of my story. We all need a wake-up call at some point in our lives, and this was another one for me. I’ve encountered many things in my life and I wanted to tell others of how things turned out for me. I learned to combine more than one element to become complete, and not run from things. I’ve learned that having faith is one thing, but activating it and using it is another. There is so much more to life than existing to pay bills, and this book shows people another side of me. A side I was afraid to talk about because of the way they would look at me. I felt they may give me the crazy eye, but I know someone out there will be helped even long after I’m gone, and this book is something I can leave behind to help those who feel they are alone as well. It was quite challenging revisiting some of my past, but it has been very therapeutic releasing some of the things I held inside. I’m hoping they can understand that building a spiritual relationship, and maintaining it can have a major effect on the physical realm. I also want people to understand that just because you are an angel, doesn’t mean you are weak and timid. Angels are warriors, I have been called to battle, and I have willingly stepped on the front line holding onto my faith.
Samara: Were you afraid to write all your truths because of what people might say?
Matthew: I cannot express how afraid I was. I could see it in my mind how people would look at me, but then I continued to hear, “It’s NOT about you!”, and I couldn’t sleep at night. I wrestled with hitting the publish button after writing, and even while writing I convinced myself they would probably say this was just a book of fantasy. Even though the book is based on personal experiences, both spiritual and physical combined, along with visions and dreams I had, it was still hard for me, until I humbled myself and said, “It may be my testimony, but its NOT about me.”
Samara: What have been peoples responses? I hear its a best seller now.
Matthew: The responses have been amazing. I just told a few friends, family members, and others I know who helped me, and they have been telling others about the story. Strangers have reached out to me and expressed how much the story has helped them. Many were not dealing with HIV or AIDS, but they said the story has still helped them and driven them to be better, or just move if they were stagnant. My heart smiles to know someone has been able to advance.
Samara: How do you stay in such a happy and positive state of mind all the time?
Matthew: I am in this happy place, because I’m grateful. I realize how fortunate I am. I focus on what I do have, and not what I don’t have. I appreciate the little things, and the things money can’t buy. I pray daily, and maintain my bonds. I give respect to all, and acknowledge everything, and everyone when I can, as best as I can. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m thankful I’m not where I was. Finding a silver lining can be a challenge, but the discovery makes all the darkness disappear. I found joy within, and it conquers everything attacking.
Samara: You also created an organization. Tell us about that?
Matthew: Yes, I created an organization after finding out I was HIV positive. After crying for three days God told me to stop crying and to stop saying I was dying. He told me to live, and I wanted to live with a purpose. I also wanted to help others live and again remembered the chances I was never offered or given, so I created an organization to help those who had a true passion. The name of the organization is “A Real Desire.” The organization focuses on helping those without the finances get the foundation they need to present themselves properly. A starting point. There are no age limits or specific talent anyone has to have. All that is required is dedication, passion, and a REAL desire to be a positive impact in the world. The website is www.arealdesire.org
Samara: Where can people find your book?
Matthew: At this point, the book is available on Amazon Smile. You can also visit www.arealdesire.org.
Samara: What other projects are you working on?
Matthew: Right now I am working with an independent director Lanier Westmoreland and producer JB Bruno who read the story. They want to make it into a movie.
Facebook: Matthew Carter: Unchanged