One develops great courage from traveling the journey of illness.
At the beginning it is like a strange, formless, indefinite entity that is born at the moment of the diagnosis –an undesired creature indeed.
But it was born and now it is right here with you, as you watch it stubbornly develop, nurtured by every step you take toward your capacity to accept things as they are, your ability to deal with your reality better and, ultimately, to your healing.
Every step of the way, from the simplest fear of tests and treatments to the overwhelming dread of facing and dealing with the endless “what ifs”, makes the creature develop into a specific shape until you can recognize it as what it really is: a POWER that was not there before.
One needs huge amounts of courage in order to face the fears that illness brings to our startled minds—fear of loss, of disability, of suffering, of uncertainty, of what will be and what will never be again, of depending on others, and of so much more. And ultimately, of course, the fear of our own mortality.
“Courage is Grace under Pressure”, Hemingway told us.
When we feel we are about to drown in a life-threatening storm, the human spirit is capable of extraordinary achievements. The human spirit is undefeatable, no matter the adversity. No matter what challenge is presented to it, sooner or later it will take up that challenge with a burst of hope, and find a way out, a way through, a reminder of the courage in you and of the undeniable way that you have already been able to overcome many hurdles in your past.
The human spirit is invincible; it is that part of you that endlessly seeks healing and doesn’t give up, that always needs to find a way out and to keep going until you heal. And you will know that you have arrived at your healing when you experience serenity in the presence of your disease.
I had the choice to continue being who I had been till that moment, with the same skills to face a life of illness, or I could choose to flow with what I was supposed to become. I chose the second path and indeed I became a new self.