Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Quiet Courage

This floated up in my writing this morning in response to a Facebook post by Isabel Faith Abbott about the losses and grief that comes with having a chronic illness. 
I wrote (34 years after diagnosis): I was mulling this morning how, despite the lack of stable progress and the almost constant presence of pain, I have always thought that "one day" I would get better and be, if not 100% restored at least 80% or so. Is this hope or denial? Is it a way to cope and continue or just postponement of real acceptance? 
There are books I want to write, workshops I thought I'd share, places I thought I'd go. And you are right Isabel- facing that these may (or, at this point for me, most likely) not happen is facing real loss and grief. Life is still good in many ways- and yet most often coloured with pain and prostration, I am waaaay too familiar with the tiles of my bathroom floor. :-) I wonder if my "hopefulness" might sometimes rob me of fully relaxing into and enjoying what there is to enjoy in this present moment? (Yes, even on the cool, supportive bathroom floor where there is nowhere to fall.) . . .
We live in a culture that loves (reveres) the heroic, (and I do not want to take anything away from the heroes who rise when circumstances truly call for heroics) but so much of life is about a more quiet kind of courage. ~Oriah
Gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for this photo that seemed to mirror my feeling - a sun rising beneath cloud cover, the beauty even where there is no blazing light


  1. How true this is. Sometimes, the best we can do is tread water and even then it is exhausting. All life asks is that we do the best we can, whatever that is. I am always uncomfortable with metrics. But I am also impatient with my limitations. It certainly is a balancing act. Thanks for helping me think this through today, Oriah.

  2. Thanks for this Oriah. I've struggled with IBS issues for years and have always "resisted" them: pushing on regardless, refusing to be limited by them, trying to ignore the problem. The result has been a lot of stress - which almost certainly makes the whole thing worse. Recently I've been feeling a call to embrace and accept, rather than fight. Not to give in and give up, but to acknowledge the problem and the difficulties and be gentler with myself. Acceptance means making decisions about not doing things, making changes, which is tough and brings the loss and grief that you speak of, but it feels good - it's facing life as it is, rather than as I wish or hope it might be, and there's relief and rest in that.

    1. Anne, yes, that's it exactly. One of the ways I have learned to think of neutrally this is simply, "This is what I have to work with today." I would not fail to take an umbrella on a rainy day or insist that doing so would make it rain! Prayers for continued courage and tenderness toward yourself and what you have to work with today.

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  4. Yes, praying that we'll both find that acceptance and peace to work with each day as it is xx

  5. 'a quiet kind of courage'

    thank you, I'll remember that in my days of need