Fear, Beauty and Courage

"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.  Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."  -Rilke

Justin and I are getting ready to head out on a big trip in a little more than a week.  We've been planning it for months now, and while I'm really excited, I also realized recently that I'm also kind of scared.  We're going on a rafting trip on the Grand Canyon, which is a once in a lifetime experience.  We'll be on the river for 21 days, away from cell phones, computers, technology, and society as a whole, which I couldn't be more excited about.  Nothing is better than waking up and going to sleep under the open sky.

But I'll also be away from my own bed, my daily regimen of supplements, hot baths, and my support network, all of the things that help me cope with the day to day struggles of having a chronic illness.  This is the first major trip I've been on since being diagnosed with Lyme Disease and I'm nervous.  I'm nervous I'll feel miserable and frustrated that I can't keep up with everyone else.  I'm nervous I'll be the sick girl who has to be given special treatment.  I'm nervous my feet will swell up (even more) in the heat, and ache and make it hard for me to hike and enjoy myself.  Having a chronic illness has taught me that having some control over a situation and the ability to say when I've had enough is important, and this trip is the complete opposite of that.

So I've spent the last couple of weeks feeling a quiet fear and anxiety about it all.  Hoping that I'll somehow start miraculously feeling better before we leave, worrying about all of the details, and generally not looking forward to this trip that should be a source of pure joy.

Somehow though, in naming all of those feelings as fear, I am more capable of handling them.  Of meeting that fear with beauty and courage and love.  And if having a chronic disease has taught me anything, it's that life is one long practice of taking it one day at a time, and of being kind to myself.  I don't always succeed at this, but that's why it's a practice.  

I'll leave you with something else I read recently that resonated with me.  Maybe it will for you as well.  Thanks for reading dear friends.

"If only we could say our truths- if we could name the things that haunt us - maybe they would float up from us like a kind of helium that the birds would sip in the treetops.  Then they would make us laugh and laugh."  - Rita Zoey Chin.