The first in a series on living fearlessly with chronic pain and illness.
What does it mean to live fearlessly when you have a chronic illness? What does it look like to cast aside fears and anxieties and boldly face each day when pain will inevitably be a part of what you face? I find myself asking these questions, because to live in fear is a life half-lived. I ask these questions again and again because so often I find myself terrified of the days to come. The thought of future pain begins to control me in surprising ways, the fear of pain paralyzing me as much as the actual physical pain that courses through my body.
I know what living fearlessly is not – it is not living recklessly. Being fearless does not mean abandoning the limitations you know you should not cross and pretending you are invincible for the day. That is life lived as a lie. Because, you can only pretend for so long before the pain comes back with unbearable force, and you realize why you placed those boundaries in the first place.
Perhaps a fearless life means honestly facing the truth, but not letting it control you. Perhaps it means recognizing the raw and unpleasant reality of your limitations and pain, and still finding peace in who you are and the abilities and inabilities God has given you.
You stay within your limitations, but then you begin to push the boundaries ever so slightly. Living fearlessly means you don’t avoid increased pain at all cost, but you allow yourself the gift of saying no, lying down, and resting without fear or worry. You become comfortable being this version of you, able to say “yes” or “no,” and truly believing that either option is ok.
This broken, torn down, beaten up physical body is all I have to work with for the time being. I begin to live fearlessly when I boldly face this truth without attempting to create a fake, more appealing reality.
How are you living fearlessly this week?