I Have a Chronic Illness, and I Don't Think I Need Hope

Hope is such a short, but complex word.

When I think of hope, I think of fear. The two go hand in hand. We really only need hope if we’re scared and unhappy with the way things are. We hope for better health, more money, better relationships, a better job, etc. When we need hope it’s because we aren’t content in our current life situation. But really, what we need to work on is living in the moment and being satisfied with how things are. We are taught to think about the future and plan things. We need to start living day to day and moment to moment.

People in my life have told me that I need more hope to get through this illness. But I don’t really understand hope. It’s not something I feel I need. I don’t want to be sick, but I try to live day to day. I try to find the good moments in everyday, because no matter what’s going on in your life, there is always something good. Even the smallest of things, you just have to learn to notice them. I have had to learn to be content with where I’m at. Believe me, I haven’t always been like this. I used to struggle a lot with my life changing so drastically when I became severely sick. I have learned to let go and live despite what I’ve been handed. I still struggle with this sometimes, don’t get me wrong. It’s a work in progress, being 100 percent content in your life.

If I were to have hope, it would be because I’m scared of never getting better. I’m not though. I believe we’re all on our own paths, and we are given struggles so that we can grow. I don’t know why I have been given the things I have, but I know there is a reason. I’m actually grateful for the struggles, because I know that I wouldn’t be the same person today. I wouldn’t have learned the many lessons I have, and the many more I will learn in the future.

A man I met recently told me this quote, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” It’s very true. Everyone is going to experience pain in their life, but we get to choose how we handle the situation. We get to choose if we are going to suffer, or if we are going to live despite the circumstance. I feel like hope plays into that too. If we choose to suffer, we need hope for a better future. But if we choose to live and be in the moment, we don’t need hope. We don’t need hope because we are not scared. We are at peace with the position we are put in. Now this is hard, it’s something you have to work at. Being at ease when you’re given something not so pleasant to deal with is tough, but it’s possible.

So now that you’ve read this short summary of what I think of the word hope, what does it mean to you? When you really think of the word hope, what comes to mind? I offer you the challenge of really sitting and thinking about hope, and why you feel you need it.

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