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The Hidden Gifts Chronic Illness Can Bring

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I hate the saying “you have nothing without your health.” You don’t go away because you are ill. That’s ridiculous. You don’t become an empty shell of sickness.

If you let yourself, you can be more. You know your strength. Your experiences allow you to reign over your life and your decisions in a way you couldn’t, otherwise. If you let it, your empathy can grow with each pain, and your faith in others blossom as those you love step up to become heroes.

It can be easy to define yourself, or be defined by others, by your health or struggles. It is also the biggest mistake anyone can make.

Defining yourself by your illness can hold you back and stop you from following your dreams. It’s an anchor, weighing you down or a whisper, telling you that you aren’t enough – that you aren’t whole or you are defective.

It’s not true.

Don’t hold yourself back from growing and finding the joy and gifts in every small moment. You’ve been given the gift of knowing: One that tells you not to take a good day for granted. The gift that shows you bad days can still be full of sunshine, and to cherish every moment – good or bad.

Let’s face it: We all have our struggles. Everyone has their demons, their battles, their sorrows – and everyone has the ability to grow and design their own beautiful world full of custom-made rainbows. My hope is that you build your joy on top of the trials and be the best person you can be.

Thinkstock image via Julia_Sudnitskaya.

Originally published: April 29, 2017
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