When COVID first started I had hope that the average, everyday American would finally be able to step into the shoes of those with chronic illness. Having to figure out how to live in a constant struggle is one of the hardest things to do when you are forced into a situation you have no control over. The pain, loneliness, and isolation that one can feel is often suffocating. It is easy to feel ashamed of these emotions and feel “less”, It is normal to want “normal” back, and we should find comfort that most are dealing with a lot of the same feelings during this pandemic.
I do not want to be political, but I hope that this message of compassionate understanding allows you view the world from a more open place where we can all work towards a middle ground of empathy for one another. Hatred, lies, mistrust, and disinformation runs rampant in everything that we do in the USA. It is a constant Us vs. Them, and truth is now pushed aside for hyperbolic responses. We attack one another with a bitterness that only divides us deeper pushing us closer to a chasm that will never be able to be crossed.
We have a responsibility to make this world a better place for everyone where people truly have equality and freedom. We must start accepting our role in this. We must listen to others so we can find a middle ground. We must accept responsibility for our words and actions, and if we say something that offends someone, we should learn from that not become more entrenched in a paradigm that is offensive to some. We need to learn to be okay with mistakes we make and have made and commit to making tomorrow the best it can be…for everyone!
Understanding is often hard to come by. It comes through struggle, but the ability to find that knowledge during the most intense times of hardship takes great strength, and to admit where you are lacking, where you have made mistakes can make it even harder to accept the change placed before us. Through my years dealing with chronic illness I understand how many are finding comfort in all that they have known. It is scary to accept a new life, especially if it is one you don’t want, or don’t understand. Wanting “normal” back is normal, but with “normal” are all the problems we currently face only subdued. The life that many have lived in this country with homes, property, safety, security, and feeling prosperous and that anything can be achieved is not what everyone feels.
As a chronic illness patient, I do not feel safe, whether that is in regards to my financial situation, health, or any of those major needs that one must have filled on the path to happiness. The land of opportunity is naught for those dealing with major health issues and we are not the only ones struggling. This is a time of great upheaval, and the fight between those wanting more and those feeling attacked by that must stop. We must accept that our country has not provided all that it should for everyone equally, and we have to accept that this doesn’t make us bad people nor is it our fault that we reached this point. We have reached an inevitable tipping point, and we must be on the side of more compassion, more empathy, more kindness, equality for all, and a commitment to listen to one another and admit our wrongs when presented with them. We can come together right now and build that better future, but we must accept our role in this. It is up to each and everyone of us to gain more knowledge and increase our understanding of this world and our neighbors.
With all this being said I would hope that as you think about the words above try to think about when at the end of your life and your grandchildren ask you what you did during this time I hope you can say that you thought of all and not just one.
Spread love, be love, and if you are dealing with a major health issue I see you, I hear you, and I know that it is so hard right now in this world that we find ourselves. Know that it’s okay to have bad days, to cry, to curse the world, but let us not get so lost that we lose ourselves to the darkness. Find your light and cherish those moments. You are pure strength, and your light that is within you can change the world. You matter. Your story matters, and everything you have been through gives you the wisdom to help those in need. Let us fight until we can fight no more, and find comfort in our mutual struggle.
-Dax Francis, Founder of Ivye Wear