Within our CF community, there's a lot of pain and a lot of fear. It makes sense. Cystic fibrosis comes with a tremendous amount of uncertainty and some harsh guarantees.
We all know what it means to go through painful experiences, no matter how the illness affects us. Everyone's experience is different, and everyone's experience is valid. As a community, we need to turn toward unity to be able to truly heal. There will be a cure for cystic fibrosis in the future, but that doesn't mean we can't begin healing now.
In an existence where our physical body seems to be so much out of our control, we need to turn inward and make sure we're strengthening our mental health and our inner well-being. We can all come together and make our experience with this illness better.
We can all be vessels of empathy and understanding and do more than just change the CF community -- we can transform everyone in our lives.
This means everyone who has a chronic illness, who knows pain, who knows what it's like to be in and out of hospitals and on medicine regimens. Anyone who knows hopelessness. We've been there, and we can use our experiences to make the next person's a little bit easier.
True healing occurs when we stop acting out of fear and work out of love. Cystic fibrosis makes it extremely easy to fall into patterns of fear. Wondering what tomorrow is going to look like -- and if there will even be one. Wondering if we're going to get sick in the next hour, wondering how to pay the bills for our medicines, and, quite bluntly, even wondering if we're worthy enough to try to live our best lives.
Illness has many nasty effects, but I'm calling on you to be the change. Be the person that sees the pain you go through as an opportunity to turn your fearful experiences into loving ones. When you do that, you'll change not just your own life, but everyone's around you. Love's contagious. Be the strength that you need; be the strength that others think they lack. If we all do that together, we'll be able to give the love that others need and receive the love that we need.
With that being said, you can make this change no matter how you're feeling. In the CF community, there are some whose health is good enough that they can travel and be very active in instilling this change. But, there are also some who are bedridden and can only interact with their closest family and friends.
Any of these situations are legitimate CF experiences, and recognizing that is critical to the cause of changing fear to love and bringing real hope and healing to the world.
Whatever your circle of influence may be -- whether that's five people or a million people -- be the light in the dark room.
This is possible no matter who you are and no matter how cystic fibrosis affects you. Your experience is valid and essential. Use where you are right now to start being that change. We don't have to wait until we're healthier to make a difference. Rather, it's in our love that we'll be the difference that'll make us better. Let's not wait any longer. Let's be our own cure.