Grace is a word that can have both religious and secular connotations. We can be graceful like a ballerina or live in a state of divine grace. We say grace at meals and we act full of grace when someone shows us kindness.
Earnest Hemingway said “Courage is grace under pressure.”
Every day with chronic pain is living under pressure. Pressure from your body to crumble. Pressure from the world at large to stand strong. Pressure from your friends and family to stay you.
It takes grace to say thank you when you are not grateful, to say please when you would rather give ultimatums, to accept help when you think you should do it yourself.
I struggle the most with that last little bit. Accepting help from others with grace and having the courage to admit that I needed the help. I am a stubborn do it yourself kind of lady. I really hate help. Can I blame my mother for raising me to believe that ladies don’t need anyone to take care of them? No? I thought not.
I do like to think I can go it alone. That I don’t need help. But what I need to remember is to to accept help with grace, because under the pressure of this disease, accepting the help when I least want it might just be courageous.