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I’ve been thinking a lot about acceptance lately. Finding out that my sarcoidosis is probably also in my bones, was a blow, a big one and I can’t deny it. Perhaps, I should not have been surprised since I do have a more chronic and insidious version of this disease. I do not have the version that when “Googled” makes the disease sound like sunshine and roses. I am not one of the ones who will go into remission in like five minutes or who never even knew they had it because they were asymptomatic. No, I am one of the 20-30% who you don’t hear much about. I am one of the ones with lasting organ damage and an aftermath of realities that come with that. So while maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, I was.

It has taken me a good month to wrap my mind around the meaning of it. In some ways it doesn’t mean much but in others, it just solidifies that I have this disease in a profound and life altering way and I have to accept it…again! And, this is teaching me new things about acceptance. The thing I am learning about acceptance is that it doesn’t mean I have to give up and that there is a delicate dance that goes on between acceptance and denial, between acceptance and reality and between acceptance and determination. There is a balance among these many things for when we accept a given reality, we also then must learn what cannot be changed about it and what must be changed because of it.

Accepting the realities of my sarcoidosis is a daily struggle but with that struggle comes an opportunity, a choice and every day I make a choice to acknowledge my disease, respect its power in my life, but I also acknowledge that despite its limiting factors, I can rise above it. I can push beyond it and not allow it to consume me…no matter what it might try to do to me. I will not allow accepting the fact that I have this disease to deter me from trying to live my life in the very best way that I can.

In entirely new ways, I am learning that with acceptance comes the need for balance, to examine what is, let go of what was, and to push for what still can be. Accepting something is often about letting something go, but sometimes it should be about making room for a new perspective which allows for a renewed determination to keep fighting. I can’t change that I have this disease. I can’t change certain things this disease has done to me and to my life, but I can always decide to live to fight another day. I can always decide to focus on what I have instead of what I lost. I can always decide to balance reality and acceptance still remain determined to not just survive but to thrive.