Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

If Chief Weber says It; It must be so

Yes…Chief Weber is from Grey’s Anatomy.  One episode shows an accident at the entrance of the emergency room with an ambulance that was rolled over.  The two paramedics are hanging upside down…one dies.  The other needs to have a procedure done while still in the ambulance and Meredith Grey climbs in to conduct the procedure.

Following the procedure Meredith Grey and The Chief are talking.  She tells him how scared she was during the procedure, and if Yoda entered the scene he says to her, “Being scared is good; it means you still have something to lose.”

Let’s look at this for a moment.  Can fear really be good?  The same question had been asked about stress for years and the conclusion seems to be that a bit of stress helps us stay motivated.   Now let’s substitute fear for stress in the above question.  If fear can be a good thing, what would be the benefit?  Like the chief says it brings to the foreground your priorities.  It makes you take stock of everything that matters to you and what you could you possibly lose if things don’t change for the better.

A bit of fear also allows you to experience your humanity.  It allows you to experience life instead of simply acting like an automaton, limp and lifeless on the emotional and spiritual forefront.  When you experience fear when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness you’re experiencing your authenticity.  I can’t imagine anyone on this planet expecting you to face this health challenge with a stoic facade.  I know that’s the case in some culture, but it doesn’t promote health and healing.

Having the capacity to experience fear when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness gives you the opportunity to tackle a challenge with grace.  It provides you with something more concrete than the label you get following your diagnosis.  It gives you something to focus on as a challenge and provides you with the focus you need to concentrate your healing energies.

We’re not talking about experiencing fear like those who cower in the corner.  We’re talking about a healthy dose of fear that shakes us back to reality when we’d rather be sitting under the umbrella of denial.  It keeps us present and that’s important on your journey to wellness.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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