“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

No doubt, like me, if you had a quarter (or heck, even a nickle) for every time someone said that to you, then you might have a modest windfall by now. Phrases like that are meant to make you feel better. The person saying them most likely only wants to wish you the best and offer some comfort. However, platitudes, and especially that one, offer cold comfort.

Replies like: “well I must be a badass by now” or “he must think I’m stronger than I really am” often catch the speaker unaware. And if your faith doesn’t include the belief in a single, masculine gender deity, then the phrase rings even more hollow.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you believe the Goddess doesn’t give you more than you can handle, or the entire pantheon of your choice doesn’t dish out such “punishments”. Because the truth is whether you believe in a universal energy, or a monotheistic or polytheistic, or even pantheistic deity, or none at all, whatever struggles you’re facing are not dished out by this supernatural being(s).

Nope. It’s true. And if this belief gives you strength and aligns with your faith, then by all means, keep what works for you. I’m speaking to those whose beliefs don’t align with this thought and who know that their chronic illness, regardless of whether it’s mental or physical, or a group of illnesses, occured because of biochemical issues within the body–not divine intervention.

Why am I blogging about this? And here? Because I believe that it’s important to speak out.  We have enough to deal with without someone telling us that “god” gave us an illness. Even for a syndrome like my fibromyalgia, the causes are starting to be better understood, and while things like childhood trauma and a stressful event or long-term stress play a role, so too does immune system dysfunction.

So please, don’t contribute to the rough road chronic illness gives us by thinking “god” or whatever you believe in, gave you this illness, especially to “teach you a lesson”. There are plenty of lessons to learn in life without a supernatural being giving us additional difficulties.