A NEW COURAGE – GUEST POST BY AMELIA HILL
I don’t know real courage. I know I am strong. I know I am resilient. I know how to dig deep when called too… you know, grit my teeth and muster up that inner ‘gumption’ to plough forward. But I don’t believe I’ve ever been called to face up to a test so strong that I have had to really tap into true courage – that awe-inspiring, mind-blowing type that has you admiring the human spirit and all it can handle.
I’d like to introduce you to someone I know is living from a space of courage day in-day out. The Amazing Amelia Hill. I first came across Amelia when I noticed her ‘liking’ lots of my Instgram posts. Now, I’m not one to normally stalk and get lost in the world of Instgram (I’m not very ‘good’ at using it properly) but something led me to click on her name… I’m so glad I did, because now I know what real courage looks like.
Amelia Hill is living an extraordinary life. As a once sought-after fashion and interiors stylist, writer and fashion designer with her own clothing label, Amelia has, for the last five years, been confined to just one room due to a severe form of Environmental Illness/ Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Now, Amelia is on a Mission, not only to heal her life … but save it too. Misdiagnosed for 20 years, Amelia shares her amazing story to raise awareness for a condition which is often misunderstood, while her gutsy determination, unstoppable optimism and insightful spin has captured the attention of people all over the Globe.
Let me tell you more about Amelia. She is currently living with a severe form of Environmental Illness ( EI) Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Electro hypersensitivity (EHS). This means horrible, disabling ‘allergic’ reactions to a large number of everyday, seemingly harmless substances / chemicals… foods, ink(books/newspaper/magazines), furnishings & building materials (furniture/flooring/paints/varnishes/bedding/fabrics), fragrance, products(cleaners/personal care), car exhaust, natural gas, pesticides..the tiniest trace of chemical residue and even electronics, including computers.
Amelia has spent the last 5 years house-bound/room-bound, separated from the outside world. “I am separated from my beloved family & friends, my greatest passions, my favourite possessions, every dream I ever dreamed for my future, the blue skies above my head.. The entire world. The last 2 years Ive been in a sealed room stripped bare of all possible triggers. This means just a tiled floor and a fold-out bed. I survive on just 6 foods on a mono-rotation diet, and in June I had dental surgery in our kitchen. Fun times. My mum is my full-time carer.”
I’m sure you can see now why this woman IS courage. It is in her very name. She is surviving, every single day. I can only imagine the emotional and mental battle, let alone the physical. I am in complete awe of Amelia and hold her in my prayers often.
It’s now time for Amelia. Read her words, dive into her courage… it’ll change the way you see your world and powerfully reframe your perspective on life. This very article was hand written by Amelia (pen + paper – which she is also having trouble tolerating) and then typed up by her also amazing mother. This was no small feat. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do!
Connect with Amelia
A NEW COURAGE by Amelia hill
Sure, abseiling from a towering cliff face of mammoth proportions, or dancing across screaming hot coals, requires more courage than you can summon in a nanosecond. A declaration of courage in response to heart-pounding adrenalin, is a fancy trick handy in many prickly situations.
When you’re certain of what lies ahead, when you can see it clearly, when you know what you’re up against, you can strap on your bravery like bullet proof armour infused with super-human powers or psych yourself up in preparation for the task ahead. But, not all moments are measured in weekend adventures or as impressive acts of gusto. Some moments, you never see coming.
So unexpected, so cataclysmic, these moments throw you for six. Overwhelm. Floor You. Leave you in a tail spin. You have no time to prepare yourself for battle and there is no rule book or extreme sport instructor to guide you through.
A shock health diagnosis, a personal crisis, a relationship breakdown, a sudden death, a natural disaster, the most impossible of decisions, your worst nightmare, your greatest fear materialised. In my case, confined to just one room for 5 years, navigating the heart-wrenching circumstance of serious illness. Unable to travel to get medical care, separated from all the joys that made my life what it was… family & friends, books, music, delicious foods, career opportunities, hugs. It’s in moments like these, moments that require us to require more of ourselves than we have ever known before. It’s in these times, an entirely new definition of courage dawns.
When you least expect it, but need it the most, this courage will appear. Tether it you cannot, but support your weight and the hefty burdens you carry it can & will.
In your silence, it will approach you. In your humility, it will wrap you in its love. Dig deep, hold strong … it will awaken within you.
Unlike the quick-fix adrenalin pumping breathlessly through the thrill-seeker’s veins, this courage is never fleeting or short lived. This courage will sustain you. This courage will hold your hand. Like the voice of a reassuring friend coaxing you down from the ledge, this courage knows everything your heart needs to hear. ‘You can do this’ … ‘I believe in you’ … ‘ Everything’s going to be OK’
It will turn hopelessness into possibility and paralysing fear into resourceful pro-action. It will lift your spirits, your attitude, your resolve. It will stand with you as you question everything you know to be true and walk with you when you’re ready to step out into the unknown.
Acts of bravery don’t make you courageous. It’s much easier to feel confident and sure of the outcome in the bright light of day when you can see the towering cliff face or the screaming hot coals … when you can see a solution, resolution or destination up ahead. But, when you bravely follow the voice of courage in the face of uncertainty, heartbreak, unthinkable fear … when you bravely follow the voice of courage even when you can’t yet see the light, you will discover what I did. A new definition of courage will surround you, embody you, become you, pave your way forward … every step creating you, making you, teaching you first-hand like no other moment can, that you have what it takes, that all things are possible and that there is nothing you cannot do.
Incredible woman, huh? This woman, despite the seriousness of her situation has been catapulted onto a fast-track of personal transformation and self-discovery and. She remains determined and committed and, of course, courageous. I know we can all learn so much from her.