Extending grace and forgiveness to your body is hard sometimes, even impossible. Because in health class growing up, you are told that if you do everything right, your body will fit into this category of “perfect health” that they show you with bar graphs color-coded in red, green, and yellow, revealing what the “right” weight and activity level and foods are — a one-size-fits-all way to guarantee a life of blissful health.  

I have recently gotten over a Very Bad Cold, but the cough has hung around and is really annoying. I have been doing everything right to take care of it, but it just persists. The exhaustion and frustration that I am experiencing because of the cough is seeping into my everyday interactions.  

Many of you know someone who struggles, or may struggle yourself, with chronic illnesses and/or other underlying physical and mental health issues, visible and invisible, that make everyday living more difficult. Grace is not always possible. Forgiveness is even less accessible.  

I am always living life trying to think about the interconnected web of which we are all a part. I try to remember that I never know what everyone is going through and to remember that there are many different struggles visible and invisible going on in everyone’s lives. This is not a new concept to me, of course, especially as your staff member in charge of hospitality and leading the Accessibility Committee. I think about this every day. But sometimes something like a persistent cough, as simple and stupid and not at all the same as a chronic illness, reminds me that extending grace and love is something that I should also do for myself.  

So, I hope that you, incredible and lovely UUCC, can find some time to take care of yourselves.   

Much Love,


  1. Gail Thompson

    Hannah, you are perfect cough and all. You are loved on so many levels. Please love yourself and keep your doctor in the picture. Speedy recovery in every way.

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