Stronger But Not Better

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over cause you’re gone”- Kelly Clarkson “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”

I found myself meditating on many things this morning on my early morning run by the lake. I wondered why my mind went in the direction that it would go but accepted that I felt stronger, better, more alive than ever. I headed over to my trainer’s office and then to my hematologist for my monthly blood work. I suffer from a hemolytic anemia, same as my Pop (share his blood type and profession too as any good father’s daughter would) but received a phone call almost before I reached my office. My hematologist is working me up for leukemia, a malignancy of white blood cells. Yes, I am anemic, and yes, I have a bit of an elevated white blood count but I haven’t seen my differential slides (will review them this afternoon with my hematologist) but I am grateful, calm and only mildly concerned about these findings.

There is a calmness, a sense of gratitude that is my characteristic now. I attribute my seminary studies, my meditations and my contemplative prayer sessions for my lack of alpha and lack of worry. I know that what will be, will come to pass and I will meet every challenge as I see it. My run this morning was moderately fast, my favorite distance of 6 miles and will be followed up by some speed drills this evening (have some academic stuff to complete today). My runs give me a sense of strength and a sense of being held closely in harmony with the world around me. I am alone but I am not alone as I am in connection with the energy of the world. This is my empathic gift and I celebrate it. What happens with my blood work and what is found does not change the good stuff for me.

When my hematologist told me what he saw, I have to admit that I have some of the same concerns and would come to the same conclusion- yes, I honored Pathology. What I don’t have is any symptoms, illnesses, shortness of breath (running fast; running strong; and running long) or anything else. Yes, my slides might look weird but I am something of an anomaly. I do things that others can’t do and I live the way others can’t or won’t live. This puts me in mind of a movie “Captain Fantastic” that I just enjoyed. It’s a wonderful film about a man and his family who live the way all should live; simply, boldly and without interruption. This movie is about heart and being true to what one believes is best for one’s life. This affirmed why I live simply and take each day as the gift that it is.

So what doesn’t kill me has made me stronger. What is to come for me, I will take as I look at my differential slides later this afternoon. What happens will happen and my life has been richer in the past few weeks than ever. I have been able to run by the ocean, stand in the presence of a great man and run along the lake with joy and spirit this morning. I am going to be OK no matter what.

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