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What 4 Leaf Clovers Taught Me About My Chronic Illness

March 29, 2019

I’ve had clovers on my mind a lot lately.  I found this one outside today when I was thinking about writing this post and what I’ve learned. It’s beautiful, huh?

Just last week I was presented with my very first IN REAL LIFE 4 leaf clover. 

OMG!

I had no words.  Totally unexpected. I could hardly believe my eyes.  It was magical.  I was mesmerized.  So mesmerized that I made it my mission to find my own 4 leaf clover, out in the wild, right then and there. 

So special.  So rare.  So lucky. 

I have spent countless summer days outside sifting thru clover patches in search of one.

YEARS.  DECADES, even.

It wasn’t until my boyfriend told me, “go find a healthy bunch and look there” that it hit me: The reason 4 leaf clovers are so special and rare and lucky?  

They are defective.  

Yup.  

A mutation or a weird gene or some environmental factor is THE WHOLE REASON THAT A FOUR LEAF CLOVER IS A FOUR LEAF CLOVER.  The mutation causes them to grow the extra leaf.

Four leaf clovers are just three leaf clovers that got a little messed up.  

So let me get a little dramatic here and say this:

I saw myself in that four leaf clover.  

I saw me with my endometriosis, my Epstein Barr Virus, my struggles… my defects.  And I realized today that it’s not my struggles that hold me back.  I have the potential to grow even stronger because of them.The things I have been thinking make me less than, are really what give me character.  They are what make me stand up tall.  They are what make my light shine even brighter.  

And then I saw it. 

A four leaf clover peeking out above the others, slightly taller than the rest.  It was perfect.  Every four leaf clover I’ve seen (and now I’ve seen A LOT THIS LAST WEEK!!!) has been tall, and supple, and strong.  

Sometimes, along the way, we get a little messed up as we grow.  And that’s OK.  It doesn’t have to be the end of us.  It doesn’t have to be the end of a beautiful, happy, fulfilling life.

I don’t always remember this.  My endometriosis surgery is fast approaching- finally on the books.  So many feelings are coming up for me, so I promise to remind myself of this- I am not defective. 

My life has value.  Things can be beautiful.  Things ARE beautiful.

And that seems pretty magical to me.  

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