Some people collect rare coins, or stamps, or ancient antiques.
Some fill their homes with exquisite jewels and vintage vinyl records; hearts swelling with pride as their trophies stagnate among swirling dust motes and the echo of past accolades.
Me, I’m a little different. I collect something infinitely more precious than anything I can buy or trade. I treasure soul mates.
I won’t love you immediately, I’m sorry. Sometimes I wish that I could, but I’m just not made that way. Some of you will never make it through the barriers of my heart. You won’t notice of course; you can’t miss what you have never had, and I don’t fancy myself so very important to your day-to-day life anyway.
I am a little magpie, whose eye is caught by the sparkle of certain souls. You will see me tilt my head to the side, looking at you, smiling through wry lips as I allow myself to see you. And once I do love you, I will move heaven and earth to adore you, no matter what, for as long as you allow me to.
You will never know a love like it.
I will keep you safely in my pocket and protect you fiercely. I will accept all of you: the light and the darkness. If I feel something beautiful in you, I will long to keep you forever. This is a double-edged sword, of course.
“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
I’m the first to admit that I’m not very good at letting go of my treasured ones when the time comes, even when it is best for us both. Even though I understand that not everyone we meet is destined to be in our lives forever.
Logically, I understand. Emotionally, it hurts like hell.
Grief will render me senseless.
I will weep, and yell and, sometimes, I will behave badly. Forgive me please. Pain will do that to a person. It means that you have had such an impact on my life that I struggle to imagine what shape I will take without you. It means that I do not want to live in a world where we don’t talk everyday, and where your smile doesn’t light up my life on a regular basis.
It means that I don’t feel ready to say goodbye, even though it might be time.
Maybe you came to me because I was struggling, as angels often do, to share the heavy load that weighed on my heart. You wiped my tears away, softly soothed back my hair and let me know that everything would be okay, someday.
Perhaps you came to teach me about myself, about who I really am. To show me how to be strong, how to embrace the natural beauty of our world, and how to use it to inspire my creations. You gave me a piece of yourself to forever reflect within me and I truly love you for that.
I believe that I brought something to your life too; that we changed each other in ways that can never be undone, leaving footprints on each other’s soul to cherish. Yet, it appears we have taught each other all that we can for the moment.
We have shared our last sunset together and our laughter is a memory that resonates fondly in my heart.
This doesn’t mean we don’t love each other anymore, far from it. In fact, we love each other enough to want the other to continue their journey onwards through life, to new adventures and growth, and new soul mates with different lessons—knowing that they can always reach out to us with trembling hands in turbulent times.
Every time we let go, we make space for new and beautiful things to enter our lives. One door closes, and another is waiting to show us to fresh marvels, if we are brave enough to open it.
I am learning to hold on with gratitude to all that I learn from my soul mates, to cherish the time that we shared and to let them go if the time is right, without regret. I realize now that we must love with abandon, giving our hearts fully and freely, even knowing that one day it might hurt us badly.
The fact that love is not guaranteed forever makes it all the more precious.
Let’s treasure that.
Author: JoJo Rowden
Editor: Emma Ruffin
Original article can be found on elephant journal here.