By Kayla M. Herl

“If you love something, let it go. If it comes back it was always yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”

Every single time I read that quote, or the little voice inside my head recites it, I remain perplexed and yet intrigued. It so clearly resonates as something I cannot and should not do, and yet my fascination with it seems to imply that I can acknowledge some part of it as real. Real in the sense that it’s hope people hold onto, it’s logic that stands, if you believe in fate and what not. It’s something people believe in, and act on, even.

But I can’t seem to wrap my mind around how one lets go of something they love while being conscious that they love it. Even more… that they then expect it to “make its way back.” In the simplest, most logical way possible: why would anyone or thing return to something that let it go in the first place? Isn’t that what we advise against, anyway?

If you want to let something go, you don’t love it. You might think you do. You might wonder if you do. But you don’t. Not yet.

It’s not to say that you won’t, or can’t, one day… but it is to say that you shouldn’t “let it go” under the pretense that one day, fate will bring it back.

If you feel the need to let something go, let it go forever.

Don’t secretly wish that it will come back. Don’t play tests and games with hearts and rules and the universe. The things we love don’t first require us to reject them to see that.

But what if you let it go on accident? What if you didn’t mean to let it go? What if you opened the cage and it flew out? Then go find it. Search for it. Chase it. But don’t expect it to be waiting patiently. Mistakes are sometimes made. Lines are sometimes crossed. Sometimes the path is what you find on your way back from searching for something that was never there in the first place. Sometimes the path is believing you must wait for love to return, and how it teaches you not to wait to start living.

My proposition is this: if you love something, share it, embrace it, hold onto it, but whatever you do, don’t let it go because maybe it simply was and forever will be, yours. If you love something, encourage it. Nurture it. Allow it to grow and grow with it. Team up with it. Inspire others with it. Treat it without thought of letting it go because without your love for it, what would it be? Conquer your greatest fears with it. Travel the world with it. But above all else, don’t let it go with an expectation that it will come back. If its not “it” by all means, let it go, but let it go with good intentions. Intentions for it to make its way to someone who loves it in a way which being let go is never an option.

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