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The Red Thread

A poem by Rachel Jamison Webster reminds us of the “red string of fate,” a belief that certain people are destined to meet in this lifetime.

The "red thread" is a folktale that believes those who are meant to connect in life are connected by an invisible red thread.

I like to imagine
love can pull your essence like red thread
through the cold needle of my life now
without you.

From “Did You See The Sky” by Rachel Jamison Webster

My oldest, closest friend was the one who introduced me to the idea of the “red string of fate.” The “red string” is an ancient belief that certain people are destined to meet throughout their lives and those people are connected by an invisible red thread. In modern American terms, I like to think of it as the idea of kindred spirits, a series of people who, no matter how hard you try, will enter your life and change you.

I thought of the invisible red thread for the first time in years after reading “Did You See the Sky” by Rachel Jamison Webster, which landed in my inbox from Poets.org’s Poem a Day newsletter. Because the concept was explained to me by this friend in particular, I’m partial to believing in it. With some people, words just flow when you meet; it’s as if you’re picking up an ancient conversation that you’d forgotten about from centuries ago. It was this way with the person who introduced me to the red string, and I’ve met others who I’ve felt an uncanny connection with and walked away changed.

The potential existence of destiny and its role in our lives is rife for debate. Nevertheless, we all have our group of kindred spirits, those to whom we are bound by an invisible thread. This week, use the quote above from Webster’s poem as a source of inspiration. Tell the world about the cast of characters in your life, how they’ve affected you, and whether or not you believe in the idea that certain people are destined to play a role in your life. Who knows, maybe the first commenter will be your new best friend.

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  1. I’d never heard of the red thread concept, but yes, I’ve met certain people that I just know we’ve known each other in a past life or something, and we’ve reconnected in this life, to continue our friendship.

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  2. It is a nice thought that people have a destiny to meet, but whether it is true or not is another matter. People change and move on. But what you said reminded me of Forrest Gump and the way he kept meeting Jenny.

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  3. I believe there are people that I will meet, that I’m supposed to meet and that will forever change me. Some of those people have already entered my life and from the moment I met them, our hearts were knit together. I don’t think it’s happenstance, I believe it’s God-ordained….a divine appointment….on purpose.

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  4. I also haven’t heard of the red thread concept, but I do agree that people are in your life for a reason. You meet them, connect with them, and in one way or another, they change you. Despite whether or not the person is a positive or negative influence in your life, they were destined to meet you for a reason, and you will be connected to them. Nice post. 🙂

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  5. I think there is the idea of a “soulmate” hinted in that term, meeting some people, and its like you have known them all your life, that you could finish their sentences for them without thinking

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  6. Wow just read the red string and this is or was so true with me and my husband. We meant I was 15 and he was 23. We connect right away as if we already knew each other. Spent the last 40 years. together and as everyone would tell you we were joined at the hip, we became one person. True love could not have been any truer. Now he has passed in 2011 and I have been alone since then because my heart still belongs to him. It’s been 4 yrs. since he’s passed, it’s a lonely life but it seems I have no control over my heart. It is what it is. Until we meet again. Thank so much I now know we were destine to be together.

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  7. I used to believe in destiny. That everything is pre destined. No matter which path you choice you will arrive to your destination sooner or later. You can make the easy road or more challenging path but arrive you will. Now I don’t know what to believe anymore.

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    1. i read The Alchemist in 2005, it’s mind blowing! that was when i seriously searched for the purpose of life and to see how i can align my existence with it. And I thank the Almighty that i found it in 2011. I am now living a purpose driven life and it’s so fulfilling!

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  8. Love this idea and had never heard of it before. Some red threads seem to see themselves in and out at times here, and then gone for a while but certain to return. The poem is quite haunting at the start💕

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  9. The trouble with believing in destiny is that it seems to preclude free will… well, at least we retain the illusory belief that we are free at this time. Anyone who’s experienced de ja vu must question not only their sanity, but they’re personal sanctity.

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