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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 never believed until this year. January 22, 2015. The red thread made an undeniable connection. I suddenly believe in the alignment of planets, horoscopes, romantic fairy tale endings, love in the purest form and a deeply satisfying relief to be able to let down my guard and believe in goodness.

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  2. I haven’t heard of the invisible red thread before, but I do believe that there are certain people that are meant to be in your life. You may not know why until much later, but eventually it all makes sense. Enjoyed your post.

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  3. I’ve had thoughts about people I was destined to meet; and, I met them. A few became cornerstones of my personal history. But there were also many I didn’t meet. There is no math here, just the machinations of my active imagination with a positive bent to it. Loosely translated, don’t look for the eye of the needle, simply be and make acceptance and tolerance your best friends.

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  4. A very interesting concept! I think it is also a similar mindset that keeps people hanging onto past relationships that may have moved beyond the hold of the original red thread. The idea of destiny is difficult to escape from. 🙂

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    1. I completely agree. The idea of letting go someone you love or once loved is incredibly painful – like letting go of something you were meant to have. Or the other way around – knwoing that the original thread no longer exists between the two of you, but having created a new one together. I think this might work both ways. At least, I hope 🙂

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  5. Beautiful! I’ve never heard of the concept of the red string before, but once you think about it, you immediately get reminded of so, so many people you’ve felt this string connecting you to. Thinking about this, I believe this might be the feeling which immediately shows you if someone will become a loved one (including friendship, because every true friendship consist of mutual love) or only an acquaintance. Thanks for sharing!
    Btw, I own exactly the same chairs :D…

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  6. Had never heard of it. However once I read this, a long list comes to mind. Some I still interact with everyday and with some the thread maybe just broke along the way. Some threads needing a lot of mending at the beginning and some were just there. Some I could not save even if I wanted to and some do not break whatever I do. And I know that there are some which I think are broken but will stay strong whenever I need them.

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  7. i do think that red thread exist because you never know when one person become so important in your life …even if you not know them for so long and how some people that you have known for years become stranger ….its all fate i guess !!!!

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  8. While this is an interesting factor to consider about life, and I do believe there are some things that “cannot ever be known or measured”, I believe that the people and situations we encounter in our lives mirror that of our inner selves. Maybe these is just part of the red thread theory…it definitely is a notable one.

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  9. I haven’t heard of it but i do know the concept and experience it! Just like you said, with a number of friends, the word flows easily. In my own term, we found each other’s switcher and get connected.

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  10. Very interesting and lovely at the same time. Please go check out my blog “fashionwordpress2015.com” It’s a fashion blog. I do like your posts though. They are very nice and soothing to read

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  11. The Chinese has this believe in predestined affinity (缘分)which I reckon to be quite similar to “red string of fate”. I am by nature an introvert. Many many years ago I attended a night class were I met this beautiful girl. We chatted endlessly and strike a chord. You know what. Later she become my wife and we have 3 wonderful kids.

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  12. I’ve heard little about this. But really like how you explained. I agree 110%. Think I need to check that book out. I just moved from the States to Puerto Rico. Everything has changed for me. And there are people I meet that really change things even as walk away.

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