“Thank you for not throwing away the things I gave you.”


When she said that to me, I was flabbergasted.  Seriously, completely stunned.  I still am, to a certain degree.  Why would I?  What could possibly have moved me to throw away anything given out of love, out of care, out of a desire to bring peace and protection?


“You seemed pretty angry at the time.”


I don’t care who you are, or what your life has been like, or what your circumstances are.  Don’t throw away anything someone gives you out of love.  Those things are too precious, too rare, too delicate to be cast out.  If you cannot live with them, find someone else who can, and who will benefit from the giving of them.  Love is worth more than any price, and cannot be replicated or replaced when it is cast off or cast out.  Don’t throw it away.  I don’t care how angry you are, or how hurt, or how whatever.  It is irreplaceable, and you cannot afford to throw the gifts of love away.  They are precious things.


If you are very, very lucky, you may never notice their loss.  You may be blind and deaf to the hole in your life where that love would be if you had not cast it out.  If you are not as lucky, there will always be an empty place, like a missing tooth that you just can’t help prodding with your tongue.  Relationships change, circumstances change, hearts change – but love doesn’t.  Gifts don’t, not when they are freely given.  Don’t throw them away.  You throw away a part of yourself, a part of your life, in the bargain, and it is something you can never retrieve.  If you cannot live with a gift, for its history or the pain that comes with it, find it a home.  Give it new life with someone else, and make it a gift again.  Hammer its love into a new shape, so that it pains you less, so that it brings someone else joy.


Gifts of love are priceless, and irreplaceable.  I will keep repeating that as often as I have to, because it is worth saying until everyone has heard it.  Too many people forget the value of gifts in the heat of anger.  If you love, or are loved, or both, cherish it, because love itself is a gift, too.  Don’t throw it away.  Better to put a price tag on your own soul than to throw away love, because the results will be less jarring, less painful, less wrenching, less killing.  At least you’ll get something back in the bargain, even if it can’t compare to what you’ve lost.


Love makes us bold and brilliant and beautiful.  Don’t throw away someone else’s beauty by throwing away their gifts, and don’t throw away your own in the heat of your own anger.