One Precious Thing

The question here is what you really love. Eris says choose what you want and then pay for it. A man chooses his life’s desire, and the warrior in him agrees to the unpleasant labors that will follow. It is not different for a woman.

Robert Bly, Iron John

We all knew that one precious thing as kids. It made us feel alive. It made us feel liberated. But as we got older, we were told that our one precious thing isn’t so precious, and there are other, more precious things to care about. Maybe one of those other precious things became your new one precious thing. For most of us though, that one precious thing cannot be replaced. When you take away a person’s one precious thing, you deprive them of something they came into this world with.

Sometimes, our one precious thing isn’t taken away. It’s simply forgotten. Then it’s rediscovered, later in life, when we realize coming back to that thing from childhood makes us feel better than we expected. And then we say to ourselves, “Hey, this is actually really precious to me, and I want to protect it”. This can often be a confusing time, especially when your one precious thing doesn’t make you money, doesn’t make you productive, or doesn’t get you laid.

But there’s something else your one precious thing does that is very important: it feeds your soul. And that’s why we need to protect our one precious thing, more than anything. For the sake of nourishing our soul.

We might think we have two precious things. Or maybe three. Especially as an adult, our list of precious things grow over time. Family. Friends. Career. But for most of us, our one precious thing preceded all these other things. That’s why it’s our one precious thing, and not just a precious thing. It runs deeper than you expect. When you think you’ve removed the top layer, you need to dig a bit deeper. And deeper. And even deeper than that.

It’s easy to see who has kept their one precious thing throughout life. Look around, and find a person that is living their truest self. Many are successful—in the traditional sense of wealth and prestige—but that is simply a byproduct, and success may never happen to you. It won’t matter anyway, because you’ve kept your one precious thing when so many have lost it. Sometimes the world will try to rob us. When we are unable to defend our one precious thing, we lose shape, become water, and curve and bend our way through society’s canals. When we are able to defend our one precious thing, our internal warriors grow strong, and we compress like ice, staying rigid even as life throws challenges at us.

If you know your one precious thing, defend it with your life. If you have been robbed, take it back. If you have forgotten it, go away, and don’t come back until you rediscover it. We come into this world with our one precious thing, and we must leave with it, too.

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