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Today is Christmas Eve and I’ve had trouble sleeping lately. My brain just doesn’t seem to want to shut off and I know that, although this is the third Christmas without Noah and life has again achieved some level of normalcy, there will probably always be at least a tingle of some emotional pain around the holiday season.

So last night as I lay in bed trying to quiet my mind, a stubborn concept formed in my head and I could not sleep until I wrote it down. If you will excuse the cooking analogy, I would like to share it here.

We are like a flavorful herb: sage, thyme or a pinch of parsley in this stew of life. Complex flavors intermingling and complementing one another. Just because the actual ingredient may dissolve doesn’t mean that it ceases to exist. Just because you can’t pick out and recognize each herb once it’s been added to the stew doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It is the same for us.

Once we add our flavor to this physical manifestation here on earth, we become a part of the whole, larger organism that is life. This is why our souls incarnate. Because being a perfect spice, pure and unique in flavor but confined to the cupboard, does not allow any expression of potential. Life’s recipe calls us forth. Our flavor is needed, lest the soup be bland.

We do not cease to exist when we add our flavor. We create harmony with all other aspects of the recipe. We work together with other ingredients and our environment, flavoring our surroundings with ourselves, changing our world, our lives, the lives around us – even our very chemical composition – to create something rich and beautiful and forever different, had our flavor not been added.

We do not lose ourselves; that would be impossible. By adding our unique flavor, we work in harmony with others to bring about something beautiful, useful, nourishing. Something that may have been entirely different had we not been included in the recipe.

No one is ever really gone. If you keep your senses truly open, you will find that what you think you’ve lost is always and will always be – with you.

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