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Guest post by J. M. Hawkins

Dear Soul,

Does love have to take everything out of you? I give so much of myself that sometimes there’s nothing left for me.

Dear Life,

Love adds life—how did you manage to turn it into subtraction? You say you are giving a lot, but if you’re giving less than your whole self, you’ll find that it just isn’t enough for anyone—including yourself.

Let me introduce you to a principle called: The Way of the Cookie vs. The Way of the Crumbles.

Once there was a cookie who often sacrificed itself for family and friends. It would break off a part of itself and say, “Here you go.” And, day-by-day, the cookie became less and less. In search of counsel, the cookie rolled onto the floor and got swept up by a broom and swished under the door of a wise teacher. The teacher reached down and picked up the tattered cookie and held it up to those she was teaching. “That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” she said. “This is the result of partial loving.” Then, thinking of the poor cookie, she said to her students, “Tomorrow, when someone needs you, give them your entire self—because every time you give all you’ve got in love, you become a whole new cookie. But, when you just break off a little at a time, you’ll soon find that all you (and the ones you love) are left with…are the crumbles.”

Today, I’ll give all of myself and do it freely—not as if it’s a big “you’re killing me” sacrifice. Today, I’ll give because it makes me feel whole and keeps me happy with the people I love and care about.

 *The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are adapted and used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups across America in response to the Life That Loves to Happen seminars with Landon Saunders.