I have come to the conclusion that life is like soap.
Every single decision counts. The ingredients, the stuff its made of, is critically important. Extra care must be exercised when deciding what stays and what goes. Career choices, partnerships, living arrangements, likes, dislikes.... it all winds up in the enormous pot that is your heart, waiting to be mixed. If, for some reason, we rush into this selection, the consistency of the mixture does't flow. Is not right. But in reality, the true test of the ingredients comes with the lye.
The lye's job is to break down the ingredients. It melts them and transforms them into a completely new and unique element. It bounds the ingredients to such degree, that they no longer represent their original state. And so it is with life too. As we grow older, relationships bound us, tide us, and leave profound marks. When we get closer to the heat of tests, our souls transform into something we didn't know we were. And all we are left with is patience. Waiting. Letting things settle, and hope that the soap sets.
It is at this point when we decide if the choices were correct. If we got it right in the first try, or if we need to make adjustments. Go back to the ingredients and shuffle things one more time, and try again. This is the true craft of soapmaking. And I believe it is a craft that lasts a lifetime.
We will end up with a soap in our hands. We will enter our own space, in the bath, our own quiet time, and we will try the soap. It is there, you alone with the soap, where you will enjoy the results and smile. In the end, the smile is what matters. The true satisfaction of a well lived life accompanied by the small luxury of a good handmade soap.