I have a bag that I carry around with me every day. I love this bag and haven’t wanted to replace it, despite the fact that it is old and raggedy. However, I hadn’t known until today that the inside pocket had completely ripped through. Meaning that every time I put things in this smaller pocket, specifically to protect the contents and separate them from the rest, much if not all would slip through the hole and end up trapped between the bag itself and the exterior of the inside lining.

Now you may ask how I never noticed this until now. Honestly, I just assumed that I misplaced things. Happens often. Too often. And I wrote it off to my absentmindedness. There are certain things I consider a law of nature. Such as that when I put a pair of socks in the laundry, I expect to find only one when the dryer is done. Plain and simple. Washers and dryers eat fifty percent of all socks. So, too, I had assumed the same was true of my trusty handbag.

There are times it can feel like our energy was for naught, our input for nothingSo you can imagine my excitement upon realizing that if I put my hand through that whopping hole in the pocket, I would discover and uncover all the goodies that had been missing for months. And sure enough, out came the lipstick (all over my hand, I may add, as the top was still MIA), some spare change, even a few dollars, receipts, and a whole lot more of my beloved and important belongings.

It got me thinking. So often, we put things away for safekeeping. We think they are well protected, and we store them knowing we want to access them in the near future. It might be thoughts, ideas, feelings, connections, observations. And then, when we go to look for them, they no longer seem to be there, and we are not sure if they can be found or retrieved.

Yet they are there. For everything we learn, everything we encounter and every good deed we have done makes an everlasting impression and exists, even if not immediately accessible. There are times it can feel like our energy was for naught, our input for nothing. It makes us feel useless, questioning our self-worth and wondering why we bother.

And then, one day, we realize that we can reach beyond the pocket, and hidden in there is everything we put in. It didn’t disappear; it just took some time to be found.

It didn’t disappear; it just took some time to be foundThere is the famous story of the woman who asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe how he didn’t get tired handing out dollars for hours on end. He responded that when one is counting diamonds, one doesn’t tire. We compare each soul to a diamond. Some revealed, some in the rough. And if we know those diamonds are there, we will keep searching. No matter what muck we have to put our hand in.

I always thought I had the bottomless bag. What went in never came out. But it wasn’t true. What went in was so well protected that it stayed safe, even from me. And it took time, but sure enough, eventually, everything was recovered. And, with the exception of a lipstick-stained hand, I was beyond thrilled to reunite with my long-lost items. And, best of all, the hole in my bag reminded me that nothing is for nothing, and everything I input will eventually find its proper output.