Monday, December 17, 2012

Life is like a...jigsaw puzzle

I have realized life is like a jigsaw puzzle. We are born with all the pieces to create the end photo, and life’s journey is about putting all of them in just the right spot. If you're not careful, you may lose a few pieces along the way. If you are in a rush, you miss the enjoyment of the task of putting each piece into the right place. Or, you might try to smash a piece into place that simply doesn’t fit.

Just like no person determines your happiness, there is no person that is your ‘missing piece’. You hold all the pieces, and others simply help you place some of those to form the correct picture. Others may assist in your happiness, or add to it, but you are the only person who determines it. Take full responsibility for it. The right people will help create the picture, and the wrong people will sit at your puzzle for a short amount of time before giving up.  

You can learn something from each piece you attempt to place. Your eye learns color shades and key things to look for on each shape, much like encountering people and opportunities and learning from those experiences. If you can focus on what you learn and what you can do next, rather than dwell on what went wrong, you can set a challenging piece aside, refocus, and continue on your path. That piece can always be placed at a later date. The fact is that you attempted something wholeheartedly, you tried, and you can celebrate your efforts.

Many people get extremely frustrated by puzzles, much like many people become frustrated in life. They lose sight of the end picture. Sometimes, the puzzle has a way of spilling off the table. This can be from carelessness or neglect, either on your own part, or someone else’s. Pieces you thought were in place suddenly wiggle loose. You are left to pick up the pieces, place them back in the box, jumble it up, and start over.

Those who are careful pull all of the edge pieces out to establish the framework – they set themselves on the safe path with the most stability. Some people are more carefree and just start putting any two pieces together that they can match up. The beautiful thing is, there is no one right way. Each time you set out, you run the risk that the puzzle may fall again. Once you learn this, you grow more and more comfortable with takings risks. Each time your puzzle jumbles, you learn how to carefully pull all the pieces back together – you at least hold all of the pieces to become whole again, even if you come across a hard time and cannot fit any one piece that particular day.

Each and every person has their own puzzle to put together - we all must learn to operate in the present. The past is history or already placed, and the finished product means you have reached the end. We can help place pieces in each other’s puzzles, but just as we each have our own journey in life, we each hold our own pieces. You determine where each piece fits. Smile when someone helps place a correct piece. Be thankful when you can pull an incorrectly placed piece – it means someone was not correctly placed in your life. They most certainly taught you something, and will either exit your life, or simply step back and continue placing pieces until they do fit.

While I spent the past couple of days picking back up my pieces after a rough weekend, I am now in slightly better spirits. I smiled knowing I knew how to pick up all the pieces after being knocked down. My puzzle might be starting over again, but I know that I will figure out how to best place the pieces. I know that all of the pieces are there. I know that I need to refocus on myself and what fulfills me.

While I zoned out at work today listening to Pandora, Jack Johnson 'Breakdown' came on. I had heard this song a number of times, but I actually listened to the words today. It speaks to people being caught up in moving so fast, and how he wishes his train would breakdown so that he could explore, meet people, and enjoy the journey.

I decided that rather than racing to put the pieces back into place, I will take this experience as my train breaking down. It is reminding me to slow down, do some exploring, and listen to my inner voice. When you can overcome issues, it makes life feel meaningful. My broken down train is reminding me to be joyful in my journey – besides when every piece is placed and the big picture is revealed, it means that it is over…

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. Very insightful and powerful.