Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the puzzle

do you like putting together puzzles? years ago when my children were small we always had a puzzle in the works. i would buy one of the Disney movie poster puzzles and we would sit in the floor and put it together. we lived in a very small house and rarely got the puzzle finished in one sitting so that meant it was in the floor for an undetermined length of time...we walked around it, stepped over it, fussed at each other if a piece was accidently kicked out of place, fussed at the cats because they seemed to delight in running across it, thus messing up our assembly. it was always a relief to find that all the pieces were there. that all the pieces fit.
the application of putting together a puzzle is easily compared to life. the same rules apply. we don't do it all at once, we do it one piece at a time. we have to search til we find the piece that fits, although we try to force other pieces in sometimes, only to find after several attempts that in fact, no, that isn't what's supposed to be there. and then we keep looking for that one piece that fits. sometimes it's the last piece, sometimes it's a piece smack in the middle of everything else that's already come together. but we keep looking. and we get frustrated when we can't find that one missing piece.
we are given so many options in life...so many choices. too many, it seems at times. bombarded with so much, the easiest way is sometimes to leave the puzzle of life alone for a bit, walk away and look at something different for a while. take a few deep breaths, attack a new project....anything to clear the mind and give some fresh perspective on that missing piece, so that when we go back to look at it again, we see it with fresh eyes and new thoughts, seeing something that we didn't see before...or perhaps using a different approach. what we rarely do is just sit and  look at the puzzle. we don't just wait for that last piece to jump up and say hello, here i am. we look for it. we determine a strategy to see what piece will fit. sometimes we've looked at it a hundred times, not seeing that it belonged there. sometimes we go back to a piece we've tried already, knowing it didn't work, but still trying to force it there...and we learn not to pick up that piece again.  but we don't just sit and look at the puzzle, just as we don't just sit and look at life. it's just as important, i think, to know what pieces don't fit as it is to know the ones that do. to know which pieces to put down and leave alone, never to pick up again. because they simply do not fit into the puzzle of our life no matter how hard we may try to make them fit.
we all have pieces of the puzzle that are missing. if the puzzle was finished, it would mean our life was over. the key is to keep looking for the missing pieces. walk away for a while if necessary. do something different if you must. but always always come back to the puzzle with fresh eyes and look for the missing pieces. chances are, you'll find something you didn't see before...and it just might be the one piece that works.

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