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Picking up the puzzle pieces on the path.

March 15, 2015

Sometimes it helps me to compare a puzzle piece and how it should fit perfectly to connect to the master puzzle, and my relationship with surrender and the second and third steps in Alcoholics Anonymous.  Although there is a goal to gradually put together the puzzle, obtain the full “picture” or complete the project, it can sometimes be forced or perhaps even rushed out of impatience or by forgetting to experience the full process of what each piece really could mean.

If a puzzle is done correctly each individual piece has a meaning and a purpose.  Each should play a part in the destiny of it’s total and the significance or result of the whole it represents.  Puzzles can be seen as a game (which is often how life is described,) but are very much a tool for practicing patience, intellect, creativity and can even be how we relate or react to situations or others (should the puzzle be worked upon with another soul.)

They can also be equated to the path I often speak of when referring to the many stages, or chapters of the life I live.  Where did it start?  What has happened along the way?  Where is it going?  What does each piece, chapter, lesson or experience mean both to the moment and as a part of the bigger, fuller question or picture?

And in the end:  what does that picture show?   Will I ever really know what the point of my puzzle is?  Does or should there be a point to my puzzle OR my life?

I would like to think so.  I am a thinker (perhaps an over-thinker.)  When I embark on a project, take on challenges, learn lessons, make decisions, and start or finish a part of my life experience, I tend to feel it is a vital part of the bigger picture.  It is, as this blog entry would like to suggest, a piece to the much bigger puzzle that represents me and my path towards fulfillment, answers or, very simply, the end.

Perhaps each piece doesn’t hold a notable “clue” to the life I am living and path I proceed upon.  I do not necessarily prescribe to the idea that everything holds an indicator and there is some grand answer to be solved.  On the other hand I do subscribe to the notion that pieces, people, situations, and places within my world can and often are interconnected.  Meeting this person, taking this job, going on this vacation or selecting this home to live in each offer the results of circumstance and experience that provide flavor and pavement on my path.  If I hadn’t met him I wouldn’t have gone there.  If I hadn’t taken this job I wouldn’t have encountered her and learned this, which lead to my being that.

I will never stop believing that it all happens for a reason.  Perhaps the analogy of the puzzle is my way to begin attempting to understand what those reasons might be.

Sometimes I labor with puzzle pieces.  I look at them and try to fit them into all the different scenarios I can think of in order to achieve the satisfaction of knowing that I have accomplished the goal I am trying to achieve.   Often they will not fit, and as a result there will be frustration, confusion, anxiety or even anger.  When there is impatience to know the answers I am likely to force the issue (take control over the decisions and attempt to blindly fit the puzzle piece somewhere that is not going to work or “fit,” resulting in the need to do whatever it is I am trying to force over again in another, hopefully less self-centered manner.

This is what is known as my will.  Although it is always good to enjoy free will I have learned that often when not in surrender (thinking I need something or someone wholly based on the fears of not having or losing what I’ve got) I am making decisions for the wrong reasons and the puzzle pieces never fit correctly.

My best bet is to take the process all the way through.  I have a challenge and I must be patient and loving towards finding where it takes me.  Like steps two and three my best answers come from surrender, hope, faith, trust and willingness.  If I believe that time will deliver the proper answer and my patience allows me to work through the proper process to locate whatever that answer is, I am going to find the place where the puzzle piece belongs. Once it is safely settled I might be able to find my answer through what it reveals.  It is also very possible that the piece may provide a step towards an eventual answer, only revealing a small amount of help towards the goal at the time it is placed.

Each piece always means something.  As I grow older I can see a larger picture starting to show me what my life may mean.  Is it an answer to all of my questions?  Never (since I remain perpetually looking for more.)  For me the puzzle, like the chapters in the book of my life I often refer to, is large and ever growing.  Just when I believe I see the full picture displayed in front of me I am given a piece that shows me there is more to be revealed.  Fortunately the puzzle I use as an analogy does not come from a box with a display of the full finished puzzle emblazoned upon it.  One of the best parts of working with the puzzle and walking on my path is the thrill of adventure, of learning and of not knowing what could or possibly will be around the next corner or on the next puzzle piece.

It is likely I may never really completely understand what my full puzzle reveals… but the patience I have learned by coming to believe and discover my willingness is one of the best and brightest reveals I have discovered while examining each piece, each moment and each potential meaning.

I have lived with a puzzle piece for a very long time.  Trying to put it here and there and feeling each time I had found the right answer.  Patience has come and gone but the answer will only come when it is supposed to.  While I wait I soak in the experience and remember my best reaction to that process is to remember to be only where I am.  I am here.  It is now.

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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