Friday, April 10, 2015

The Puzzle

Sometimes things snap perfectly into place like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Sometimes they don't.

There are days when we feel blessed to be able breathe deep the sweet smell of spring, to hold the hand of someone we love, and to fall into bed at night with the peace of mind that everything is working out the way that it should.

And then there are the other days…..the ones that are tough to get through. Life feels as though it has become unhinged, a crooked painting that can't be straightened, a dull ache in the pit of our stomachs that keeps us awake at night. The tightening in our hearts make us wonder if things will ever be right again.

When certain pieces of the puzzle don't fit together, we try to squeeze them into place even though we know they'll never fit. If one of the pieces is missing from the box, the puzzle is worthless. Instead of throwing it out, we place it back on the shelf in the hopes that one day the missing piece will appear when we least expect it.

People are like puzzle pieces. Each one has different edges, different colors, and they don't always align to make a unified picture. Their shapes may look similar to one another, fooling us into thinking they're a perfect fit. We push piece after piece into the puzzle until we find the one that fills the empty space.

Once the puzzle is completed, we stand back and admire the picture we've created out of dozens of colorful, cardboard pieces.

But sometimes, the picture doesn't meet our expectations. It's not as vibrant as the photo on the cover of the box, and lacks the depth of the original print it was intended to reflect.

Some people are like this, too. They lack the depth of compassion and the vibrancy of love. Their muted colors dull the image that is nothing more than a cheap imitation of the original print.

A puzzle can never be whole once its pieces are broken or missing. The empty spaces leave the picture incomplete, its odd configuration a reminder of what has been lost. You have a choice; you can search for the missing piece that will complete the puzzle, or you can discard it.

The choice is yours.

62 comments:

  1. Well, I think I'm probably a vote for looking forward. If it hasn't come together as I hoped, then I try and learn from it and move on. Doing this without regret, bitterness or unkindness is the challenge. The missing puzzle pieces rarely "show up"... and there are plenty of puzzles out there we can be working on.

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    1. I love our attitude, Seanna---you are so right--plenty more puzzles out there we can be working on!

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  2. A very disquieting analogy. Hope a peaceful decision is on the horizon. Ellen

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  3. WOW very thought provoking today Marcia. I have experienced the puzzle with a family member. Sadly, we have had to discard the puzzle piece because if we tried to push it back into the puzzle it would destroy the creation we built. Some pieces are just evil.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Deb. You and I are on the same page.

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  4. This is so true! Without my entire puzzle put together just right..I feel so incomplete and full of ups and downs. But, at the end of the day..I always have to remind myself, it'll all work out for the best!

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    1. I love your positive attitude and energy!

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  6. Such a painfully beautiful piece, I can all too well relate. xo

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    1. Thank you. I hope things work out for you, too.

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  7. As a Type A personality, it is especially disheartening when the pieces don't fit and even worse when I can't MAKE them fit. However, the older and wiser I get, I realize exactly what you said -- and I have learned to accept what I cannot change and move on. Well done, Marcia

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    1. Thank you, Carol. I agree--we reach a certain age and feel that enough is enough. Time to cut the losses and move on.

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  8. Usually I have a positive attitude towards people and life in general. But when, after a while I see, that something or somebody doesn't work, I have no regrets to just move on. Because I strongly believe in destiny, and therefore am convinced that another thing or person will fill in the space. For me it's not worth pushing too much, because I understand the not-working-part as a hint from the universe that it was not meant to be. But hey, great post! You got us all thinking there:)

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    1. Thanks---glad I did. I think this post is relatable to everyone in one way or another, because we have ALL had that missing or ill-fitting piece of the puzzle in our lives.

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  9. This feels like my life so much lately---especially because I read this piece through the lens of April/Autism/Awareness----it just seemed to "fit" right in the space I needed it to right now. You wrote it beautifully.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nicole. I'm pleased that it helped you. XO

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  10. This is such a beautifully perfect analogy! Some days I feel like I'm picking up/putting together the pieces and at the other end is the teenager, purposely taking the already-together pieces OFF and throwing them away or eating them or something :)
    I can only hope I will get to a point where the piece I'm always working on is 'finished' and I can get back to places that have started to come apart, to get the whole thing together. And I hope I feel proud at that point, and not sad because that means doing the puzzle is over. Great post!

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    1. Thank you! I love your analogy too----going back to the places that have come apart---so well put.

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  11. I have discarded very few puzzles in my life, but sometimes a lot of dust may gather on their unopened boxes.

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    1. Yes---I have quite a few just like that. Never sure what to do with them---to save or to discard.

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  12. A terrific analogy Marcia! I would have always saved the puzzles before but I think these days I prefer tossing it and finding another puzzle to work on. I think to much of life gets wasted trying to make the perfect picture!

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    1. Absolutely true, Rena. At my age, I just don't have the time or energy to wait for the world to become picture perfect.

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  13. This post, on this day is something I really needed to read! Thank you!!!

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    1. Thank you so much----I hope it helped! XO

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  14. Marcia, this is a brilliant piece of writing, because I think every person who reads it can recognize and relate to it somehow. I will be sharing it. And I hope everything is okay with you - or will be soon!

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    1. You are so sweet----thank you, Lana. I just need to make some decisions…..and will have to deal with the repercussions, I'm sure.

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  15. Just to continue your analogy, sometimes it behooves us to stand back and look at the entire picture, so we can access whether we can deal with the image with a piece or pieces missing. Maybe the missing piece is a small one near a border that can be covered by a frame or maybe it is a larger one from a key part of the image. Bottom line----not all the pieces are equal and few pictures are perfect. Decisions. The discard shouldn't be automatic.

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    1. I totally agree---a lot of thought needs to go into this decision.

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  16. For me the difficulty is not in choosing between searching for the missing piece or discarding the puzzle, as the answer is not universal. The heartbreaking part is, each time I make that choice, wondering if it was the right one for that particular set of circumstances. Second guessing can be as harmful as having to make the decision in the first place.

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    1. You are so right----I hate second guessing myself. All the, "What ifs…." play out in mind afterwards.

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  17. This post makes perfect sense to me. To be honest, I don't think the puzzle is ever done. We are always looking for the next missing piece. And when we find one, we start looking for another piece that's missing in our life.
    PS - It's kind of ironic, but I think the photo of the puzzle pieces would make a good puzzle.

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    1. True---and funny! Yes, I think we're always looking for some sort of missing piece---at least for those who feel damaged or feel like missing something is from their lives.

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  18. The picture puzzle is an apt metaphor for life. I sometimes wish I was the type of person who could move on, but I'm not a quitter and would constantly try to fill in that missing piece.

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    1. You know, that pretty much sums up my life right there…..but I've reached a point where I'm ready to throw in the towel and just live my life the way that I want to without being told by others what I SHOULD be doing with it.

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  19. Well, this is very deep. I must ponder how life is a puzzle over happy hour drinks this evening.

    Most puzzles are incomplete or missing a piece over time anyway.

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    1. Ahhh yes, but they never start off that way, do they? If you're going to Happy Hour at one of those cool NYC pubs, can I PLEASE go with you???

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  20. The thing is to keep at the puzzle till you find the right fit and not to just give up and say it's too hard

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    1. I wish I had your strength and faith, my friend. Sometimes I just feel too tired to keep on fighting. Sometimes it feels better to just walk away and start fresh.

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  21. Ouch. Highly pertinent and...*sigh*

    I hope your repercussions aren't too catastrophic, when you decide what to do.

    I'm hoping mine aren't going to be, either.

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    1. I feel for you, Lizzi. I know this is a very difficult time for you. I hope things work out for both of us. Different situations, but heartbreaking, none the less. XO

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  22. Hi Marcia! Well, I've been out of blogging for a while, and it seems like I've missed a little here.
    I know what you mean by trying to make things fit. It's hard. I've sat at the puzzle table banging away on some pieces in my life, and it's exhausting. You're so right about the questions...keep banging or toss the darn thing?
    I pray you'll come to the right decisions that will lead to some peace. I do think we all struggle just like this over so many issues and situations...sigh. Life is not a song all the time.
    May you be gifted with wisdom and peace,
    Ceil

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    1. So happy to see you here, Ceil! I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering if you were okay. Glad to see that you're back. Your wonderful blogs always soothe me. I'll be hopping over shortly to see what you've been up to. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your kind words.

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  23. hi...
    soorry late come here
    Visit you my deer friend...


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  24. I am a missing puzzle piece in a puzzle that has never been built ;)

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  25. Very deep and very thought-provoking, my friend. Sometimes puzzle pieces won't fit no matter how much we want them to, and that's the tough part. Great read!

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    1. Thanks, Teri! I keep trying to make those pieces fit….but I'm ready to give up after all these years….

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  26. Beautifully written, Marcia. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at another puzzle the same. For sure my mind will drift back to your thought provoking words.

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    1. Awwww….thank you so much! I've been in a deep mood lately, and this is just how I see every day people…but mostly, how I see people win my own life.

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  27. I know what you mean Marcia... I have held on to those puzzles with the missing pieces so many times throughout my life... sometimes I have been lucky and found the pieces... other times I had to give up and throw the puzzle out... and start over... what a really great analogy... I hope it works out the way you want and need xox

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    1. I know exactly what you are talking about, Launna. I know you have a LOT of experience with this. I think perhaps you will agree with me that it is time to cut our losses and move on??

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  28. Very thought-provoking and deep post, Marcia! Loved reading...I would wait to find the missing piece (s) if it is really special and dear to me.....even if I don't find it, I may still keep it for some days.....or may be for many days....

    www.thepositivewindow.com

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    1. Thank you, Epsita----glad you found this post to be thought-provoking.

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  29. Sometimes people and situations may not make sense as they seem out of place but always they're a part of the big picture. :)

    Enjoy the rest of the week!

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  30. I love the jig-saw puzzle analogy. I'm blessed in thinking all my pieces are in place at the moment, but I know that things can change quickly, so I try not to be complacent.

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  31. Very thoughtful post, Marcia! The choice is ours, yes, but sometimes choices are not easy or clear cut. Here’s an example for me. I wanted children and it didn’t happen. The reason was part medical on my part, and part lack of support (in particular from the one who should have supported me). I tried for the better part of nearly two decades to find every way I could to be a mother but there was always a missing puzzle piece. Hard as I tried I was unable to find the missing piece, the right thing that would happen so I could be a mom. In reality, I should have recognized years before I did that the missing puzzle piece would never be found. But hope and tenacity kept me searching for that missing piece until the day when age made it a reality that I could search no more. Yes, searching for the piece is fine up to a point and then it’s time to move on.

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    1. Thank you for sharing something so poignant ad personal with me. If you lived near me, I would come over right now and give you a big hug.

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