I’m in a bit of a transition right now as I’m moving back up to Northern California this week. It’s been 2 years and 9 months in Southern California, almost to the day. If you’ve known me for a while, you might be thinking… this girl is moving again!? Even I think that at times.
My child self would be very confused with my adult self’s adventurous spirit. I was the girl who called her mom to pick her up from sleepovers until she was way too old. Summer camp, heck no. Overnight field trips or volleyball tournaments… mom, you’re coming with me. I’m pretty sure my parents were worried that I wouldn’t make it to college.
But, here we are. The last 10 years have proved quite the contrary.
Every place I’ve ever lived has served such a beautiful, significant purpose in my life. I would not be who I am today without these places. It’s almost like each one is a puzzle piece that completes another part of my life story. I’m waiting for the final masterpiece to unveil itself, piece by piece.
I got to thinking about all of our unique life puzzles that we’re working on, and I think one of the best parts is that the top of the box with the picture that we’re trying to copy, is missing. We don’t know exactly what we’re creating. Certainly, we have a vision, but it’s our job to take a piece and place it where it belongs.
Can you imagine trying to do a puzzle without using the completed artwork as your guide for where things go? That’d be really hard.
Here’s what I’ve found about working on our life puzzles… We can’t just use our mind or our eyes to complete it, we have to use our heart and our internal feeling to fit another piece into place. It’s almost like doing a puzzle with your eyes closed… you have to feel with your hands the shape of the piece and the puzzle itself, and ask… Is this supposed to be here? Does this feel right?
This brings me back to some of my most recent experiences. Have you ever tried to make a puzzle piece fit into the wrong spot? It’s impossible. You push and you push and no luck. You really want it to be the right fit, of course, because the goal is to complete the puzzle, but it simply doesn’t fit.
So, you have no choice but to pick up another piece or try another spot.
I heard something wonderful recently by my fave, Rob Bell, that goes like this, ‘Stop trying to make something what it isn’t, and allow it to be what it is.’ In other words, stop trying so hard to make it fit, and allow the right piece to sink perfectly into place.
I think this is a good rule of thumb to apply to anything in life that you feel is a struggle. Take a step back, stop forcing, and just allow the situation to be what it is. Once we do that, we can appreciate what’s trying reveal itself. I believe there’s so much happiness and fulfillment when we allow things to be what they are.
Puzzles remind me of my grandma. She loved them. She’d sit for hours and hours over the dining room table. I can picture her soft, sweet, arthritic fingers hard at work. She’d start with the perimeter and work her way inward.
I’m picturing her playing with those puzzle pieces… Here. Nope, that’s not right. Okay, how about here? Nope. Oh, that looks like it might fit. Shoot, almost. Oh, what about over there? It looks like a match. Yup! Perfect. Click. Satisfaction. One step closer to being complete. Now onto the next.
This is a lot like life. We navigate. We try things out. We see if it fits. And that process serves a purpose. We need that trial and error to lead us to finding the right fit… to the satisfaction, the contentment, the joy.
If you’ve ever gotten down on yourself for not having something fast enough or for not being exactly where you want in life, may you instead be grateful for the process of doing your own life puzzle. No step is wasted. It all serves a purpose. It’s all part of creating the beautiful masterpiece that is your life.