As little babies, we are taken care of because we are fragile and incapable of taking care of ourselves. Day by day we grow and are nurtured by our parents and by anyone who takes care of us. We are whole, we are complete. We come from a place of unconditional love and joy. There is no fear of the future and no resentment of the past. It is as children that we completely live in the moment, knowing everything is being taken care of for us. If we looked at life as a puzzle we would see that as a child, our puzzle feels complete. We soon discover that only the outline of our puzzle is there. It is up to us to fill it in as time goes by. We start to build our puzzle with moments of laughter and happy times; moments with our friends and family, holidays, birthday parties, playing, swimming, singing without any cares. We truly didn’t care what anyone thought of us. But what happens as life throws negative experiences at us that are usually unexpected? Some of our pieces seem to fall to the ground, and we start to feel voids in those empty spots. We start to feel that life isn’t always so grand and blissful. We start to feel as if the pieces of our puzzle are missing. And based on our parents’ actions and lifestyle, we learn how to react, communicate and look at life in different ways. Some will carry blame and resentment for their entire lifetime not realizing that their mentors were only doing what they knew to do at that moment, based on their own upbringing and whatever pain they carry within themselves. They are still searching for their missing pieces.
Each piece of our puzzle can be looked at as a lesson, whether it be a person, situation or experience. It is all of those wonderful and sometimes messy life lessons that bring the beautiful picture of our life together. It’s all of the successes and failures, the illnesses and the healing, the belly aching laughter and ugly cries. It’s a hodge-podge of everything that we have ever had to endure. Throughout our lives we choose pieces to fit into our puzzle that feel like they fit at the time, whether it be a relationship with a friend or significant other, or a career or job. We will even try to mold the piece to fit by trying to force it to change shape, then realize eventually that the piece doesn’t belong. Some refuse to take that piece of the puzzle out because it is easier to keep it the way it is. The fear of that piece being missing and having that empty space is too hard to deal with. Some believe they have total control to the point of manifesting anxiety while trying very hard to keep their puzzle pieces intact, untouched, unharmed and in perfect order. Some will do this even to the point of isolation. Some have a feeling of being rushed to get it accomplished when in fact they’re missing the enjoyment of putting it together.
As we continue our journey through life, at times we may feel like certain people and certain pivotal moments have literally taken our pieces away. Maybe we even feel like they’ve been stomped on or ripped apart. We grieve at the loss of a loved one, not realizing that their piece in our puzzle is always there. Some of us blame God, ourselves, the Universe. Some get stuck in a victim mentality or suffer from depression, which causes blindness to the possibility of their puzzle coming together. We forget that a higher power is there to aid us in putting our pieces back together and filling in what is missing. It is when we start to trust that we are being taken care of and give ourselves permission to relax, be patient and allow the pieces to fall into place that the puzzle starts to get completed in a glorious way. One day we realize that no person, place, situation or substance has the power to alter or complete our puzzle. We realize there is no time limit. There are no limitations to how beautiful our puzzle will be except for the limitations we put on ourselves.
So take those risks, try new things, stop taking things personally, take time to heal those parts of you that need healing, write that book, take that trip and laugh as much as you can. Do whatever makes your heart sing in order to fill in your puzzle and create the most beautiful picture. Know that each experience has been important in order for you to have your masterpiece, no matter how ugly at times it seemed.
Amy Musser, a Hellertown resident, is a spiritual adviser and owner of The Angel Whisperer based at Sacred Space in Hellertown, Pa. She was diagnosed with grade 3 astrocytoma, a type of brain cancer, in 2016. She has documented her progress fighting the disease and shares inspiration on Saucon Source and on Facebook.