I suppose my reason for this journal is to give you a view of more than just a typical day in the life of another human being. This is me and I am not the only one in this world who looks and thinks or feels and worries. I am not the only one who sees things that need to be changed and I’m not the only one who fought the good fight (or the bad one).
There is a picture in my head. Or wait. there is more than one yet all of these pictures in my head are a piece of something that I am trying to pull together.
However, there are times when the big picture seems too big and too much work. There are times when I look for the shortcuts and in my effort to save time, I recognize that haste has caused me to compromise the purity of my big picture.
I am no different from the rest of the world yet I know that there is no one else like me. There’s no one else with my DNA or my fingerprints. There is no one who can see things through my eyes nor fully comprehend what I feel with my hands or hear in my heart. Therefore, my vision and my version of life is unique to me.
I know that we are all individuals with our own feelings and our own association with the world around us, which is fine. I know that what we see and what we interpret is unique to the mind.
There is no one who will ever be exactly like me or you and as we try and find our place, we have to learn to coexist.
We have to learn where we fit in and where we don’t.
We have to try and find out how to either get along or get away from each other. I think we forget this sometimes. I think we try to force pieces together; however, I am reminded of a lesson that I learned as a young boy while trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together with The Old Man.
Ever do one of these?
I went through a phase of this for a while. My puzzles started out simple and then they grew from fewer pieces to more complicated pictures with more pieces that were smaller and more detailed.
I can remember sitting on the floor with my Old Man, piecing the border together. This was a trick The Old Man taught me. He told me, “This is how you start. Look for the flat sides that build the edges.”
We built the edges in stages and then once the border was laid out, we’d look for pieces that fit and essentially we’d build the puzzle from the outside in.
See, the idea is to have a plan. Otherwise, you’re looking at a mass of scattered pieces that are supposed to come together.
The idea was to fit the simplest pieces together. But there’s more to it than this.
This connects to the start of a suggestion that begins with: “Start by doing what’s necessary.”
There are challenges when the puzzles become larger because the pieces become smaller and higher in numbers – and sometimes, you can lose sight of the overall picture.
Sometimes, it looks as if some pieces are meant to fit together – but no, they’re not.
Sometimes you’re absolutely sure that the pieces are supposed to fit together and you assume that there’s a flaw in the shape – so you push a little harder. It looks like it should fit and it almost does, but not quite.
So you push a little harder and you try a little more.
The end result is two pieces which are not the right fit are bunched together. Because of this, the pieces are marred or damaged which, in turn, damages the overall beauty of the picture.
The lesson here is you can’t force something to fit. Even if it looks like the pieces go together, if the shapes are unalike in any way, they won’t fit. In the end, the big picture is damaged
“You can’t force two pieces to fit,” The Old Man told me.
“If it doesn’t fit right, look for another piece to fit it someplace else.”
We went back to the borders and then started to build our way in. Slowly but surely, the puzzle started to come together.
I remember the intimidation at first. I remember the 500 pieces to this puzzle which, to me, seemed like I would never get them all together. The picture was too big.
But, I had the picture of the puzzle on the box in front of me – so I know what the finished product is supposed to look like. I had the borders of the jigsaw puzzle in-place and slowly but surely, pieces started to fit together.
This goes back to that suggestion I mentioned before. “Start by doing what’s necessary,” and adds, “Then do what’s possible.”
I learned that I couldn’t force pieces together. I learned that each piece has its place in the puzzle and that all pieces are necessary to build the total picture, which means we had to be mindful of all the pieces. We had to be careful not to lose anything; otherwise, there would be open spaces and missing portions of the puzzle.
Who wants this?
Who wants to work so hard at something, only to have holes in the end result?
Nobody does. That’s who.
As we began to piece the puzzle together, the number of pieces began to dwindle and as the picture came together, the desired result was underway.
We were moving closer to the finished product in a step-by-step manner. This leads to a third part of the suggestion which is a quote from St. Francis that says: Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly, you’re doing the impossible.”
I know that in the beginning of projects it seems like the end or desired result is too big or too far away to consider. I know that sometimes, we grow impatient. Sometimes we’re frustrated and in our haste, we try to fit pieces together that simply do not fit.
But, if we follow the picture and start at a step-by-step pace, the puzzle will eventually come together.
All it takes is patience and effort.
I can still see this in my memories. The Old Man held up one of the crunched pieces of the puzzle and showed me how this can (and will) eventually degrade the overall picture.
“If two pieces don’t fit smoothly, look for something that does because obviously, there’s a reason why they fit together.”
I can see how this lesson is true to life. I can see the times when I tried to shove myself in places where I did not fit – even if I wanted to fit or even if it looked like “this is where I am supposed to be,” the fit wasn’t right.
In the end, I crunched and marred the edges. Or more to the point, I damaged my true form and my true self to fit someplace which only degraded my finished picture.
I, you, me and we together are people who work too hard to have our big picture degraded by haste or frustration.
We have to take a step back sometimes and look deeper.
We can’t settle or shove ourselves in places where we don’t fit.
It’s that simple.
I don’t do puzzles anymore yet I do a puzzle each and every day. I call this life.
I say that as I move around on this big rock which I call Project Earth. I am gathering up the pieces which fit with my life. I am neither willing nor able to compromise my shape or my adaptation in this puzzle.
I fit where I fit and I belong where I belong. If I don’t fit in then I will go back to the basics and start by doing what’s necessary. Then I’ll do what’s possible until finally, I have accomplished the impossible.