Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Puzzle Pieces

I spent yesterday trying to solve a puzzle that I've been working on for the past twenty-four years. That puzzle is my life, and I'm just beginning to figure out where certain pieces belong. 
I think we unknowingly categorize people into pieces that belong to specific spots. This one belongs in the relationship corner, this piece definitely belongs to the friend zone, this one doesn't fit at all. The family pieces are the easiest because they automatically belong in the puzzle; it's whether they stay in the picture that becomes the question. I've been weeding out pieces for years, discarding ones that don't fit my needs, keeping ones I know belong. I've found recently that I have been getting rid of pieces that didn't fit nicely in my puzzle, and I now realize that I lost some I needed. 
We have certain expectations that we believe or hope people will fill. When they don't fit into the puzzle like we want them to we are apt to throw them away. Sometimes it is obviously the right choice, but oftentimes we are doing ourselves a disservice. I have come to peace with certain people from my past lately, most of that peace revolving around forgiving myself. I find it amusing how I can attract all sorts of puzzle pieces- different sizes, shapes, attitudes, beliefs. Even though I have made my peace with these people, I know that it doesn't mean I would let them back into my puzzle. If I ever saw these people again, I would be more open to conversation and smiles, but I would never give them access back into my daily life. With this discovery, I realize that I misjudged some people. I had a certain picture of the future in my imagination, a perfect scene, a resounding fantasy where these people fit into certain slots- the perfect husband, the supportive roommate, the lifelong acquaintance. That was wrong of me because I limited some people. There is one person that I saw in the same light for years and have just come to an understanding that it was my emotional attachments to his place in my life that limited his existence in my puzzle. For that I am sorry because I lost a piece that truly belonged. It may not fit where I originally wanted to place it, but it fits all the same. 
We can't bring people into our lives and categorize them. We can't place labels and judgement. We aren't God, and we can't be all knowing concerning the ways in which people enter and exist our lives. There are pieces on that puzzle board for everyone, but trying to predetermine where and if they fit isn't our game to play. We're in charge of only one thing and that is acceptance. If we allow our hearts to be open, it will become all too clear who is supposed to stay in our life and who is supposed to leave it. So don't disregard those pieces until you are sure they absolutely will never fit. View the entire puzzle and not just a section of it. Open your heart and don't be afraid to find pieces with a unique fit.

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