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Life as a jigsaw puzzle

Mira Patel


In times of confusion and overwhelm, it is hopeful to know that we’re not alone, that we have access to all the resources needed to make us whole, and that we are helped along the way. We can draw an analogy and parallels from something as playful as solving a jigsaw puzzle!

There is a lot to do, not sure where to start, the final goal seems so far and difficult to achieve, it’s overwhelming! I’m looking at 2,000 pieces of jigsaw puzzle, the final outcome is going to be a beautiful, scenic view with a beautiful house, mountains, sunrise and a lake. But where to start? How to put so many pieces together, each in its right and unique place! Life too may seem difficult at times, just like a giant jigsaw puzzle! And the way to work through is the same – just one thing at a time, first to address what seems the easiest, that is to make a border of the puzzle. Take out the pieces with at least one straight edge and start making the border, the easiest being to identify the four corner pieces! Then one piece at a time, matching shape, looking at colours, themes and slowly, slowly the picture starts emerging! What is most important for a player to complete the jigsaw puzzle, is to:

1. Have the final vision in place.

2. Trust that you have all the pieces you need to complete the puzzle.

3. Acknowledge how each small step in putting pieces together is a step further towards the final goal.

4. The more complex and difficult the puzzle, the more you are likely to be competent and capable. Once you solve a 100-pieces puzzle, you will want to grow to the next step of solving a 200 or a 500-pieces puzzle.

5. At the end of the day, when we have tried and tried, someone steps in to complete it, and it is often joyful to complete the puzzle with a group of friends or family.

In life too, we see the same aspects being reflected as we navigate our way:

1. To have a sense of vision and direction, it is okay not to know the entire plan and roadmap in advance.

2. To trust that you have all that you need to get to a place of happiness and well-being. It could also mean learning new skills that you don’t have currently, learning new ways of relating to yourself and the world.

3. Every choice that you make, keep checking if it is a step towards or away from the final goal. Never lose sight of the goal!

4. There is a deeper wisdom within each one of us that draws us to challenges which help us grow and push our limits. So the bigger the challenges, the more resilient and resourceful we become!

5. We are not alone in this journey. We are helped along the way by genuine connections with family, friends and community, and most importantly our connection with the Source. Life is in fact more joyful when shared with loved ones.

Mira Patel is a psychotherapist practising in California, USA.

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A sense of direction