If you follow my Facebook page, you saw the “share” I posted earlier on this topic. If not, here’s a synopsis. I didn’t write the original (it was in the form of a meme), nor do I really know who was responsible for the ultimate creation of said meme, still, it was damn accurate. At least according to my world-view:
Our world is a multi-billion piece jigsaw puzzle and every one of us a piece in that puzzle. Think back now to all the times in the past you worked on a jigsaw puzzle. Remember that one piece you would find, the one you swore fit where you wanted it to go but, no matter how you finagled it, the piece just would not fit perfectly? It sure looked like it belonged there but it just would pop in like all the others, no matter how hard you pressed, pounded, or screamed. And what usually happened to that piece? Yeah, you remember: it got bent, the edges frayed or became distorted, and when you finally did find where that piece was supposed to go, it never really looked right, did it? Of course not, it had been damaged. Seeing where I’m going with this?
We are all pieces in one giant jigsaw puzzle. Each one of us is unique. We might look like another piece, even be darn close, but we will never be exactly alike. Each one of us has a unique place in the puzzle, the place we were meant to fit, the place where we are supposed to be. When we try to force ourselves into a place not for us, we end up doing two things: First, we damage ourselves, much like the jigsaw puzzle piece you tried to jam into a place it did not belong. Remember what it looked like? That’s you. Your heart, your soul, your being. Not a pretty picture. Second, you take a place that belongs to someone else. You’re the wrong piece in the wrong place and the right piece has nowhere to go, except into a wrong place itself. And so on, ad infinitum. Not a pretty picture, figuratively or literally. Don’t try to force yourself to fit into a place you do not belong. You damage yourself and others, as well. Something else, though…
Don’t let others force you to fit into a spot in the puzzle you know you do not belong. You have a responsibility not only to yourself but to others to occupy the place destined for you and you alone. I didn’t heed this advice many years ago and allowed others, for whatever reasons they had, to jam me into a place where I did not fit or belong. Many years later I know I’m in the wrong place in the puzzle. Like the puzzle piece, my edges are frayed, worn, or damaged. Unlike the puzzle piece, I can take myself out of the puzzle, repair myself (hopefully!), and insert myself into the picture where I belong. At least, that’s my goal. It’s a work-in-progress, as I think all of life is. I don’t know that we ever get it “right” or “perfect”. Maybe that’s not the goal, maybe what really matters is that we just try, and in the trying, we improve ourselves and the overall picture of life.