The puzzle of life
Do you like jigsaw puzzles? I absolutely love puzzles, it’s like connecting dots. It is kind of a bummer I do not make time to do them more often. Furthermore, what I love about puzzles is the organization it takes. For example, you have to get the edges first. Who is with me here? Anyone who does puzzles knows that you have to get the edges first. Then start separating pieces by color, and the next thing you know, you are deep in a quiet zone focused on only the task. Puzzles are great for getting us back into the present moment.
The other thing that I love about puzzles is my mom and sister enjoy them as much as I do. It is a great way for us to bond. We get so into the task, the next thing you know, we are hysterically laughing at ourselves at how intense we get over a puzzle!
Life is like a puzzle for me. Firstly, it is like connecting dots. It has been these last few years since I have been on a road to recovery. I have been connecting the dots. Secondly, the dots connected to the patterns in my life can be traced back to certain events. I’m looking at it as if I were doing a puzzle. Lastly. discovering that this piece doesn’t fit here or that piece fits perfectly, I can start to make sense of it.
Connecting the Dots
Understanding the patterns in my life and the reasons I do certain things, behave a certain way, or shut down for no apparent reason has become a puzzle for me—a game if you will. Secondly, I have now made it my purpose to stay in the game and continue to put this puzzle together. While in the past I lost a lot of pieces, now I am finding them slowly.
That is probably the worst part of doing a puzzle: getting close to the end and not being able to find that one piece. Do you ever feel that way about life? I do regularly, and in the past, it would cause a lot of anxious feelings. Isn’t it funny how we look and look and cannot find the missing piece? Suddenly it magically appears? This has happened to me many times while doing a puzzle. I have actually said out loud, “How can we be missing the last piece!” After all the work of putting a puzzle together, to get to the end and be missing a piece—really?
Anyone who does puzzles as I do knows this feeling! I usually walk away from the puzzle. When I come back, it is usually under something, on the floor, or, better yet, still in the box.
My journey in life feels this way sometimes. I’m constantly connecting dots. I am looking and searching, and I cannot find what I am looking or searching for. Then, when I relax and walk away or take a break, it magically appears. I find the memory and can start to fit the pieces together again.
I blocked so much out of my mind as a child. It was my coping mechanism to just block it, sweep it under the rug, or worse, disconnect completely.
Life is a game
I would like to offer these tips to you as they helped me.
- Write everything down
- Notice if you can see a pattern
- Connect the dots.
- Make it a game. (It does not have to be so traumatic.)
- Change the story
- Sleep on it
- Be consistent with changing the patterns
- Create new patterns
- Keep track of your progress
- Have fun
Anyone who has experienced trauma is usually looking for ways to deal with it.
For me, I have made it an ongoing journey of putting the pieces together. Sometimes they fit, and sometimes I cannot find the missing piece. But sooner or later, the part that connects the dots reveals itself.
It’s all growth, and it can be a fun game if we choose it to be. Do not struggle. Enjoy and trust the process—and go get out your favorite puzzle!