Life is Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

As I was chatting with a friend yesterday I realized a couple things. The first is that I love analogies, even if I’m not very good at making them. Also, I love jigsaw puzzles.

Something I’ve seen recently in a few friends is this attempt to control their lives in ways that just aren’t possible. And because it’s not possible, it becomes an obsessive effort. Our lives are important, but that kind of obsessive struggle often just leads to frustration and anxiety – neither of which is helpful when stuck in a rough patch.

The reality is that there is very little in our lives that we can actually control. Essentially we can only control our reactions to things. We are very rarely given a glimpse of the larger picture and how we fit into it.

And here’s where the analogy comes in. While I was talking to a friend who’s currently struggling yesterday, I explained myself like this:

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle. The problem is that we only get fed the pieces. We have no idea if we have all of them or what the overall picture looks like. The Universe, on the other hand, knows everything that’s going on and how it all fits together.

That’s kind of a dick move by the universe. I once did a puzzle that had four pictures in it – each representing a different season. Without the box, I would have had no way of knowing that all those pieces did in fact work together, let alone whether I had all the pieces or how they could go together.

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to figure out that a couple pieces have gone together – we find the partner(s) for us, find the pet who makes our world complete, a job that gives us a sense of meaning. Every now and then we even get groups of pieces together. But we’re never really seeing the big picture.

Without letting go and understanding this, our lives turn into some kind of fight against… ourselves, really, where we’re trying to hoard the pieces and obsessively trying to fit each piece we have into another one. Putting a puzzle together like that is time consuming, irritating, and we usually end up walking away from the puzzle, leaving a heap of pieces behind.

Spending time trying to put the pieces together on our *may* yield results, but it’ll be way more of a headache. If we trust that there is a bigger picture, whether we can know it or not, and allow the Universe to send us guidance about how the pieces go together, we can live a lot more peacefully. We’ll probably also get more of the puzzle together as well.

/end puzzle analogy