Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Puzzle Piece

I learned last week of the untimely passing of a bright, compelling, and spirited woman. She had an incredible story. A bright, compelling and spirited story. The thing about this gal is that she was fantastic at telling it, and she did so often. You couldn’t know her without knowing her convictions, where she stood, or what she believed in. I always admired that about her: She wasn’t afraid to tell her story because she knew it was one worth passing on.

In the last week I’ve thought often about her passing and considered the void it has left in a family, community and frankly, world that needed more like her. Who would now tell her story? She was so active in a multitude of community organizations; an important piece to a lot of different puzzles.

Puzzles are interesting things. John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker, is said to have invented the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767. I don’t know who wrote down that information in 1767 but they sure made my Google search more efficient. Spilsbury, not to be confused with the dough boy, first created a puzzle that was a map, used as an educational toy.

We had puzzles growing up. They were somewhat educational; they were Cabbage Patch. 

I asked Momma to find an old puzzle for me to use as a visual for this blog. It took her two minutes and a trip upstairs. 
Any photos of me between 1984 - 1987?: She's still searching. 

Corner pieces were always the easiest to place. Faces were usually an early victory, too. Water was tough and skies were close to impossible. But not quite.

Every puzzle is comprised of several pieces, different components, varying purposes, but all important. No puzzle is impossible if all the pieces are accounted for. But if one piece missing, the puzzle will forever be incomplete.

If you think of your life as a puzzle, it’s easier to understand the value each of us brings. The important part that no one can play, but us. The unique individuality that creates our distinctive puzzle. There are so many pieces:
Each piece bringing something unique to the end result. We are one piece, but such an important one! The puzzle, once completed, creates the story of us.

Your family.
The place you call home.
Your classroom.
Your farm.
The place you go to work every day.
Your circle of friends, large or small.
Your hometown.
Your new hometown.
The business you’ve built.
Your dream.
Your future.

We each have a puzzle. Maybe even a few of them. The thing about these puzzles – 25 or 250 pieces – is none are complete without us.
You can’t be absent and expect things to move along without you.  
You can’t sit out and expect things to get better.
You can’t expect people to see things your way without sharing your story.
You can’t think that you're insignificantly small when you're so very important.

Don't ever discount the value you bring to the puzzle. Don't ever question it's scale, validity, or significance.  Your playing small does not serve the world. 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marrianne Williamson

Now I charge you to think of your puzzle(s). Your value.  Your great, big, value. The piece you bring to that particular family, team, group, event, business, organization or scene that no one else can.
Don't hide that piece. 
Show up. 
Be active. 
Be present. 
Be the irreplaceable piece to that puzzle that you were perfectly designed to be. 
And maybe, tell someone else how happy you are to be a part - corner part, middle part or sky part - of their puzzle. 

While you're at it, be on the look out for a cardboard piece of hay. We've had this puzzle for 32 years and it takes a two-year-old named Oscar to forever misplace the forage. 
Grandkids bring an interesting element to a family puzzle, 
don't they?

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