Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

At first you think and want it to be easy…

Only to find out that it’s more difficult at times than you would like.

Along the way you discover how strange and downright weird it really can be because you see it with your own eyes…

And then you come to realize how “normal” and beautiful it really can be.

Then come those moments when you get so frustrated and angry that you just want to give up…you’ve reached your boiling point where you’ve had enough and just want to end it all.

And while it gets quite tempting to take that negative way out, something happens that changes your mind.

In fact, even you can’t put your finger on “why” but you decide to just keep going anyway…

And then comes that all important final result.

Just so you know…

I’m talking about two things here…a jigsaw puzzle and your life.

You may be thinking, “What do these have to do with each other?”

So, as you think about that I’d like to pose the question…

“Is your life like a jigsaw puzzle?”

1. Using all that you have

I used to like putting jigsaw puzzles together. I found them to be time consuming but at the same time a great lesson in patience and persistence. What I really liked about them was that it gave me the opportunity to anticipate what to look for in order to find the other piece that would connect with its compliment.

Along with that there was something else really cool that I liked.

And that is the idea that every piece counted towards making the finished product (the puzzle) the beautiful picture it was. Whether I was doing a puzzle of a beautiful countryside or of a bunch of flowers or something more unique such as the evolution of the Coca Cola bottles…the fact was that the finished product was a beautifully laid out picture.

So what in the world does this have to do with you and your life?

Well, just like each piece of that jigsaw puzzle was important to having a finished product (the picture), the same is true with every human trait that you possess.

In other words, you have both positive and negative traits. You have things you like and dislike about yourself. You also have things you like and dislike about others.

And every one of those traits are serving you in your life. Because without them how could you possibly be the magnificent person that you are? You can’t. And in there lies the fact that you’re perfect.

Just like that finished puzzle is a perfect portrait, the same is true for you.

Why?

Because you have it all. And when you know how to use everything you have—the positive and negative traits and emotions— you’ll live a fulfilled life doing what you love and be with those you love most.

But there’s more about these positive and negative traits that’s important for you to know…

2. Interlocking pieces of life

I can still remember the times putting together a jigsaw puzzle when it would be frustrating because I couldn’t find that one piece that would fit with the other. So what I would do is to look for the weird and strangest looking pieces and connect those first. These would typically be the corner pieces.

But I knew sooner or later that I’d have to come back to the non corner pieces and the ones that looked almost the same as each other. This is where it got difficult and at times I wanted to completely end it all and give up.

And even though you have weird looking puzzle pieces along with others that just look the same, the fact is that each are unique and very valuable to completing the puzzle.

Guess what?

The same is true with you as it relates to your life…and especially to those positive and negative traits you have.

The fact of the matter is that you’re unique and a valuable person in the world. And what makes that up are all of those positive and negative traits that you have.

And just like each puzzle piece needs to interlock with its compliment so it fits together, the same is true for you…

Each of your positive and negative traits will be needed in certain situations. In fact, in certain situations one trait may be positive and in another situation that same one may be seen as negative.

For example…

Let’s look at being dishonest. Of course most people would see being dishonest as a negative trait. And I’m sure you can think of many examples of that. But how about when dishonesty is a positive trait.

Here’s a true story that shows this.

A number of years back an executive of a very large company (I can’t say the name of the person or the company) was faced with a decision. He was in a position where if he was honest he would have to lay off hundreds of employees who were very loyal to him. He didn’t want to do that.

If he was dishonest and “lied” on the quarterly reports it would buy him a few weeks and he could turn the company around. In the process he wouldn’t have to lay off the hundreds of employees who were so loyal to him.

His decision…he took the dishonest route, turned the company around, and those loyal employees kept their jobs.

So when it comes to your life, just know that you’ll be faced with decisions where doing what has been taught to be the “negative” or “bad” thing can actually help the situation and certainly those you care about.

Now of course I’m not telling you to go out and do “unethical” or “bad” or “negative” things to others. What I am saying is that in certain situations those so called “negative” traits are not negative and are needed for the greater good of everyone involved.

3. The finished masterpiece

One thing I wouldn’t do after finishing a jigsaw puzzle was to take it apart and do it again. Instead, I would either leave it on a table with a cardboard background or I would glue the pieces together with a special glue and hang the finished masterpiece up on a wall for all to see.

The same thing is true for you.

That is, your life is truly a masterpiece. The only difference here between your life and the jigsaw puzzle is…is it a finished masterpiece?

And the answer is no.

Because your life is always evolving, it’s always changing. But what does stay the same is the fact that every trait that makes up your magnificent being is always there. It just changes it’s form over time.

Remember…

You don’t don’t need to get rid of half of yourself to fully appreciate and love yourself.

In other words, it’s not necessary to get rid of your so called “negative” traits because as I said earlier they serve you and those around you. And besides, even if you tried to get rid of them you couldn’t anyway.

And that’s also a good thing because they are there as a guide to get you to grow over the course of your life.

This is what allows you to become wiser. It helps give you greater insight into your own uniqueness and magnificence. It also gives you insight into the brilliance of others which in turn helps you realize your own even more.

So, you’re still a masterpiece but not a finished one.

Because even long after you leave this planet, you’ll still be remembered as the special person you are and one that truly matters…

And one that makes such an inspiring difference in the world.

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