| by Flemming Funch|
It is one of the metaphors I most readily reach for when called upon to say something motivational. It isn't terribly original, but it is easily understood and perfectly reusable.
We all have a piece of the puzzle. Everybody knows, of course, that all of the pieces of a puzzle are different, and that we need all of them to complete the puzzle. It is awfully unsatisfying if there's a piece missing. There'll be a glaring hole in the middle of the puzzle.
Now, we're talking about some kind of global puzzle. So, here, all of us have a piece, maybe even several, and we're not going to complete the puzzle unless everybody's getting their piece out, unless everybody's placing it in the place where it fits. That takes a little bit of work, to find out where it fits. But if you don't bother doing it, if you just leave the piece in your pocket, or in the box, or you lose it, thinking it doesn't matter, that piece will always be missing.
Some pieces might be just one of many that are more or less the same color or texture, in the middle of an ocean or a wall, or whatever's on the picture. That doesn't make them any less important, as they will be equally missing if they aren't there.
As mentioned, the pieces are different, and each one fits in a particular place. It's no good to try to change a piece into looking like some of the other ones, and it is no good to try to force it into fitting some place where it doesn't. Which should remind you of some of the things we humans do, en masse trying to do the exact same thing, in order to "fit in". Consuming the same products, commuting to work at the same time, to do the same kinds of jobs. All the while spending no time looking at what our actual piece is and where it fits.
There's a nice unity and diversity thing to the metaphor. We're all unique, but we also have something to do together. Everybody's important.
We could develop it in different directions. Like, we could say that there's your external piece of the puzzle. What you do in the world, what you're available for, what you have to offer, and your particular style of doing it, the shape of your piece.
But we could also say that there's an inner piece that you have. That which makes you unique, but also what makes you feel at home, and what makes you feel complete. Because there's nothing missing to that piece. Sure, it might fit with other pieces, but it doesn't have to, it is perfect as it is.
The thing about your inner piece is that if you haven't found it, or you don't know that you already have it, you might be running around looking for pieces of yourself, or looking for places to fit in. But you can keep looking outside yourself for it forever, without result, because it isn't out there. On the contrary, it is the only thing that isn't out there. It's who you are. Once you find it, or at least realize you already have it, you can relax. There's no longer anything you urgently have to seek. Rather, surprisingly, things suddenly become easier. Because you're now being something that actually fits, and maybe not that surprisingly after all, the universe around you fits you.
We could well say that it is two sides of the same thing. The inside and the outside. Your particular inner being and the universe around you. They're maybe one and the same thing, but that's a little theoretical for practical use, unless you're unusually enlightened. But, if we stick with my puzzle metaphor a tiny bit longer, it gives a perfect explanation for how we each are unique, and how we each have a unique perspective on the universe. Just imagine the cutout of one puzzle piece, in the middle of a puzzle extending to infinity in all directions. In such an infinite field you can cut out different pieces in an infinite number of ways. And for each single one, the rest of the universe will look different, because it is the mirror image of the cutout. And none of the pieces will quite fit in if it tries to be just like any of the other ones. And none of them will quite feel at home if it tries to fit into the world that one of the other pieces sees. But if there's harmony and agreement between what one is and the world one is in, then things suddenly flow. The truth opens things up.
So, grab your inner piece in any way you can. Or just be confident that it is there.