About a month ago, I borrowed a puzzle from a friend. Putting it together turned it into a “puz-soul”. The lessons were many and they are still happening in spite of the fact that it is already back in the box. Since the analogies continue to help me daily, I’ve decided to share them with you.
The value of one piece

My main goal was to materially display an image that had frequented me for a long time: the one of a complete puzzle missing one single piece. Since one of my biggest lessons has to do with conquering my self-worth, I needed irrefutable proof of the undeniable value that each one has in a whole made up of individual parts (specifically the value of “my piece”). That is why for nine days, I devoted myself to put 500 pieces into place in my spare time.

I had work to do, but the anticipation of seeing it finished already transcended the connotation of “hobby”. It was 9 in the morning, my daughter was already at school, I had already meditated on my elliptic machine, had showered and dressed, and had the computer on and ready to start the translation appointed for that day. However, placing the twenty-something remaining pieces represented then the most urgent and important task for the day. What had begun as a personal experiment had turned into a challenge, a proof of perseverance and commitment that was pressing to be achieved NOW. If anything happened to me in the following minutes and I had to leave this life, an undelivered translation would be of no importance, but this unfinished puz-soul would be a real pity. So I gave myself the necessary time to accomplish my mission.

I don’t know what your opinion might be, but those twenty-something pieces, all of them equally grey, seemed to me like the last few meters of a double marathon. Notwithstanding, I placed them one by one until, because there was no other alternative in my learning process, only one was missing… and it wasn’t anywhere in sight! The deception lasted but a few seconds until I finally found it under the box, but boy did I learn!

One piece in 500 is “only” the 0.2 per cent. When the image is complete and that piece is in place, it is practically unidentifiable, but how noticeable it is when it’s missing! And it doesn’t matter that its function in the whole it’s not even part of the drawing, and it doesn’t even matter that the missing piece is quite similar to many others equally grey… YOU CAN TELL IT’S MISSING!

When I don’t show up, the world misses me. If I don’t show up at a friends’ gathering, I’m missed. If I don’t attend a PTA meeting at my daughter’s school, I’m missed. My energy is missed when I’m too lazy to go to my healing music meditation group. The world misses me if I have a comment to make on Facebook and I refrain from making it for fear of what you might think or say. When a person is waiting for my next blog post and I’m too busy to write it, I’m missed. If I forget your birthday, I’m missed. Sometimes even my absence is missed, whether you identify it’s me who’s missing or not. I’m missed in the word I did not say, in the question I did not ask. I’m missed. I’m missed. I’m missed.

If I don’t show up, I’m missed. If you don’t show up, you’re missed. Let us all show up!
Collateral lessons
• What if my life is a puz-soul that was given to me scrambled when I was born? What if my puz-soul, once put together, is a perfect piece in the great puz-soul of life? What if once I find my place in the “Big Puz-Soul” it expands and multiplies, opening up new possibilities that up until then did not exist?
• After looking for a piece repeatedly for many minutes, I decided to continue working on a different part of the image. If I had gotten stuck in the piece I was not finding, I would not have made any progress. I reflected that if I stopped looking for it and set myself to look for others that were showing up more easily, once there were just a few pieces left, the originally “lost” one would be very easy to place.
• Each piece has a place next to the corresponding ones. In any other place, not only does it not add, but it also interferes and jams.
• Sometimes one or more pieces seem to fit perfectly in the same place; I choose one temporarily until I find out which one is the proper one.
• Some other times, I’m convinced that one piece is in the right place, until I figure that it really fits somewhere else. However, while it was “wrongly placed”, it cleared the path to find many others, and when the time was right, I switched it to where it belonged and there was more order (how useless is it to ruminate over past relationships once they are no longer in the wrong place?).
• When the image is well defined, it is clear to see if the piece fits perfectly or not; however, in the gray, undefined areas, it is more difficult to tell when a piece is misplaced.
• I consider that being “asleep” is having too many lies, projections, expectations, judgments and rejections that are not mine. With all of that glued to my system, my piece is not in its true shape, therefore, it is hard to place. The first step to “awaken” is to free myself from everything that I am not, and only then can I see where I fit.
• It is completely senseless to tell “another piece” where to fit and how to do it when my piece is all glued up and deformed. Just as useless as trying to teach another piece how to fit in on the opposite side of the image (which I obviously don’t know).
• In order to get rid of that which I’m not, I connect with other pieces that help me find out who I am, and for whom I’m also a catalyst for their awakening process.
• How many pieces are waiting for me to wake up so that the puz-soul can be complete? How many pieces I am waiting for?
• Two identical pieces do not fit in a puz-soul, therefore, it is useless to desire or try to look like another one, just as useless as to compare oneself to others: it is the surest way of never finding my place.
• There are many pieces that are similar; nevertheless, very few times the ones alike fit together; more often than not, they complement the ones that are different.
• There are two or three pieces among the 500 of this particular puz-soul which are completely different from all the rest, but in their distinct difference they also need the other ones to form a whole.
• If my piece is a sun, its light and warmth is spread to the whole image.
• Once the last piece has been placed, the puz-soul recovers its unity and it becomes a valuable piece in a bigger and multidimensional puz-soul.
So far, all the reflections stemmed from this puz-soul of two sleepy kittens in black and white. Soon I’ll find the challenge of another puz-soul. I wonder what lessons the new one will bring…!

Author's Bio: 

Carolina Iglesias was born and lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Trained professionally as a teacher of English as a Second Language and a Technical & Literary Translator, she has just discovered her passion for writing her own material. She is the author of the brand new blog “Diario del despertar de una conciencia”, in Spanish. She is also the creator of Awakening in English, a powerful synergy of English classes and self-growth. You can also find her insights written in English in the blog of her website, where she writes about her experience of putting self-growth theory to practice while living in a big city and facing the challenges of a committed single mom. Read more from Carolina at awakeninginenglish.com and diariodeldespertardeunaconciencia.blogspot.com.ar