The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “puzzle.” Use it any way you’d like!
I used to think we were all puzzles with missing pieces. Some pieces got lost, sucked up by the vacuum or chewed by the dog, and some I swear were never in the box to begin with.
Somewhere along the way, we were supposed to find the person who had our missing pieces, and then we would be complete. Or maybe, more romantically, our boxes had separate pieces for ONE BIG puzzle that could only be completed when both boxes came together.
While it may be beautiful-ish imagery, it’s a tremendously unhealthy way to live your life, always searching for your missing pieces IN SOMEONE ELSE. You may come upon someone (or someones) who seem to have the missing pieces, but then you become reliant on their eternal presence to make you “whole”, and the psychological mess that can ensue is not a pretty sight.
Here’s the truth: we’re all incomplete puzzles and will likely ALWAYS be incomplete, even if we finally get our shit together with healthy spirituality, quality therapy and/or the right medication. In fact, spirituality, therapy and meds just help us deal with the fact that we have missing pieces and (hopefully) stop us from trying to fill those holes with unhealthy actions, relationships, or substances.
Believe it or not, there are places of existence in between pretending we are complete and wallowing in our incompleteness. To look around, you might doubt the accuracy of that statement. I often feel like I’m surrounded by either fakes or whiners – but perhaps I’m projecting…
Let’s reject the binary options for a second – trust me, neither is attractive.
How about accepting imperfection (in ourselves and others) and then not caring about it in ourselves and not judging others for it in themselves?
Mind. Blown. Right?
I know, it’s not revolutionary or remotely original thought, but it doesn’t stop most of us from living in one (or both, at times) of the binary options presented above:
“I am not perfect. In fact, I am ashamed of my imperfection to the point that I will feign perfection in order to sucker someone into relationship with me, and if I’m lucky, they will make me feel better about myself and fill my missing pieces.”
“I am not perfect. In fact, I am woefully lacking in so many areas, and I’m going to wander around telling you about it until I find someone who feels just as bad about themselves as I do, and then we can get together and put some of our parts in the other’s empty spaces and hope to someday achieve some kind of completeness… together.”
I’m not a therapist, and I don’t play one on TV, but I’ve spent a LOT of time in therapy – enough to know that neither of those works.
Compassion for those being authentic and transparent.
Sometimes that fills some missing pieces. Mystically. Inexplicably.
Usually, you stay an incomplete puzzle.
And. That’s. OK.
These days, I’m about showing my missing pieces, not for the sake of seeking out “hole fillers” (stop it – don’t go there…) or to make people feel sorry for my lack, but simply to rest in who I am and to resist feeling shame in my deficiencies.
What actually happens then is that light can begin to shine through my holes, and others are “enlightened” to see what is real and true in their own lives.
I have to admit to not knowing how to end this free write… It feels like it needs a lot more development, but at the same time, maybe it is complete enough in its simplicity.
Missing pieces and all.
“Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
#SoCS comes from the website of Linda G. Hill.
Here are the rules:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.