Do you ever feel like your life is a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing? If so, I know what you mean. For years I felt that something was missing or I was on the wrong path or I was making the wrong decisions. I felt stuck, like my life had too many missing pieces.
Recently I asked Joe, a high school senior, what he was going to do when he graduates.
Joe: “Go to community college first and then see what happens.”
Me: “Brilliant! I haven’t known many people who at 18 knew what they wanted to do with their life, except my sister, Carol, who figured out in second grade she wanted to be a teacher.”
But for so many people it feels like something is missing, or they’re going in the wrong direction or worry about making the wrong decisions.
What I now believe is that there are no wrong paths, wrong choices or wrong decisions. There are only experiences that help us put the puzzle pieces of our lives in the right place. Since April I have been working with inmates who are ready to take their lives in a different direction by becoming entrepreneurs after being released. As I was conversing with “Gary” he talked about some of the bad choices he had made in his life that landed him in prison. I suggested that he look at his choices differently.
Me: “If you had not been sent to prison, would you have signed up for an entrepreneurial program on the outside?”
Gary: “Probably not.”
Me: “Can you see that being in prison pushed your desire over the edge to change your life dramatically?”
Gary thought for a moment and said “Yes, living behind bars exponentially increased my desire to turn my life around. The funny thing is that it started with changing the way I think. ”
You see, even if you have never literally been behind bars, you can put yourself in a ‘prison ‘ by worrying about what other people think, worrying about making the wrong decisions or worrying about being on the wrong path. Do you think you could change your mindset, even a little, to see that life is a journey and what you’ve been through has helped put your puzzle pieces together and given your life more meaning?
When you release worrying about different subjects, and recognize that life is an adventure, you will spend much more time enjoying life, being at peace and having fun. As you do this the puzzle pieces just seem to fall into place because you are allowing the walls of the prison to come down that you built around yourself to make you feel safe. You did what you had to do in the past, no judgment there. But now it’s time to release your worries and live life more fully. Just like the Berlin Wall no longer separates East Berlin from West Berlin, you will no longer be separating yourself from a life of love, peace and joy.
Changing your mindset can lead you to the experiences that will help shape your life where you want to go and release you from your own prison, allowing you to connect with the puzzle pieces that are the most joyful. It can also take you down many different roads in many different directions. Believing that life is a journey can set you free to see your experiences differently and more beneficially.
Here is something I say to myself over and over that has helped me tremendously:” I am in the right place at the right time. Everything is always working out for me.” The more I repeat it, the more I believe it and the more it is coming true.
Jigsaw puzzle anyone?
©2018 Dawnie Dahir