“I subscribe to the theory that everything you do in life somehow helps you to continue along your own path, even though it’s hard to see how at times.” – Yuli Ziv, author of Blogging Your Way to the Front Row and founder of Style Coalition
Whether you discover a job opening requiring skills you happened to have attained during your childhood that now are finally coming in handy – such as a foreign language, calligraphy, baking, etc, or inquire about an opportunity that interests you only to learn someone you met ten years ago knows someone who can open the door for you even further, or experience a horrific traveling disaster that you’d like to forget that occurred but it turns into being the storyline of your first published novel, there are instances in each of our lives that occur for a reason that we may not understand until much later on down the line.
The point is, we don’t always know why things happen to us at the time – good and bad. In fact, if we did know how it would all come together, we may laugh in disbelief and somehow get in our own way.
Just as attending school prepares us for the opportunities that lay in front of us to help create a sound financial and fulfilling adulthood, life is as well teaching us the lessons before we need them, so that when the opportunity presents itself, we have the skills that we need.
While sometimes we can prepare consciously for what we want to happen such as taking specific classes, attaining a certain degree, there are so many other instances that we can’t fathom so that requires of life to actually “pull a fast one on us”, otherwise we may not volunteer to learn that particular lesson. For example, who wants to get their heart broken and learn through unsuccessful relationship after unsuccessful relationship how to be a better partner? I know it’s not something that most people would enter into willingly if they knew the outcome would be a broken heart. But in the end, when we do find the partner we want to spend the rest of our days with, we then realize what everything else before it was leading us to, and why it was worth experiencing it.
“There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.” –Deepak Chopra
So yes, I do believe that life is a puzzle full of pieces waiting to come together if only we take the time to listen to what moves us, try things that interest us but may be a bit frightening, and are willing to put ourselves out there, learning from the lessons we were given along the way.
I recently read an article titled “8 Overlooked Factors to Overcome Failure – in Sports, Business, Relationships and Beyond” by Garret Kramer, and he made an observation that while not necessarily comforting initially, eased my mind when it came to making the journey through difficult moments in our lives. His first point was the one that caught my attention. He writes that people shouldn’t try to control their thoughts when they’re moving through the stages following a perceived failure, but instead allow those thoughts to be delved into, experienced and analyzed so that the individual can come out on the other side having learned the necessary lessons instead of pretending they didn’t happen to avoid feeling the pain. In other words, in order to learn what was intended from the experience and prevent it from happening again, we must let ourselves grieve and work through the questions, uncertainties and frustrations.
Some of you may be nodding your head in agreement reading this because you’re at a place in your life that you are thrilled to be at, and you can reflect and now understand why certain things happened. But some of you may be in the throes of heartbreak, seemingly insurmountable frustration or pain and doubt that such hurt is meant for a reason. What I would ask of the latter group is: first, keep moving forward toward what is your calling, what sits well with you and what makes you feel like the best version of yourself, and second, have faith. Life has an amazing talent of surprising us when we least expect it, but if we give up, we don’t get to experience the surprise. So in the meantime, trust in something you can’t quite see at the moment and know that something more wonderful than you could imagine is waiting to present itself to you.