I am one of millions of people all over the world who truly believed as kids that I was born into the wrong family. I swore up and down that they had taken the wrong baby home from the hospital. The fact that I bore a striking resemblance to my parents had nothing to do with it. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
For example, I grew up in New York City. Some people would think I should have been grateful to be growing up in the most exciting city in the world. Well, except for the wonderful museums, galleries and to-die-for restaurants, to me it was just a great big place with too much noise, dirt, traffic and, most of all, people. I longed to live in the country, surrounded by nature, trees, birds and miles of open sky. Every summer I would beg my mother to go spend a week out on Long Island at my cousins’ house in a development that was far enough out to still be surrounded by farms and cows out in the fields. I would come home with fresh fruit and veggies from their garden (especially those delicious, Italian figs, warm from the sun … yum!). I was a happy camper then.
Many years later, I got my wish and finally moved to the country. I did, indeed, have the peaceful, quiet, miles-of-sky existence that I had always craved. However, as time went by, I discovered something I hadn’t learned from reading all of those Little House On The Prairie books: being a vegan, living in a place surrounded by dairy farms, pig farms, chickens and the sounds of hunters shooting anything that moved in the woods and fields nearby is not only emotionally and mentally painful, but it doesn’t make you a candidate for County Fair Queen, either. It took me several years to find the right mix of small-town living, close to museums, galleries and book stores, and near like-minded folks. I just had to rearrange the pieces.
We humans are complex creations. There are lots of pieces that go in to making us who we are, and that is especially true when it comes to creating our authentic life. We are not all one thing or another. Sometimes we are some of this, and some of that, like some wonderful, exotic recipe for the perfect dessert. Other times, it seems as if no matter how hard we try, like a puzzle with too many pieces, we just can’t make them all fit.
Let me give you another example. When people ask me a question like: “So, are you a Christian?” or some other way to inquire after my spiritual affiliation, I answer the with: “I am a Christian/Jewish/Buddhist/Hindu/Muslim/Native American child of God.” Usually that makes them end the conversation quickly … and often wish they hadn’t asked, too. In fact, I was raised a Roman Catholic, broke with that church and wandered for a while, became a Methodist, went wandering again (it was more about church politics at the time than doctrine), wandered some more, joined Unity church, left that due to a conflict of personalities, and returned to Buddhist teachings and practices … until last week when an overwhelming urge to go to a new Methodist church for their Sunday service rewarded me with a sense of: “I could be happy here, I think.” Why am I telling you all this? Because we are not one thing, or another. We are a little of this, and a little of that, and in the correct amounts, we become exactly who we were meant to be, living the life we were meant to live, regardless of the attempts by others to play around with the puzzle pieces trying to force a round piece in a square space. We are the only ones who know what the final puzzle is supposed to look like, and we are the only ones that know how to make all the pieces fit. Imagine how beautiful that finished picture will be!
This week our writing assignment on the Home Page is going to ask us to start naming those missing pieces, those things that don’t seem to fit just right as we are now. This assignment will require you to go deep and be totally honest with yourself. You might even be able to have some fun with this. In any case, just remember, to always keep writing.
Peace and blessings.