People Puzzles

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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People Puzzles
We all have a place.

“I bet you like puzzles,” he said as we were lying side-by-side.

I had spent the past hour and a half trying to understand him, dissecting his every word, action, and text message, basically thinking out loud. He was a mess of contradictions. What he said was completely opposite of what he did, and his text messages were practically indecipherable. Mainly because they just were. They reflected only what he was feeling in a moment. They were not in any way meant to be construed as a reflection of him.

But, of course, with my deep need to understand all things at all times, I was completely overthinking everything, and demanding answers he wasn’t able to give.

“I suppose,” I said, but I was lying.

I hate puzzles. They require more of an attention span than I have to give, and frankly aren’t worth the time and effort. What do you do with a puzzle once it’s finished? Glue it all together and frame it, I suppose. But the cracks in the picture would only irritate me. I’d have to hang it somewhere it would rarely be seen. Which would defeat the purpose, right?

However, people puzzles are something I spend a lot of time and effort on. I genuinely enjoy understanding people. It reminds me of my divine connection to the whole of humanity. No matter how complex the web may be, we are all connected to each other, and the more I get to understand an individual, the more I am reminded of this.

And I like to be reminded of such an amazing connection. I live with the belief that all the people we interact with matter, even the strangers we simply smile at as we walk by. The people who are formally introduced to us and become a part of our every-day lives hold even more significance. I believe everyone has something valuable to teach us. How we treat strangers is ultimately how we treat our loved ones, and how we treat our loved ones is ultimately how we treat ourselves. We love so we can learn how to best love ourselves because only with self-love can we truly begin to live. Whenever we resist a lesson, we repeat it. This is how habits are formed.

And I love dissecting the habits of others, love hearing all of the experiences that have shaped who they are, and who they will - or want to - become. I want to know where everyone fits in this complex web of connection, want to know what lessons they have in store for me and the rest of humanity. I don’t usually have trouble breaking down the walls of anti-vulnerability and understanding others. My genuine wish to understand and know people is usually enough for them to feel comfortable opening up to me. I’ve experienced enough to express empathy easily, and read enough communication books to cover the rest.

People puzzles are not complicated or time consuming. And when solved, the cracks always look lovely. They make sense. They fit.

I enjoy people puzzles.

Except when I can’t solve them.

And as hard as I try, there will always be people I won’t understand. I won’t always understand the puzzling actions of a person. I won’t always be able to see where they fit into my life or why. Many people will drift in and out of my life without warning or with explanation.

But they will all have a place, however small. There will still be a piece of them left in my puzzle, fitting within a particular place at a particular time. The puzzle of my life would not be complete without them.

And that’s a beautiful thing to remember.

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