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For those of us living by the dance of our own tune, the world and its ways may seem like an entirely different beat. Perhaps we feel as though we have to compromise our own rhythm to fit with the rhythm of the common. In a world that appears to embrace uniformity, those of us who are a little different – be in it life philosophies, traditions, appearances – may feel the need to tone down our differences. We don’t necessarily know where we fit, but we know we have to fit somewhere.

So we conform for a little while, because we observe what it means to behave acceptably and what it means to be a “success” and we have also experienced how lonely it can be when we venture outside of the realm of what is considered acceptable. We listen to the beat of others.

Eventually, when we realize that we are not truly alive when we spend even a moment living a lie, we know being our authentic individual selves is the only way. We know that conforming and living someone else’s life will never work for us, we are too colorful, too vibrant, too hungry for something different.

I have been reflecting on this and have come to understand the world and my place in it in this way:

The universe is connected like one big massive puzzle, each piece relying on the other to make a whole. Though each piece of the puzzle may appear similar to another piece, there are no two pieces that are the same. Some pieces are more colorful and vibrant, some pieces are bland and dull, some pieces dark and mysterious, but each piece is ultimately connected to every other piece. Regardless of the look of each piece of the puzzle, each piece is equally important in making the whole.

Some pieces are older than others, having shifted in form and withered. They have seen things that only wisdom and experience can bring; other pieces, though they might be just as old in age, look new because they do not recognise their connection to the whole, they have remained protected and believe they control the whole picture of the puzzle. These are the pieces that easily fit – they look new, squarer, with less defects, less cracks, less color, less originality.

The puzzle keeps adding more pieces and keeps losing pieces, the picture shifts, and each piece of the puzzle shifts in different ways and at different times. The square pieces often remain in the same place because there are many other square pieces that can fit with them and beside them. However, the more colorful, vibrant, original pieces have a specific place and at times it can be hard to find where they fit in the vast big puzzle because of their uniqueness.

The colorful pieces sometimes want to be the bland square pieces, because it is easier to fit in the puzzle. They have to cross many square pieces before they connect with other, vibrant colorful ones just like them. But when the colorful pieces connect with other vibrant colorful pieces, they often create a beautiful picture that adds more life, more magic and more uniqueness to the whole. They realize there is no point in trying to be any other piece in the puzzle because it’s impossible.

When the vibrant, colorful pieces connect together, they journey through the squares and the massive puzzle as a unit. They seek – they seek for themselves, for each other, for others who are vibrant and different like them, and though they may not know their end destination or their ultimate place of belonging, they know that it is in the seeking that brings them the wisdom and experience of being alive.

Those colorful ones, the ones that are different, the ones with cracks and defects and originality, they will probably find their belonging in the sky, in the flowers or in the sea because that’s where the magic of being alive happens.

Do you know where you fit in the big puzzle? Do you have any idea what i’m talking about? Have you found pieces you connect with?