I’m so confused; it just doesn’t make sense; something doesn’t add up. These phrases, or ones similar to them, are ones which I hear often. Whether I’m working with colleagues, chatting with friends, conversing with my family or just being in the vicinity of a conversation in a restaurant, at some point someone, somewhere is bound to utter these words. Why is that? Well, here’s my take on it, after observing and experiencing a wide variety of confusing scenarios over the years

Life is filled with a variety of situations and events. Each of these can be likened to a jigsaw puzzle, of sorts. In order for you to really get your head around this, I want you to imagine yourself working to complete a jigsaw puzzle. You lay out all the pieces, put them in whatever format you need in order to feel like you can work best, and then you get to work, putting pieces together, attempting various combinations until the picture looks the way it’s supposed to. Sometimes you can do it quickly; sometimes not. Sometimes you need to take a break and come back to the puzzle to view it with fresh eyes. Regardless of the time involved, or the strategies you find helpful, if you persist at putting things together, eventually you will create the picture that’s meant to be. Unless, of course, you’re missing a piece or two.

I know you can relate to that sort of circumstance. You’ve taken all of the pieces you’ve got, you’ve assembled them as best you can, you know you’re on the right track, and the picture’s still not complete. There’s a piece missing and, without that missing piece, the picture will not – it cannot – be complete.

The circumstances of life can be like this frustrating jigsaw puzzle. No matter the scenario, when things don’t add up, it means that there’s a piece of the “puzzle” that is missing. There’s something you don’t know, some information that you don’t have. If somebody’s behavior doesn’t make sense, it’s because there’s something you don’t know. If a situation just doesn’t add up, what pivotal piece might you be overlooking? Rest assured, there’s something. And holding these questions can be a liberating perspective-shifter.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m sharing this with you this week. Well, it’s because I see so people – and I include myself in the mix from time to time – grappling and getting all worked up over such challenges unnecessarily. Yes, it can be very frustrating to work with an incomplete puzzle. There is very little that is worse than feeling like you just can’t put something together. And yet, the minute you hear yourself saying some version of “this doesn’t make sense” it’s your cue to ask yourself, what piece of the puzzle might be missing. Even if the information never reveals itself – after all, sometimes there are things that others don’t want you to know – knowing that the problem isn’t about your inability to understand, but rather about information not being available to you, can help you to release yourself from the frustration and angst of something “not making sense.”

Bottom-line: life will always add up; that being said, it may not always add up for you in a specific moment, because you may or may not have all of the information necessary to complete the puzzle. Once you accept this, you will free yourself from the burden of having to be the world’s most prolific puzzle-solver. You’ll be able to understand that even when it doesn’t appear to make sense to you, it does make sense in the bigger picture. So let it go, knowing that in the end, so long as the big picture comes together, that’s all that really matters.

Author's Bio: 

Gail Barker is a Certified Professional Life Coach and Co-Author of The Control Freak's Guide to Living Lightly. Since 2002, Gail has supported hundreds of professional women, through coaching, workshops, and her monthly ezine, in shifting their lives from chaos to calm; her coaching practice revolves around the concept of ease. For Gail, life is all about having every person experience success on their terms. To this end, she invites you to ask yourself, "whose life are you living?", and if your answer is anything other than "my own", visit Stellar Coaching and Consulting at www.stellarcc.com to get on your own path to success.