Have you ever read Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece? I read this to small children a long time ago, in a place far away. I loved reading this book to small children. While it’s written for children I think this book is for adults, to remind us that in and of ourselves we are indeed complete, just as we are. The thing that we believe will fill the void, making us complete, is actually not the thing we need, the thing, the event, the words, the whatever that “fixes” us.
Finding, and having that missing piece, is in and of itself a blessing. Because it is in the having of whatever this “thing that completes” that we find the beauty of who we are, what we have. Because we realize it’s something we’ve never really needed. That we are, as God made us (with some help from our parents), complete. We are more than we think, than we’ve been told, than we’ve believed.
There is a marriage related phrase that always bothered me, “my better half”. Like the qualifying word “just” I think it needs to go away. Yes, I will always think of my sweetie with high regard, I love him deeply, passionately. He’s a gift to me that I get to keep opening every day, learning more about him, watching him change, grow, and become more of whom God wants him to be. I get to be part of that growth in some amazing ways for both of us. Some ways have been great! Some ways not so much. But both necessary as we grow together.
However, he’s not better than me. For a long time I tried to use “my better whole” as he is whole and complete, but that was oft misconstrued. I’ll leave that there, with the image of saying that and having the giggling start immediately. What I was trying, without much success, is that as a person we each, as individuals are complete, that we don’t fix the other, that we don’t…oh heck, you get it. My sweetie is not the piece that is missing. What he does, and I’m grateful for this, is encourage, support, call me out when I’m being a brat, pray with me, pray for me, hold my hand when my heart aches, celebrates with me, and is there.
I have friends that do much the same things, so please don’t think this post is about the spousal relationship. I know many people who aren’t married or who are in marriages that aren’t working well. Spouses, and friends aren’t those who complete us they are there with us along this journey of life. To put the “you complete me” shroud on another person is a great burden in oh, so many ways on both people.
So when I stopped looking for my missing piece something changed. I need people. I love people (for the most part). I don’t want to use them for some gain on my part. There are moments when I want to be pretty, popular, and have my dance card (quilt teaching schedule) full. There are moments when I long to be more. And then what happens is a level of jealousy, anxiety, and hurt happen. I have a long way to go until I’m fully content, however, I am complete just as I am. I’m complete because I am a child of God. I am complete because this is who he made me. By the way there are moments when I still look for that missing piece thinking if this person, or that event would happen I would be my most complete, happiest, contentest self ever. It’s not the truth, but still…I’m growing.
And yes, circling back to quilt making, I’m complete as a quilter. I’m on a journey that takes me in some amazing places both personally, and professionally. My quilt journey is certainly fascinating, interesting, and something of a twisty, turny, timey wimey, fun, heart pounding, climb up a mountain, hike down into a valley, wandering around town enjoying the scenery experience. I am privileged to enter into the lives of quilters, to help them along their journey. I get to walk with quilters, next to them, encouraging, supporting, sometimes secretly wanting to say, “and that popping sound you hear will be your head coming out of your ass when you realize I’m right” (quoting my dad here) but not saying it because I might not be right, I might be wrong. Except on the practice part. I’m never wrong on the practice part. We all have to practice.
You’ll be complete as a quilter, on your journey. Discovering what you love. Relying on your own gut. Knowing that you’re not missing a piece.