One thing I didn’t get to do this season was to put together a puzzle. Relaxing is not my forte, but when a puzzle is on the dining room table and the members of my family who like that sort of thing are sitting around chatting and laughing and announcing every puzzle piece they have been cleaver enough to place – I simply can’t resist! The one problem my family has with putting a puzzle together is that there are not enough lids to the puzzle box to go around. The picture is the key to all our success. If there is ever any upset during the activity is it likely because someone has taken possession of the box lid and no one else can make any progress.
I was doing a little spring-cleaning after the holidays and ran across a box of 500 and 1000 piece puzzles we had done in past years. They were all the “really cute” ones that we had such a good time putting together and I couldn’t bear to throw away. Apparently no one wants to do them again because they’ve already been done. As I looked through the box there were a couple of puzzles that did find their way to the trash. They were puzzles that for some reason or another had been put into zip lock bags. No Box! No Picture! As I pulled them out my thought was, “There is no way in the world anyone would ever dump these thousand pieces out on a table and try to put this puzzle together without a picture of the finished product, without any clues.
That’s what trying to apply the 12 Steps would be like without the example of those who have already taken this road. When we hear their stories, what their life was like, what it’s like now, the steps they took, and the tools they used, we begin to feel a spark of hope that we too might be able to make progress. For me, that’s the blessing of attending recovery support meeting, calling support people, and reading about the experience of others.
It’s so tempting to resist coming to meetings, making calls, seeing examples in the scriptures, and spending time reading about the recovery of others because we’re embarrassed by our great need. We hope that somehow we can figure it out on our own. I want to remember that going it alone in recovery, with no example of how it works, is impossible. The “old timers” are key! Trying to apply these 12 principles without examples is like trying to put together a 1000 piece puzzle that’s been dumped in a baggie. There’s a reason we all fight over the lid to the puzzle box. Without it we’re sunk. With it there is every reason to believe that, as we work together, the puzzle will come together.
By Nannette W.
Posted Saturday, January 10, 2009
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W.
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