Assembling the jigsaw

Goethe says, ‘Become what you are’; which means become what your full potential is.

The pattern of our life is different for each of us and our task as we grow older is to watch the pattern unfold and help it reach its completion. Sadly, and in many cases tragically, some never realise their full potential and in old age become bitter and withdrawn. Often they have failed to realise that the many disappointments and setbacks we all encounter are, in fact, opportunities for growth, so that with George Herbert we shall be enabled to say ‘In age I bud again!’

The discovery of the inner realms within us, our potential, is a rich and at times demanding process, one that sometimes calls for a skilled guide. I was indeed fortunate when, having suffered a breakdown at the age of twenty-one, I was guided to Dr Franz Elkisch, an analyst who had been trained by Carl Jung himself. It was he who helped me to assemble the pieces of my own jigsaw until the picture of who I was meant to be emerged. Which is why I respond to this prayer:

I beseech the heavenly forces to bless and assist me to take responsibility for myself so that I can be the person who, from the beginning of creation, I was meant to be. I give thanks because it will be so now. Amen.

Joseph Campbell says in one of his discourses:

What is unknown is the fulfilment of your own unique life, the likes of which has never existed on earth. And you are the only one to do it . . . Get rid of the life you have planned in order to have the life that is waiting to be yours.

10 thoughts on “Assembling the jigsaw”

  1. I have just entered my 80th year and am feeling rather purposeless. This email reached me at exactly the time I needed it most. Thank you so much.

  2. Agreed ! I am at 72 now rolling around in myself (Montaigne) greatly
    encouraged by the silences.
    Thank You

  3. Surely few of us reach our full potential. Yet the unfolding of who we truly are is a life long journey if we can only surrender, as Thomas Merton says, to the creative action love & grace in our hearts.
    Love the George Herbert quote ‘in age I bud again’! How hopeful!

  4. That’s a good image, the jigsaw: lots of light pieces, intricate pieces, simple pieces, blue sky pieces, dark pieces, pieces with an edge – each with something of the whole picture, but maybe looking quite different in some ways. And it takes a lifetime to find the pieces that go together and find they way that they fit together. Each picture is going to be different from everyone else’s. And when you see the picture emerge…?

  5. DEAR DI, THAT IS XCELLENTLY EXPRESSED….BUT SADLY SO MANY ARE BORN MILLIONAIRRES BUT DIE PAUPERS! IT ALL STEMS FROM OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN THE MAIN BUT MANY OTHER FACTORS ALSO, MUCH LOVE JAMES

  6. Thank you James. I like the quote from George Herbert. So apt for today’s Feast of the Holy Spirit.

  7. There is such wisdom in this. I recognise this particular part of my journey is in its early stages and am deeply thankful for this timely encouragement. Thank you James. I do relish your posts! Much love Diana Blackburn

  8. Hi James. First time for me to be reading your blog posts – they look great.
    After a long time of searching, the recognition of who we are took place for me and the need for anything more fell away. With this knowing has come the clarity of what to do, which is not dependent on an outcome.
    Helping others to step through the doorway of their own understanding, whatever their story, is what it looks like.
    With all best wishes
    Mike Buckley

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