With all due respect to Forrest Gump, life is more like a jigsaw puzzle than a box of chocolates. Some pieces are easy and enjoyable to connect while others frustratingly challenging.

The image on the box is beautiful, and our goal is to reproduce it. But there are two major problems damning this task into impossibility.

The first has to do with our process.

Instead of picking up a piece and asking "Where might this go?" - we instead stare at the lovely "finished image" on the box and search for a piece matching where our eyes alit. Is this one a match? No. How about this one? No. And so on.

The second issue is much more dastardly: the image on the box is wrong.

The picture we see is the world's version of happiness. A certain amount of money. A healthy body with specific physical characteristics. Other bodies for attachment, also with specific physical and psychological characteristics. A pain-free, if not pleasing, existence.

Such a captivating image! We can't pry our eyes (or thoughts) away. In fact, if we examine our thoughts for any length of time, we quickly realize that nearly every one is concerned with that picture.

And so we spend moment after moment, day after day, year after year, lifetime after lifetime plying away at the puzzle. Constantly searching for a money piece, a health piece, a relationship piece, a pain-reduction piece, a pleasure piece, and a peace piece.

Of course, the pieces are never quite right. Sometimes one seems to fit correctly, but soon thereafter we realize it no longer works.

It's not until we recognize both the picture and our process are wrong that we can see another way.

The box image is intentionally misleading. That's why we can never get a large number of pieces to fit, not to mention come anywhere near completing the puzzle.

Paraphrasing slightly this line from A Course in Miracles:

Do not let the picture distract you. It is given you for your damnation, and if you take it you will believe that you are damned. (T-17.IV.9)

This picture was made to prevent us from ever achieving true happiness.

Yet the pieces indeed can all be connected together in a way that is most pleasing. We just need to look away from the box picture and understand that within each piece contains the most beautiful image imaginable.

Our task is to hold up each piece, turn within to our inner jigsaw puzzle master, and request, "Help me to see where this piece fits." Then step out of our need to force fit and allow the answer to flow through of its own accord.

The masterpiece we will craft is breathtaking. And the peace we'll experience extraordinary.

Join me in Thursday's class where we'll learn how to become better solvers of the jigsaw puzzle of life and meet with much greater joy. I look forward to seeing you then.