The Missing Piece Meets The Big O

One of the first guided meditations I listened to after taking up the practice was about relationships.

I remember listening to the guide’s calm voice as she explained the plot of a popular picture book. As I listened, and then later read the book for myself, I was struck by the simplicity of the story and the powerful message behind it.

The book in question was Shel Silverstein’s, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and it goes like this:

Once upon a time, there was a missing piece.

The missing piece spent all its time waiting for someone to come find it and take it away. There were many that came along. Some did not fit at all. Some seemed like a good fit at first, but then the missing piece grew and they didn’t fit together anymore.

One day, the missing piece met someone new, that didn’t look like anyone it had met before. It didn’t have any space for a missing piece.

The missing piece told the Big O that it could not roll because it was a triangle and it had sharp edges, and the Big O told it that edges could be worn off and shapes change. The Big O left, and the missing piece found itself all alone.

But then, slowly, it began to move.

Eventually, the missing piece shaved off all its sharp edges and began to roll. It found the Big O and together, they rolled alongside each other.

The full book, which takes no longer than a minute or two to read, is filled with even more beautifully subtle messages about healthy relationships. It should be required reading for all children and adults.

It made me think about my own relationships and what I seek out in them. Back when I first listened to this meditation, I still had this idea that having a partner would be the thing that “completed me.” I depended on men to supply: my happiness, emotional support, my sense of self-worth, a social life.

Luckily, I’ve come a long way since then. I know, now, the importance of being your own, complete person. You can want a relationship, but you shouldn’t ever need one.

Sometimes, I still feel like that little triangle. There are days when my progress feels so slow or I take about ten steps backwards, and I’m certain I’ll never find myself rolling along on my own.

But the important thing is that I’m moving forward. Maybe that’s all we really need to do: take it one step, one day at a time, until there comes a time when we stop to look at our lives and realize we’re not missing any pieces at all.

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