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Breaking your fears into manageable pieces

You are a piece of the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill the holes in their lives with pieces of you.
– Bonnie Arbon

I remember one of the first times my grandmother brought out a puzzle for us to work on together.  It was one of those 1,000 piece varieties and I remember how overwhelmed I felt when she dumped the pieces on the table.  I looked at the picture on the box, and the mess of pieces on the table and had this helpless feeling about how we would ever be able to complete it.

I think my grandmother sensed my fear because she encouragingly said “We start by organizing them all face up, identifying the edge ones, and then we organize the rest by the colors on the pieces.  So all of the blue sky ones go together, all of the tree colors, etc.”  We proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes organizing the puzzle pieces as she indicated and soon we had different sections of pieces in different areas of the kitchen table.  Next we focused on the edge pieces and she showed me how to identify which ones went together by their shapes and colors.  Soon, we had a frame of the puzzle completed, so we proceeded to take one group of puzzle pieces at a time (the ones organized by color) and to my astonishment the picture on the table started to come together and look like the picture on the box.

When we were done, I felt such a feeling of accomplishment and pride and I was so excited to show my mother our accomplishment when she came back to pick me up.  Little did I know it at the time but I also came away with a life lesson that has continued to help me achieve great things.

When something seems daunting, overwhelming, or impossible, I break down the task into those smaller pieces
that I’m confident in doing or know how to do, and somehow everything comes together in the end.

Think back on your animal rescue life and how you’ve accomplished things that seemed overwhelming.  The first time you did a transport, the first foster you took care of or even the first time you took care of an animal.  I’ll be that it seemed overwhelming at the time.  What do I do?  Where do I begin?  What if something goes wrong?  Hopefully there were resources to help you break it down into pieces so that without you even knowing it, you were breaking the obstacle into manageable chunks that you felt confident in achieving.

What obstacles have you encountered that you were able to break into pieces?  Tell us and share your experience with your fellow rescuers.


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