Eric and I were both huge fans of Legos when we were little. Eric made complicated RVs and I made cars for Teddy...mostly because I gave up on ever understanding how to make a house that was more than one level without having a balcony instead of a full second floor. It's a fact that everyone who played with Legos had their pet projects that kept being remade bigger, better, and stronger each time. Honestly, what fun would Legos be if you couldn't break down masterpieces (and not-so-masterful pieces) and then make something newer and better? How can you rebuild anything without first breaking it down to the pieces?
We are who we are today because after every hurt, failure, and flop in our pasts, we were reduced to pieces and forced to rebuild. When you have everything in pieces, you can combine the good and the bad into new, stronger forms. If I hadn't had my heart broken many times and had to keep coming back together with new knowledge of what to do or not to do, I never would have gotten to the point when I was ready to meet Eric. I would have simply told him I had already met my lifetime engineer quota and to move along. The experience that we gain through much effort and anguish is what makes us so wise and capable - and greater than simply a sum of our pieces.
When you have all of those pieces after being broken, you can recreate, reorganize, remake yourself into someone who has more wisdom and experience and a pathway forward. The catch in this is that we have to have access to all of those pieces to be able to rebuild. If you've left part of yourself in the hands of the person/thing/circumstance that broke you, there's no hope of fully rebuilding. When you give an outside force the power to keep you from rebuilding, how can you possibly clean up the mess? That force may be some remote possibility of a defunct relationship ever starting up again, the constant reliving of a mistake or bad experience, or even a constant physical reminder of that broken moment. Or, you may not be letting yourself have access to all of the pieces. You have to have those pieces in front of you to even know what the possibilities for rebuilding can be.
And, when you get yourself mostly together and the moment is right, you find friends and partners who let you combine all of your pieces with all of theirs to create a bond that is hard to break when tough times come along. Using everyone's strengths and lessons learned compliments the collection of weaknesses that the group may have. When, someday, Eric and I finally combine our Lego collections, we'll be able to build bigger and better RVs and maybe a house with a full second (or third, fourth, fifth...) floor. After all, sometimes it's hard to let go of your pieces and be open to giving them to others - as well as accepting theirs.
I've found that the individual pieces of my past and even somewhat present can be an asset. Knowing what you're made of and what the possibilities are with those pieces makes you a more effective compliment to those friends and family who are there with you. For example, I've conceded that Eric has most of the logic on our team, and that he knows how to deal with things calmly and linearly. Case in point, Eric had a nightmare the other night that he was being chased by a giant Lego Man (the guy who comes with Legos, not a man made o' Legos). Even in his sleep, he knew that he could get away from Lego Man by going upstairs because Lego Man doesn't have knees. Without understanding what you and others can bring to the table to create a better, faster, stronger entity, no one would know how to outrun Lego Man...or how to navigate life with the benefit of the whole, rather than dealing only with the pieces.