We all probably remember this toy from childhood. There were different shaped blocks and the idea was to find the right shaped hole for each block so that it could find its way into the centre of the box.
My two girls played with their version of this toy for hours and once it came to tidying up at the end of the day I could have opened the lid and put all the wooden shapes in all at once but it was kind of fun to sit and complete the challenge of fitting each shape through it’s right hole!!
The goal of the toy is to help your child problem solve and learn their shapes. The shape of the wooden block is paramount and the challenge is to find the corresponding hole so that the shape can fit through. Trying to get a square shaped block through a triangular shaped hole is never going to work however much you try!
We all know this toy and how it works and yet I think as we grow up our perspective changes and we start to make the holes paramount and try to change our shapes to be accepted.
Do you know what I mean?
You might be too loud, too quiet, too clever, too ____ . We can probably all fill in the blank from our own circumstances. Slowly, we’ve started to try and change our shapes to fit through the holes into the box of acceptance.
If we change our shape enough then we stop being able to recognise ourselves. Who we are on the inside feels very different to who we have become on the outside and this can lead to lots of struggles and frustrations.
The thing is, your shape was already beautiful just as it was! I really believe we all have something wonderfully unique and precious to bring to the world and if we conform to how we ‘should’ be or what we ‘should’ look like then we rob ourselves and the world of the gift that we are.
It takes time and courage to stop and look at ourselves and reflect on where we’re out of shape on the outside. It’s a brave journey to the place where our inside and outside shapes match up again.
I think that's the place though where we live most at peace and its worth the cost of getting there.