This analogy was shared by a minister at my church a few weeks ago on the topic of making mistakes in a perfectionistic world. We are all humans; therefore, we will all make mistakes. It's like the Jack-in-the-box. You can't have a human without the mistakes. The “Jack” comes with the box.
So then why all the shame and guilt? If you are like me, making mistakes can lead to these unpleasant feelings. I don't know why. Why do we push the Jack-in-the-box back down and start winding again? Why don't we just let the Jack-in-the box stay out? If I have harmed somebody else by my mistake, I can feel the resulting feelings for a moment, acknowledge my mistake and then if possible I can make it right. And then I can acknowledge that I'm a human...a delightful human...full of surprising thoughts, feelings and actions. A jack-in-the box human, just like every other human.
Could I incline the mind to cultivate the same sense of delight in my mistake making that I have for a jack-in-the-box? Surprise! I made a mistake again! The jack-in-the-box popped out! How adorably human!
Could I observe my mistake making with the same sense of humor, curiosity and anticipation that I would a jack-in-the-box pop? Each day a fresh thought (okay sometimes they're recycled), fresh feelings, and a pop of brand new mistakes. What fun! "Pop goes the human!"