Looking for the perfect box

By Letha Jones - Contributing Columnist

Did you know that every day we are looking for boxes? Packing boxes? Throwing away boxes? Our entire life represents moving day. Everything we own is held inside a box and moved from one location to another. So clearly the best choice is a sturdy box. No folds, no creases, no tears, nothing worn too thin. The box has to protect what is inside. Imagine moving day and you have great grandma Bertha’s china to pack up – each piece carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and placed inside for care and keeping. As you wrap each one up memories flood you, family, love, the warmth of history. You want to make sure you do not loose nor break any of this, so you grab your best packing tape and you run multiple slides over the top and sides to further secure your treasures.

But, then it happens, you’re walking along toward the back end of the moving van and the tape that you felt was securing the box slips from its brace. The cardboard loosening, pinching up and soon collapsing as you watch it plummet to the ground, fumbling trying to catch it before it hits pavement. Your mind is a whirl. You did everything you could to assure that grandma’s china was safe for keeping. Yet here you are picking up the frayed remains. It doesn’t look too bad though the box for the most part, aside from a corner being bent inward and tape hanging loose is in fair shape. A sigh of relief hits you as you pick it up, your hands grasp it to lift upwards toward your chest and then it happens, the bottom slides out, the china falls to the ground and you watch as the saucers unroll themselves from the bubble wrap,shattering right in front of your eyes.

I am sure at this point you are ether in tears or have a few choice words to say. You may even really loose your temper and throw that box to the ground stomping it. After all it did not serve its purpose. Isn’t this how life happens? We feel like we have it all figured out. Secure and folded away in perfect boxes. Nothing nor no one can harm us, we are in control. We have chosen the perfect box!

All is secure – until it is not.


We expect those boxes that we have created to be fool proof as we designed them that way. Is anything in this life fool proof?

What do we do when we realize that life doesn’t work that way? When we are left with realizing things fail? Now we are left with broken down boxes, broken down pieces of our life. Some may even appear in total disrepair and we are left in a cloud of doubt – how can we move on? How can we pack up that moving van on to greater things when everything that we felt was secure is not.


Did you know often times the things that appear the most broken can become the most reliable? Now you know where to add reinforcement because of our failures, we now know where to apply our strengths – repeat that. Because of our failures, we now know where to apply our strengths! Our box may have broken down but now we know how to fix it – but wait Grandma’s china is still broken. How can you set here and tell me that all is okay when I am looking at a thousand broken fragments?


There is always a solution. You can never have that china back to its full function as it was originally designed for – you’re not going to be able to break it out on special occasions using it to wow the company. However, you can create a new plan – you can take those broken pieces and form a mosaic tile, placing each piece together as if working a puzzle. Your hands have now created a beautiful table top that you designed yourself. What love and dedication went into this piece. Now it means more to you then it ever did before because you didn’t give up on the brokenness, you believed it could be salvaged and because you not only believed but you put the power of you into play. You resolved an issue in your life in a positive way.

Life isn’t fair…point blank…period! Nothing about life is as we have intended it to be – our boxes will fail. What lessons have we learned ? Maybe we should not always look for the perfect box but accept the tattered one with its taped up sides. Maybe it is much sturdier than its counterpart because it has reinforced its failures. Failures do not make you weak, they in fact make you stronger if you use them to create within you a better you. Remember everything once broken can be born again even more beautiful then before. So become more. Today is your day.


By Letha Jones

Contributing Columnist

Letha Jones is a certified Life Coach who can be reached at 304-266-1185 or at www.onlythebestyou.com.

Letha Jones is a certified Life Coach who can be reached at 304-266-1185 or at www.onlythebestyou.com.