Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

We get stuck in habits because we do them automatically, without thought. Doing something differently requires that we bring our awareness to the process and keep working at the changes over time. Things stay the same when we don’t.

The poem below by the late Portia Nelson reflects this beautifully.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.

 

From: There’s a hole in my sidewalk: The romance of self-discovery. (35th Anniversary Edition). (Beyond Words Publishing).

 

 

www.shiftct.com
Shift Cognitive Therapy + Assessment helps people to change.