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Walking Down Another Street
Posted: 2/27/2012 | Personal Development Comments
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A friend sent me the following wonderful poem recently, thinking it was new. It actually came from Portia Nelson’s book, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: A Romance of Self-Discovery originally published in 1977. Ms. Nelson was a popular cabaret singer in New York as well as a songwriter, actress and author. She died at 80 in 2001, and her book has just been reissued this year. 

I think we can all relate to this delightful and insightful poem as we continue to work on ourselves and grow in awareness. You may have heard it before–it’s very popular among therapy and twelve-step groups and used by a lot of motivational speakers–but it’s so worth reading again!
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
Chapter One  
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 forever to find a way out.
Chapter Two
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.
Chapter Three
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 ... but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter Five
I walk down another street.
Copyright 1993 Portia Nelson, all rights reserved.
From her book:
There's a Hole in my Sidewalk
The Romance of Self-Discovery
As I read this again I’m reminded of how we each navigate our lives as well as we can, endeavoring to learn from our mistakes and make new, empowering choices. Sometimes it takes a few tries before we successfully change direction. It really takes time and loving attention to create substantial change, and it’s so important to forgive ourselves while allowing ourselves to grow at our own pace.
What chapter are you on? In which part of your life do you struggle to get out of the hole? When have you successfully walked down another street? Your thoughts and comments make a big difference for all of us!



jared       Posted: 3/1/2012 2:03:16 PM

That''s a GREAT poem. So true. I''m familiar with 12-step programs but have never heard that. I love it, thanks for sharing!

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