The way I see it:
Portia Nelson’s "Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters" could have easily been my autobiography. And most probably yours too.

I have been there, that's for sure. And sometimes I still am, in certain situations, with certain people, and mostly with myself. Walking down that street, hoping for it to be different. For it to change. Persisting, despite my previous defeats.

But only when I am able to surrender to the fact that "the deep hole in the sidewalk" is there—and will continue to be—will I have a choice. The moment I take responsibility for how I deal with reality as it is, then, I can save myself.

Portia Nelson's poem doesn't only portraits that learning how to deal with unpleasant and difficult situations takes time and patience. But something less intuitive. That is that to defeat your stubbornness "falling in" is sometimes unavoidable. "Falling in", over and over, is somehow necessary to finally decide to walk down another street. If not, how and who will convince you to stop trying?

It can or cannot be my fault, but beyond any doubt it's my responsibility to do something about it.
 
Shall we walk down another street?
 
 
Compilation:

Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters, Portia Nelson

 

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 forever to find a way out.

II.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I still don't see it. I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
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 there, I still fall in.
It's habit. It's my fault. I know where I am.
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 a different street.

Source:
 
 
 
 

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