There's a Hole in my Sidewalk
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson
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.
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend that I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in this same place. But, it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
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.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
I love this poem. I think we can all relate to the many messages within it for different reasons. When it comes to health this definitely rings true. All too often we allow ourselves to fall into the same traps that recreate the problems we have. Initially we are unaware. Then we can be in denial that our very habits and actions are contributing to our misfortune. Next, we evolve into being aware, taking accountability, but yet our actions have not yet changed. Once we are aware we can make a different choice. We are active participants in our well-being, and our choices are improving. Finally, we become proactive to the point that the negative patterns and outcomes are no longer an option. Our thoughts and actions resemble what we want and not what we are trying to avoid. The most powerful allies we have for positive change are our thoughts and willingness to 'show up'.
Where in your life do you keep "falling into the hole in the sidewalk"? What are you pretending not to see? Most importantly, what would your life, your relationships or your health look like if you walked down a completely different sidewalk? We all have the potential for greatness. The lessons to be learned are in the challenges we face. Be kind to yourself, dust yourself off and move forward!