Sunday, April 8, 2012

And You Were Expecting a Different Result?

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I really like listening to Wayne Dyer. He introduced me to the poem, The Cookie Thief, which I included in my blog a few weeks ago. It talks about our tendency to jump to conclusions and judge others.

He also introduced me to this fabulous poem:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson
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 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.
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.
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.

Are you tired of walking down the same street and wondering why your life isn’t changing? Are you tired of having the same thoughts of bitterness, anger, and anxiety and wondering why you don’t feel happy? Are you tired of doing or saying the same things you swear you will never do or say again? Me too.

When I read this poem, I see the hole as my feelings of being not good enough, angry, bitter, resentful, anxious about the future and feeling sorry for myself. The hole for me contains thoughts like “why bother, it won’t matter anyways,” or “my efforts will never change things.” You know...really inspiring things like that.

It’s funny how we have a tendency to live our lives the same way, thinking and doing things that lead us to fall down a hole, and yet expect a different result.

My goal is to live more and more walking down another street.  To me, walking down another street means choosing unconditional love, freedom, hope, gratitude, faith, peace, compassion, and forgiveness towards myself and others.

If you too want to walk down a different street, start by opening your eyes to what is really going on in your life. Where can you choose to change your habit of falling in the hole? Where can you choose to walk down a different street?

If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out this great website which talks about this poem in more detail and really gets you thinking: The Sidewalk of Life.

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