Avoiding the hole in the sidewalk

As a college counselor, I have the privilege of working with young adults who are in the process of individuating from their family members, gaining a better sense of their identity, and finding out how they relate best to others. Of course all of that (along with the task of discerning a career path) can lead to many obstacles on the twisting turning path of life. One thing I share with people who find themselves in the same hole (the same rut) over and over again is a little poem we have in our waiting area called, “There’s a Hole In My Sidewalk”. It’s by Portia Nelson and I share it with you now. Perhaps it will be useful to you, dear reader, in your own attempts to get out of B.E.D.:

“There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk: Autobiography in Five Chapters”

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

2) 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’m in the same place.
…. But it isn’t my fault.
…. It still takes a long time to get out.

3) 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.

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

5) I walk down a DIFFERENT street.

May you learn how to walk down different streets when necessary and be gentle with yourself when you find yourself on the same street or in the same hole again.

Peace, joy, and health.

–Megan

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