For Anyone Trying To Change Their Life

Carly BensonPersonal Development0 Comments

autobiography in five chapters portia nelson carly benson miracles are brewing

I remember when I was coming into sobriety how many times I said, “I’m never drinking again,” or “I’m never doing coke again,” only to be greeted with another comedown and hangover.

Each time I would fall back into my bad habits, I would stand back up, bruises and all. I’d say it was because of this or that, without readiness to take ownership of my role in the madness.

Until one day, I looked up and realized I had to do it differently this time. I surrendered my ego and asked for help by way of prayer.

Once I admitted I had actively participated in my hot mess of a life, it was then that I was able to choose something new.

I read this ever so simple, yet profound, short story this week that blew my mind. It is my hope that it speaks to you as loudly and poetically as it did to me. 

Autobiography in Five Chapters

by Portia Nelson

Chapter I

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.

Chapter II

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.

Chapter III

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 IV

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

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

Sometimes it takes many tries and so much effort. But at some point we figure out how to walk around it.

How to choose a different path.
How to pick a better way.

Once we own our part in the falling, we get to experience the rising. And it is there that we see a new horizon.

A new street.
A new choice.
A new life.

Always remember that no matter how many times you fall into the same hole on the same street, there is always a way around it and a new road waiting to be taken.


Copyright © 1993, by Portia Nelson from her book: There’s A Hole in My Sidewalk