Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

Warning!  Enlightenment ahead!

I first read the poem below about 15 years ago. At that time, I thought it was “amusing.” I bumped into it the other day and after 15 years of more falling down than I care to remember, I have a deeper appreciation for the piece.

The poem was written by Portia Nelson in the late 70’s and has been adopted by many motivational speakers and addiction recovery programs over the years.

I like to think I’ve gotten to Chapter 5, but more likely it’s Chapter 4. Alas, if I was already writing my ending, what would I do with the next 50 years of my life?

A big shout out and thank you to my friend Chellie Campbell for introducing me to this piece 15 years ago.

Chapter 1

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

Chapter 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.

Chapter 4

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

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s