Growth: Making Better Choices

This poem by Portia Nelson has been helpful to me in understanding the process of change and growth, and giving me a visual image of learning to make better choices.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
from  There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery
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 me forever to find a way out.

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.

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.

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

I walk down another street.

2 thoughts on “Growth: Making Better Choices

  1. The one that really stood out to me was the last one–walk down another street. This is the thing I really want to work on. Once you know there’s a problem it can be easy to justify getting casual with it. For me, it has to do with entertainment. But really, if I never watch another television show, movie, or video game for the rest of my life, will I be that much worse off? It may be inconvenient to find another street to walk down, but there won’t be a danger of falling down again.

  2. I have heard a similar poem before. It is so true. At the beginning nothing is our fault. it’s because of someone else that I have this addiction. They make me do it because of the things they do! It takes a while to get your eyes open and to realize it is up to you to change. It is choices that you make so that you don’t have to face things, especially things that hurt or that you can’t control. It has been especially hard for me to accept that I can’t change anyone but myself. I can’t make my kids do what I want, I can’t make my family listen to me, I can’t make my friends stop what they are doing that is hurting them. I can testify of how the atonement has blessed me, the power of prayers, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and care about us. I am so thankful that I have learned of their love and it is through them I can change and have control of my addiction. God, our Father and Jesus Christ have all power over everything and can do anything. I have seen the miracles that happen if you trust and believe in them.

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