This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Hole in the Sidewalk

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

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.
by Portia Nelson

“I don’t know what I want sometimes, but I know that I want to know what I want.”                                                                                                            – Portia Nelson 

One of my favorite poems is about a person who, walking down the sidewalk, repeatedly falls into the same hole. The poem is a metaphor for any of us who have ever made the same mistake more than once; for anyone who has ever struggled to pick himself up and move forward.

I like the poem because it accurately captures how change doesn’t happen overnight—that sometimes we fall into the same “hole” over and over again before we finally manage to change course.

The reasons we repeatedly fall in the hole can be endless. It could be a need to control everyone and everything, an inability to control our anger, lack of discipline to follow-through, lack of self-confidence or fear of failure. All too often, there are multiple behaviors that cause us to fall into the hole.

As in the poem, there’s a tendency when we fall in the hole to blame others or blame our circumstances. Progress is made only when we realize that, if we keep falling in the same hole, eventually the blame lies with us. We can’t move forward without first taking personal accountability.

When we hold ourselves accountable, we acknowledge that we have a choice and are able to change our future if we choose to. Accountability for our actions and their consequences gives us power—the power to release an unhealthy behavior, the power to behave differently and the power to chart a different route.

The point isn’t to beat ourselves up when we fall, or to berate ourselves when we see the hole in the road and don’t avoid it. The goal is to recognize our inner strength to get out, get up, learn from the past, and decide what course we want to take going forward.
- comments by Donna Rae Smith

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