The Stages of Actual Change

(Autobiography in Five Chapters, from There's A Hole In My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson)

Chapter One

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 Two

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 this same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

 

Chapter Three

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 . . . but,

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

 

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

 

Chapter Five

I walk down another street.