The Process of Change in 5 Chapters

Do you ever find yourself thinking “Really?! I can’t believe I am here again” or “ I thought I was passed this already!”

It can be frustrating, disheartening, and downright surprising, when we find ourselves struggling with an old story, habit, or reaction, that we think we “should be over with already.” You are not alone in this struggle.

I want to share with you, beloved reader of this blog, a poem I read to myself when I find myself struggling with making lasting change, or impatient with my progress:

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

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.
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 III

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

– Portia Nelson

I love this poem by Portia Nelson, as it reminds us about what change does and does not look like. One thing is clear: change is not instant. Change is a process, and will look differently for everyone, and every unique issue or goal.

This story also seems to suggest that there are levels of consciousness, or awareness when it comes to making change. Sometimes we are unaware of being stuck, or aware in our minds, but not yet in our hearts, bodies, and/or souls. It can take time for deeper consciousness to emerge, and for you to experience it deeply enough to be mobilized toward change.

Counselling can help this process at various stages of your journey toward awareness and change. It can help you move that niggly feeling from a place of confusion to more clarity. It can help speed the process of change along, and all the while help you feel supported, and minimize feeling overwhelmed or alone. While change is inevitable in life, there are ways you can steer the boat in the direction and pace you wish to move, and counselling may help you navigate.



* Some people react strongly to this line: notice how it makes you feel. It reflects the creative perspective of one author, and is not meant to be blaming.