Poetry butterfly



At the start of the month I started following along with Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love January challenge. It was full of awesome people doing awesome things and such a great way to show some serious love for yourself.

Gala Darling Instagram Challenge

However, what with blogging every day, a full time job, a 3 hour round commute, and the desire to have some time left to spend with my boyfriend it was one of the things that I had to consciously drop (sometimes life just gets in the way!). However I did pinpoint a few days in the challenge that I really wanted to participate in, and today’s was one of them. And it involved sharing our favourite poem.

Now, I’m really not a poem person. I’ve tried (and tried), but a bit like with modern art I just can’t get excited about it! However when my therapist showed me this poem at the end of my therapy it really struck a chord.

To me it represents the process of changing ourselves, in whatever change we want to make. It’s relevant to each and every one of us and hopefully it it will alter the way you think about mistakes in just the same way it helped me.

The poem’s called “Autobiography in Five Chapters” by Portia Nelson.

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.

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’m 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.

Now, bar the sentence “it is my fault”, this to me represents through any changes we go through. We’re never going to create a new habit, or break an old habit, over night. Changing is effectively a learning process and in any learning process it’s almost inevitable that we’ll make mistakes. It’s part of how we build knowledge.

Changing habits, whether that be eating a bit healthier, or overcoming an eating disorder, is a long journey. It’s rare to be able to change all of a sudden – more likely we will improve bit by bit, making mistakes along the way, until we finally work it out.

So next time you make a mistake, or you feel like you’re failing, please don’t feel disheartened! You’re just working your way through the verses of this poem – and that means you’re doing everything right!

What’s your favourite poem? Have you been doing Radical Self Love January?


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