Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The piece below was a focal point of a group therapy session that I co-ran; my senior colleague provided the handout, and after reading it I realized that it is so appropriate for this time of the year for those of us who feel like we just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over...

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson
I
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.
II
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.
III
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.
IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
V
I walk down another street.


2 comments:

Micha Berger said...

Groundhog Day

Micha Berger said...

I think R' Yisrael Salanter would put V before IV. When you're stuck in hergel, first break the habit consciously (kibush hayeitzer) then it will become natural (tiqun hayeitzer). Also, that order is more like the Rambam at the beginning of Dei'os ch. 2, where one trains oneself the way one trains a plant -- first bend too far the other way, so that when it wears off, I am better than when I began.