The Process of Learning

It can be hard to hold ourselves with accepting arms when life gets frustrating. When we see ourselves having the same response to a situation, a relationship, a career path that was supposed to be different. Most of us, look outside of ourselves for the reason why things are not going the way we want. Seldom do we consider how we are navigating the situation ourselves.

Are we seeing the red flags set before us? How do we know what signals to pay attention to? More importantly, are we listening to ourselves and responding in a way that keeps us moving in the direction we are being guided toward?

How do you allow your Inner Compass to guide the way?

Developing your Inner Compass takes a little time, a fair amount of paying attention, and a whole lotta self-acceptance. Be kind to yourself as you move through your learning. Be kind to others who are playing a role in your learning.

Author, singer, songwriter, actress, Portia Nelson, beautifully demonstrates the process of learning and of accepting ‘what is’ in her poem, “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters“, below.

As you read through this poem, notice what happens for you. Do you resonate with her words? Do you feel comforted that you are not the only one who experiences this? Are you getting down on yourself for realizing you are still living in Chapter 3? Do you avoid it altogether by either denying you are in this process OR by thinking you always KNOW when to live Chapter 5?

If you are really honest with yourself, which chapter are you currently living in your relationships/friendships? In your career? In the way you choose to relate and behave toward the world around you? How are you listening to your Inner Compass? More importantly how are you treating yourself when you realize whether you are listening or not?

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.

Author : Portia Nelson, from her book of poetic musings, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk.


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