Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chapters of Our Life!

Autobiography in Five Chapters by Portia Nelson

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.

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'm in the same place.
 But it isn't my fault.
 It still takes a long time to get out.

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.

4. I walk down the same street.
 There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
 I walk around it.

5. I walk down a DIFFERENT street.

Did you ever find yourself minding your own business when something shifted in your life? Did you sense an invitation to change your way of living or thinking? Did you ever encounter a challenge to reach beyond your “comfort zone” which surprised you on your routine route? Have you ever found yourself ignoring or denying the need to let go of frustrations, anxiety, anger, or unhealthy attachments? After experiencing a number of realities that were challenging, did you wake up to the fact that maybe it’s time to notice patterns of behaviors, thoughts, desires, or attitudes which no longer serve you as life-giving choices?

Have you ever discovered old patterns that kept you falling into holes of psychological or spiritual emptiness? Did you notice your growth in awareness that you can change and make personal choices to avoid places, people, and experiences that keep you from being your best self? Choosing to take on a different route can be monumental, but all of these challenges call for grit, grace, and guts. This is all part of the discernment process as well. It is so essential to develop a realistic sense of who you are as you walk down the sidewalk of life.

Possibly the shift you sense within is calling you to consider living a religious lifestyle. What will it mean to step into this search and adventure? Are you willing to go down another street to seek out new questions, new answers, new dreams, and new possibilities? The best thing to do when you find yourself at the corner of “walk and don’t walk” is to contact a  spiritual director who will offer you a “Trip Tik” that will assist you in this blurry-clear journey!
Reflection on poem by Jean Hinderer,CSA

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