Remembering who I am

I realized tonight who the Crazy Lady* is. She's the one who makes up stories in her head about bad things happening, or perhaps I should say, life turning out other than what I want. The unfortunate effect of those thoughts is to create chaos in my life. I know and have seen how the negative thoughts in my mind make my life less happy. And, for a long time I didn't let the thoughts creep in.

It's a discipline, holding back those negative thoughts, not giving them any food to live on. With consistent work, they become less noisy and clang for attention less often. And, miraculously, life looks better.

But now, I have let them back in. I slip into the thoughts effortlessly and with no care. I'll wander in them for hours or even days and suddenly I realize my life is less wonderful. Fortunately, I can begin the journey again to clear my mind of those negative thoughts.

I'm reminded of a story by Portia Nelson titled, "There's A Hole in My Sidewalk, Autobiography in Five Short Chapters."

Chapter One
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 Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that 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 Three
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… buy, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

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

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

It seems tonight, I am back to Chapter Three after having wandered in One and Two for a while.

Work Cited: Nelson, Portia. There's a Hole in My sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery. Beyond Words Publishing Company, 1994.

* CrazyLadyMuse was my first blog. I no longer use it but love this post.

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