The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


The Definition of Insanity

 

You may have heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Today I heard an even more succinct translation of that colloquialism. This person who is in recovery from addiction stated, laughing at the irony,  that insanity is knowing what the outcome will be; same as it ever was and making the decision to engage in the self destructive behavior anyway. He wasn’t sure what led him to fall into that  literal and symbolic hole again and again. I wondered as I sat with him about the nature of this learned behavior and what it would take to him make better choices. I often share with my clients this poignant poem written by Portia Nelson:

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

Chapter I

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.

Chapter 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 this same place.   But it isn’t my fault.   It still takes a long time to get out.

 Chapter III  

I walk down the same street.   There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.   I see it there.   I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,   my eyes are open.   I know where I am.   It is my fault.   I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV  

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

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

How many times have I walked down the same street, imagining that THIS time, the sidewalk will be nice and smooth, no bumps or pitfalls?  Plenty. I (like all of us) repeat patterns because they are familiar and I think that is the way I am expected to interact with others, or perceive a situation. It is when I reflect on outcome that I am able to honestly assess what is in my best interest. It is that classic ‘fearless and searching moral inventory in 12 step parlance,’ that each of us, regardless of if we are in recovery with which we are called on to engage. I do it every day, asking myself if I have brought the best of who I am into each encounter with a fellow being. Gratefully, mostly I have been able to say a hardy YES! I guess that makes me (relatively) sane.



Previous Posts

Pass It Onword
Back in November, as I was meandering the aisles at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in King of Prussia, PA, I came to a booth at which two women were beaming beatifically. In front of them was a table of simple wares. Stones engraved with a word-  gratitude, strength, inspire, forgive, and kindness, we

posted 6:55:55pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

How We Grieve
  "When my Guru died in 1973, I assumed that because of the important part he played in my life, and the love I felt for him, I would be inundated with grief. Surprisingly, I was not. In time, I came to realize why. He and I were so well established in Soul love that, in the years since he l

posted 1:24:56pm Dec. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Recovering Human Doing
Lounging in bed, surrounded by lots of pillows and snuggled under quilts as I am typing these words. It is a drowsy, dozy Sunday morning. The radio is playing easing into my day tunes.  My standard weekend fare begins with Sleepy Hollow on WXPN which is a Philly based member supported Public Radio

posted 8:56:41am Dec. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Profoundly Honest
"We must learn to be profoundly honest."-Panache Desai Wise words from one of the most engaging speakers I have had the pleasure of hearing. Back in 2011, I attended the Celebrate Your Life Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I had not, at that point, known of the British born teacher who exudes a s

posted 8:51:37am Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Thriving Artist
Last night, I attended a holiday gathering for a group of talented artists, writers, publishers, radio hosts, producers, as well as PR and marketing folks. Needless to say, I was in my idea of heaven. The Center City Philadelphia Restaurant where it was held is called Bliss. What a perfect place for

posted 10:50:24am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.