Poetry With Meaning

The Hole In The Sidewalk Poem

The hole in the sidewalk poem
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The hole in the sidewalk poem is pretty popular among counselors and therapists, and for good reason.


That’s actually where I first became aware of the existence of this particular poem. From my counselor. I got a printed copy to take home with me to read.

At first, I sort of dismissed it. I didn’t really take it too seriously at the time. Like, how is a poem gonna help me? But then I came across it while going through some papers.

And I took the time to actually read it.

Once I read it, I read it again, and again. It brought out some emotions that took me by surprise. Why? Because once I read it several times, I realized what the hole in the sidewalk poem represented.

I understood, suddenly, exactly what the message was, hidden within the words. The message that I needed to receive at that moment in my life.

I want to share it with you, in case you’ve never read it. Read over it a few times if you need to. As you do, the message will come through for you as well.


There’s a hole in my sidewalk, by Portia Nelson

    Chapter 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 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 the 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 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 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.


So, what does the hole in the sidewalk poem represent?


It’s an analogy, representing the choices we make in life. And in making those choices, we create our own path. We are shaping our own destiny, one choice, one decision at a time.

After reading it, I started to think about the message. I realized that I’m more in control of my life, my destiny, than I ever thought I could be.

Think about it. If you continue to make the same choices, you’re going to end up with the same results, every time. But if you make the conscious decision to make new and better choices, your life path starts to change.


“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein


A lot of this starts with self-awareness. I know I probably talk about that a lot, but it’s because it truly is the most important part of changing your path, your thinking, your life.

The hole in the sidewalk poem made me realize that in order for things to change, I must evaluate my choices.

I must first become aware of my choices, and upon realizing I’m starting to fall into the same pattern – stop, and choose a better and more positive path.

The more aware I become, and the more I adjust my choices, I start creating a new habit. A habit of making better choices. Crazy how that works, right?


the hole in the sidewalk poem



And it really does work. I can tell you it works from experience.

The things I have gone through, struggled with, choices I’ve made – if I had only known then what I know now. It has been the most difficult and tiring fight of my life.

There were times when I wanted to just give up, because I was just so tired. So tired of struggling, trying to push through my pain, emotions and frustrations.

I was tired of those moments when I didn’t even know why I was feeling the way I was. There were many times where I found myself questioning my own sanity. It isn’t a good feeling at all.

You can break the cycle


Luckily, I’m a tough cookie. I refused to give up. I never stopped fighting. Every time I fell (and I fell A LOT), I would get angry. And I would pick myself back up and start fighting again.

Because I knew I was worth fighting for. My kids, they were worth fighting for, and they deserved a mom that didn’t feel so broken.

Please don’t ever stop fighting. You’ll get there. Will it always be sunshine and rainbows? Of course not, that’s just life.

But it can get better. It can get easier. And once you suddenly find yourself fighting less and less, you’ll smile. You’ll realize how strong you really are, and it’s an awesome feeling.

So start with the hole in the sidewalk poem. Write it down, print it out, whatever. And read it, as many times as you need to for the message to come through.

Here’s a PDF version of the hole in the sidewalk poem for easy printing.

And then start practicing some self-awareness techniques. The more aware of yourself, your mood and your thoughts you become, the easier it will be to start creating better, and more positive habits.

I really like the message behind this video, if you have a moment to watch it, and really pay attention, you’ll probably realize a few things that you previously hadn’t.



Ah, the irony of life. Don’t worry though, we’re all just kinda winging it. Nobody in this great big world is perfect. We all have flaws, we just have to learn how to accept ourselves more.

I’ve got a great post on mindful thinking too if you’d like to check it out!

I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I have, and I hope it will help you in your journey!

~ Jess


the hole in the sidewalk poem





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6 thoughts on “The Hole In The Sidewalk Poem

  1. a process for sure – have you heard of A Course In Miracles??
    the path i was led to for self discovery – many paths but i finally found one tailor-made for me.


  2. So let me start by telling you what led me here, but I have to start from the beginning so just bare with me. My brother and I was on our way to the store, out of the corner of my eye I see something moving so fast onto the road and suddenly just stopped right in front of us, I stopped the jeep and there sat a wild rabbit blocking the road. So I honked the horn and the little thing did not even flinch. I looked at my brother, he looked at me like what in the world.. So I honked again, this rabbit was fearless still did not move, so I pulled up beside him and rolled down my window and he just sat there looking up at me and didn’t even blink. I got chills looking down at him well we had to drive off because a car was coming behind us. So this little rabbit has been weighing on my mind so I decided to look for the meaning of a rabbit stopping you in the middle of the road and it led me here, lol, so the poem has helped me already if it makes any sense and by the way my name is Jess..

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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