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THE PATH AND THE HOLES


On my pathway there are many deep and slippery holes. As I walk down my path each day, I keep falling into them. Some days it seems as though I spend more of my time falling into holes and trying to get out of holes than I do moving along the path.                                                            


MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY PARTNER

My partner and I both keep falling into holes along the path. My partner helps me get back out of the holes. Sometimes he/she hurts me while they are getting me out, but it’s better than being stuck in the hole forever. Some days we push each other into the holes, just so we can help each other out again. We use up so much time and energy this way there’s not much left for moving along the path.

My partner isn’t always here when I need him or her. I feel frightened when I think of having to walk the path alone. I might get stuck in one of the big holes and never get out.


CODEPENDENCY

We both need each other to help one another to get out again. I’ve been told that’s what people do when they love each other so I keep on doing it. Some days I do things for my partner that I don’t really want to. That helps keep her/him from leaving me. Sometimes I wonder if my partner pushes me into the holes so that I’ll need to keep him/her around me to rescue me. Also I have to reward my partner for helping me get out and I don’t think that’s fair.


If there is an easy way to get out of those holes by myself I wish I could learn about it. Then I wouldn’t feel so helpless when my partner isn’t here and so angry when my partner wants to be rewarded for helping me out.


 RECOVERY - STARTING OFF - IT’S OK TO HAVE SOME SLIPS

Today I try walking down my path alone. I know now where the holes are and I’m being more careful. But the sides of one hole are very slippery. In I fall again. I struggle and struggle to get out but I’m stuck. I call my partner who helps me out.


RECOVERY STAGE TWO - MAKING CHANGES

As I walk down the path today I realise I am feeling stronger. I’m getting to know more about the holes and how slippery they are. I am learning to take care of myself. I feel so confident I lose concentration for a moment. Down into a hole I slip. Instead of my partner, I call my counsellor. Instead of helping me out, my psychotherapist shows me how to get out by myself.


 RECOVERY STAGE THREE - LEARNING I CAN DO IT BY MYSELF

Walking down the path, I notice the more I learn about those holes, the smaller they seem to become. There’s one big one left and just when I am congratulating myself on getting past it, I fall in. But I know how to get out by myself and I notice that the more I do it the easier it is. I realise that the holes have less and less power over me and my life.


 RECOVERY STAGE FOUR - FREEDOM

Today is the first time I walk right down the path without falling into any of the holes. I did it by myself and I know I can do it again.


 RECOVERY FIFTH STAGE - GROWTH AND NEW BEGINNINGS

I decide to build a new path for myself. It won’t have any holes in it!


Above only is Copyright © John Nutting 1996 - - 2009  and   ©   GROWING AWARENESS   All rights reserved World Wide   


Don't worry about these copyright notices at the foot of each page. It just means I want to hang on to legal ownership of what I write for use in future books.  Until that day, please feel free to copy and even adapt them for your own use and for friends as long as you acknowledge me as the author and owner of the copyright and you don't charge anyone for them. If you want to use them professionally or commercially (charge a fee for them) or for clients, each sheet you hand out must include full acknowledgment of copyright ownership as above and if  you are benefiting as a result, I would appreciate an appropriate sharing.


REMEMBER TO ‘HALT’


    This is one of my favourites and one of the most practical and fastest ways of dealing with overwhelming feelings of vulnerability. It comes from the simple wisdom of the Twelve Step program which has done so much to help us all in restoring our self confidence, self esteem, sense of moderation and balance.


    WHEN YOU ARE FEELING ONE OR MORE OF THESE FEELINGS . . . . .


            Hungry

            Angry

            Lonely

            Tired


        . . . . . . the first thing to do is HALT. Stop whatever you were planning to do and use the pause to consider whether your proposed action is balanced and adult. Or has one of your inner selves (or one of your unbalanced core beliefs) taken over and is now ‘driving your bus’? Is it insisting that you ‘must’ do something in order to ease your core pain?


        It’s a good time to HALT!


DETAILS OF  Counselling for Addictions - BRISBANE AND GOLD COAST SE QUEENSLAND


*Postscript - A few weeks after I first posted this page I received an e-mail from voice dialogue facilitator, Nikolaj Papa Duke in Denmark.

Thank you Nikolaj for this copy of the original which appeared in Dr. Charles L Whitfield’s classic ‘Healing the Child Within’:


An autobiography in five short chapters


    1. 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.


    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.


    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 another street.          


Portia Nelson, 1980


 


 


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 I wrote this after hearing a different version about a ‘street’, from a member of AA - I know now that it in turn was based on a short poem by Portia Nelson - I have included her original poem at the foot of this page.....


  THE PATH AND THE HOLES


On my pathway there are many deep and slippery holes. As I walk down my path each day, I keep falling into them.

Some days it seems as though I spend more of my time falling into holes and trying to get out of holes than I do moving along the path.