I don’t write about the circumstances of living in prison much anymore. The more I work at having peace inside my heart, the less the circumstances seem to matter. Upon arrival I was interested, and often shocked by the prison lifestyle. Much of my time was spent figuring out how to solve the problems and suffering that goes on. I’m less interested at what goes on in prison, and more interested in what goes on inside a person’s heart. Everyone has a story to tell, and we all have the need to be understood. I listen more, and pray a lot! At times I think that I know how to solve other people’s problems. I want to say, “If you read good books, and turn to your Father in Heaven I promise it will all work out!” But this is their journey, and I don’t have all the answers; if I had all the answers I probably wouldn’t be in prison right now. Or maybe I was supposed to come here and it was happening one way or the other. I think about that a lot. About the person I was before I came to prison and I know the person that I’m becoming is worth it all.
I was fortunate to self surrender in Dublin, California. There I was able to teach a Photography class, an “Explaining Your Conviction” class, and a Resume class. When I was transferred to Waseca I was upset by the circumstances that brought me here but now I know that it’s not the circumstances I am in, but how I respond to them that matters. What I make of what I am given is my choice, and that choice will decide my future. I told Chad the other day that I thought I knew how to pray before I came to prison, but I didn’t. In prison I have learned how to pray! Here I have developed a relationship with my Father in Heaven that trumps everything in my life! It’s a struggle at times not to feel sorry for myself. Thinking that your a victim in prison comes easily. But taking responsibility is the only way to find freedom, and that includes being responsible for your feelings.
The last few months I haven’t been teaching classes. I took a break because I needed to work through some things. My friend Heidi asked me a few days ago if I would help with a new class she had put together and I agreed to teach. I think that it’s going to be an effective class that will offer hope and solutions to some of the challenges we face. We will be teaching our first class this Friday, and I will let you know how it goes. I know that I’m an extremely enthusiastic person; I know how to light a fire underneath people! But the fire won’t burn unless it comes from within; every important change comes from within. I’m praying we will be able to share a message that will touch these womens hearts, and help them find something to fight for. I want them to know that it is possible to free themselves from the inside with principles; that when you’re free on the inside your outside circumstances will change. It’s strange that I had to come to prison to know how valuable we all are? We have so much potential to make a difference just by changing ourselves! I love you all for sharing this journey with me, and I feel loved by all of you. Your support has been such a blessing to me, and as always, I thank you all for following along:)