Blogging is such a great tool for rehabilitation. That is one reason why Suzie and I created Stone City Blog. We want all inmates to have access to this new and effective rehabilitative tool.
I’d like to encourage everyone who reads Stone City Blog, to reach out to the bloggers, and prompt them. Ask them critical questions that will inspire deeper thought and self reflection. By doing so, you could be that one thing that inspires great change within an inmate and his rehabilitative efforts. Stone City Blog gives you access to over 1,000 posts written by over 100 inmates. All of these inmates can be contacted via email (JPay).
In this post I will respond to THREE PROMPTS from Sandra Rogers.
PROMPT #1) How will you achieve a balance between redemption and rehabilitation?
This prompt is awesome. It brings a whole new dimension to my thought process. Until now, I’ve never ever even considered such a question. Redemption and rehabilitation go hand in hand. For me personally, I can’t achieve one without the other.
My rehabilitation efforts are a daily process. Everyday I’m focused on love, compassion, and understanding as I live in an environment full of hate, conflict, and turmoil. It’s my job to rehabilitate myself while in the belly of the beast surrounded by demons. I do not react to negativity with negativity. Instead, I remain focused on my goals and dreams as I use my energy in a positive productive manner.
On a scale of 1-10, if my Rehabilitation is at a 8, well then my Redemption has to be at least a 4. Because Rehabilitation is Redemption to some degree. 4 and 8 is not balanced. Therefore, I need to get my Redemption up by at least 4 points. I can do so by contributing to society in a positive way. Such as saving dogs and doing volunteer work. Hey, I do that.
PROMPT #2) How will you find a balance between Selflessness and Selfishness?
By keeping in close contact with mentors I trust and respect. Such as Suzie, Alana, Sandra, and maybe even professional counselors. They will help show me the way and keep me focused. They will prompt me to a deeper level of consciousness and self awareness.
If it is brought to my attention that a segment of my life is unbalanced, then I will do whatever it takes to balance it out. To simply answer this question: I will seek the advice of all those who are educated, and those who have great perspective and insight.
Meanwhile, in here I enjoy great balance between working out, eating healthy, watching football, and reading & writing. (Selfishness)
And then (Selflessness), helping others, sharing, and volunteering.
PROMPT #3) What are the markers of the above mentioned kind of balance?
Happiness. The ultimate marker is happiness. When my life is truly balanced, I’m at my happiest. Regardless of my environment. When aspects of my life fall out of balance, my happiness is the first to suffer.
Another great marker is the opinions and perspectives of my mentors and the people I love, and how THEY view me. If they are happy with me and proud of me, that is a great indication that I’m achieving a high degree of balance in my life.
Thank you Sandra for such thought provoking prompts. The insight and self analyzation that it takes in order to answer these questions are very valuable. Your on-going prompts have taught me more about life and myself. They invoke deep thinking and self reflection that is critical to any type of rehabilitation.
It is my prayer and hope that everyone can recognize the significant value that is hidden within inmate bloggers and critical thought-provoking prompts.
Remember my NA series and all those NA Meetings I attended? Well they just now paid off in the form of good time. My release date has been adjusted from 8-9-32 to 3-7-32. I haven’t done the math, but according to DOC, that’s 155 days!
Upon receiving this good news I was also informed that I will be getting back an additional 90 days at my next review in August. All I gotta do is remain infraction free, stay in The Dog Program, and receive positive evaluations.
It feels good to be going the other way. To be earning good time rather than loosing it. To be living in harmony rather than conflict. To be progressing rather than regressing. To be making friends rather than enemies. To be focusing on the positive rather than the negative.
For almost 23 years my environment hasn’t changed. PRISON! It’s still full of misfits and misconduct. But what has changed is my attitude, perspective, outlook, and priorities. During my quest to seek knowledge and understanding I’ve learned that the mind is like a garden. Either you can intelligently Cultivate it, or neglect it and let it run wild. That’s why its crucial for me to constantly cultivate my mind by weeding out all the wrong, useless, destructive, impure thoughts. And nurturing my mind with right, useful, constructive, positive thoughts.
By constantly pursuing this process of mind evolution, I am starting to reap the rewards. Such as: I found my beautiful soulmate in Suzie, I made it to The Honor Unit, I got accepted into the dog program, I’ve met new people and have devolved new friendships, I’m no longer getting in fights or hurting people, and I’m earning back good time. Just to name a few.
For years I allowed my mind to run wild. The results were devastating! For more on the devastation you can read my ebook titled, STONE CITY : LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY.
I was oblivious to the fact that a deeper level of consciousness existed. I was mindlessly wandering through life, and inappropriately reacting to everything life threw at me. With a neglected mind, I didn’t stand a chance. But with a new and improved cultivated mind, I have so much hope and excitement for today and the rest of my life.
If you had the power to be happier, to change your environment, and to have better relationships with friends and family, would you use that power?
Of course you would!
So why don’t you?
The power is within you.
Take the first step and read : “AS A MAN THINKETH” by James Allen. This book will teach you LAWS OF THOUGHT that cannot error. By reading this quick little 55 page book, you’ll be taking a crucial step towards intelligently cultivating your mind. I hope you feel inspired.
A lot has been going on. I do my best to remain positive and stay upbeat. But I must admit, sometimes it’s super hard. Back in August I was on a softball team that was argumentive, disorganized, and dysfunctional. So I quit.
Soon after I quit, I hear a knock on my cell door. It’s the coach. “Why’d you quit?” he demands! Right away I see he’s hostile and emotional.
I tell him, “Because it’s too stressful and I’m not having any fun. Guys are arguing with each other and we’re loosing too many games.”
He says, “Well then f*ck you! I’m done f*cking with you!” Then he slammed my door.
I immediately get an adrenaline rush. I almost open my door and call him back. But I don’t. I accept it and let him walk away. Because the last time I entertained such irrationality, I ended up knocking out the dude. And that cost me my EFV’s for 5 years. (see: How I Lost My EFV’s For 5 Years)
Today I’m a changed man. I’ve learned from my past. I try my best to avoid conflict.
So what could I have done to avoid this entire situation? It’s actually quite simple. I should’ve finished out the softball season with a positive, optimistic attitude. Regardless of our record and all the negativity.
I’m getting pretty good at avoiding physical confrontations. However, I need to work on avoiding confrontational situations all together. This has proven to be very tricky. I can be minding my own business, doing my own thing, and then suddenly find myself in an undesired situation.
So shortly after this whole softball fiasco, the Sergeant calls me in his office. He tells me that my celly, Dicky, is requesting that I be moved out.
Dicky is disabled and bound to a wheelchair, therefore we are in an ADA cell. These cells are bigger and have wider doors for wheelchair access. Which means Dicky always has top priority to live in these spacious ADA cells. So if he wants a celly gone, it’s always the celly who gets the boot, never him.
I’m genuinely surprised by this news the Sergeant it telling me. Dicky and I get along fine. So I ask the sergeant, “Why?”
Basically, Dicky said I’m too clean. I clean the cell too much. And that I organize his area when it gets too messy. Which I do. But Dicky and I have had discussions about this. And he said its all good!
So as the Sergeant is telling me all this, I’m confused. None of this is making any sense. REALLY! I’m getting the boot for being too clean and organized. What’s really going on?
Well it didn’t take long to figure it out. As soon as I moved out, Dicky moved in one of his dope fiend buddies. Dicky is an addict himself. He’s a pharmaceutical junky. He goes to pill line multiple times everyday. He keeps hundreds of pills hoarded in his cell constantly. But I guess the legal drugs aren’t enough.
Since I got kicked out, Dicky has been going downhill fast. Some dude ran up on him and in front of everyone and said, “Listen you punk ass bitch, that sh*t you gave me was bunk and I’m not paying you a f*cking dime!”
Wow! In front of God and everybody. Dicky was now exposed. Shortly after that, someone must’ve went and told. Because they suspended his visits. Tore up his cell. Took apart his wheelchair (looking for drugs). And subjected him to a piss test. Dicky refused the UA because he was dirty. Refusing a UA is a Major Infraction. Dicky is now out of the dog program.
It all makes sense now. Dicky kicked me out of the cell because he wanted to get high and sell drugs. And he knows I’m not down with any of that. So he reverted back to his lying manipulative ways to get what he wants. (see: Living With A Compulsive Liar)
When the Sergeant first told me I was getting kicked out of my cell, I was upset and stressed. But now I’m very thankful. It took me over 6 years to get in The Dog Program. By living with Dicky, he jeopardized my livelihood with his sneaky manipulative misconduct.
In a piece I wrote called, Stone Catchers: I Quit!!!, I talk about overcoming these exact type of challenges.
I know what I need to do. Now it’s all about having the strength, courage, and intelligence to successfully cope with any and all situations that come my way.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
I quit softball. I temporarily quit Stone Catchers. And sometimes I feel like giving up and smashing out some of these fools. It’s time I quit quitting. Giving up is NOT an option. Violence Is Never The Answer.
MY PRAYER: Please God, continue to give me the strength to endure and overcome. Guide me, guard me, and protect me as I continue my journey. Amen!
I was in my cell training for my upcoming EFV’s with my wife. I was doing weighted hip thrusters with a 65 pound box on my lap. As I was on my fifth set of fifty, my stomach growled. I finished my set, then looked at my watch to see how much longer until lunch time.
I looked at my digital Ironman TIMEX and quickly realized it was malfunctioning. The entire screen had nothing but 1’s on it. There was nine of them to be exact.
I immediately thought: GREAT, ANOTHER EXPENSE! THIS WATCH IS CRAP!!
Then it happened. The 11 seconds turned to 12, then 13, 14, 15, 16….etc. That’s when I realized it was November 11th at 11:11 am.
There’s nothing wrong with this Ironman TIMEX. It works like a champ. The problem was with me. Within all of one second, my brain had made an assumption and drawn a conclusion: My watch is broke. It’s crap. I need a new one.
Sometimes if we just take a second and let things play out, we’ll realize that there was never an issue to begin with. So many non-issues become issues because we make them issues.
PRAYER: Dear God, please give me the wisdom to remain calm and assertive in the face of adversity. Please give me the ability to be patient before drawing conclusions. Open my eyes to the fact that no matter what the situation is, its as good or as bad as I choose to make it. Give me the strength to remain positive and happy as the events of life unfold. Thank you for using my watch to teach such a valuable lesson. AMEN.
This is a continuation of a post I wrote called, My 1st Narcotics Anonymous Meeting.
In that post I talked about LIABILITIES AND ASSETS as I took a moral inventory.
I listed my LIABILITIES and gave a brief narrative as it pertains to my life. But then, as I got to my ASSETS, I only listed them. I didn’t dive in and give any narrative. Why? Well, to be completely honest, I got lazy. All my posts are typed up on my handheld JP5 device, one finger at a time. So by the time I got to ASSETS, I was ready to be done and post!
This did not go unnoticed to some of my loyal, intent followers. I was called out on it. And rightfully so.
So now, I’ll take the time to properly finish my list of ASSETS, what they mean to me, and how they impact my life in a positive manner.
I’ll start with my beautiful, amazing wife.
SUZIE – My greatest asset. She allows me to feel love. She gives me love. She is the Love in my life.
Her love has opened so many other doors in my life. Its like a domino effect. Her love teaches me patience, understanding, forgiveness, how to effectively communicate, and so much more.
FAMILY – My family is also my greatest asset. Suzie is family. These two assets easily go together.
My family is always there for me with love, support, advice, and encouragement. They inspire me to be the best man I can be. I am very blessed to have such an incredible family. I strive to make them proud.
FRIENDS – A huge asset in my life. Suzie and Family also fit in this category.
The friends I have are amazing. There are never any arguments or fights. Most of my friends and I say, “I love you” to each other.
The circle of harmony I share with my friends is truly heart warming and inspiring. Its a real life testimony to the living power found within The Law of Attraction.
My heart, spirit, and personal conduct, attracts certain type of people to me. From this pool of attraction, I find my best friends.
LOVE – Intense affection. I’m an intense guy. Therefore I love easily. I’m focused on the things I love. I want more love in my life. Love has changed my life because it feels so much better than anything else I’ve ever felt. I’m on a mission for more love.
AWARENESS – It is so crucial to be aware of my environment, the people around me, and my mood.
By being aware, I’m able to avoid conflict and undesirable situations.
OPEN-MINDEDNESS – By keeping an open mind I’m able to try new things and meet new people without prejudice.
For example, I entered NA with an open mind. As a result, I grew to enjoy it. And that allowed me to get the most out of it.
As for people, today I associate with a diverse bunch. I keep an open mind as I get to know people on an individual basis.
Having an open mind has definitely served me well.
POSITIVE ACTION – This means to simply do what’s right. In every aspect of life. It takes great focus, commitment, will-power, and a true desire to be a good person.
The benefits of positive action comes in many forms. Such as:
The way people treat me.
Earning the trust of others.
I don’t have to worry about shake downs, UA’s, or discipline write ups.
Positive action creates positive returns from “The Law of Attraction” & “Cause and Effect”.
Through positive action I’ve earned my wife, the dog program, my early release, the love and respect of my friends and family, employment within the prison, respect from prison staff, and so much more.
HONESTY – Lying is a form of weakness. I pride myself on being a strong man.
With constant Positive Action, there’s no need to lie.
The truth will save me every time. An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
Sometimes people won’t like the truth. But at least I can work through the issue with trust and integrity in tact.
BEING CLEAN – This is very important to me. It entails:
Brush and floss at least 2x a day
Stay well groomed
Keep clothes nice and clean
I always need a fresh pair of kicks
Keep my living quarters sanitized, neat, and orderly.
Being clean contributes to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. It minimizes germs, bacteria, and dieses.
Keeping my cell neat and orderly benefits me psychologically. It gives me a sense of calmness and tranquility.
I’ve also noticed that some of the Officers are a little more respectful when they search a clean, neat, tidy cell.
SHARING – Sharing is against the rules, but I do it anyway. The main thing I share is food. Food is huge in prison. Everyone is always hungry and ready to eat in here.
So when my celly runs out of food, and I’m in here eating…I offer to share with him.
Sharing makes me feel good and it teaches me to be kind and compassionate.
I also share my life and journey with all of you. I love to share. It makes me feel good. Wanna bite?
WILLINGNESS – I’m always willing to take on challenges and to help people.
I’m willing to try new things and meet new people.
Some examples of this is when I discovered the power of blogging. I wanted to share the blogosphere with fellow inmates. So Suzie and I created Stone City Blog.
I’ve also just recently joined a Violence Reduction Committee, where I work with staff and inmates to reduce violence in prison.
I’m Willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and serve humanity in a positive manner.
COURAGE– I have the courage to be myself and step out on my own. To blaze my own path and not fall victim to peer pressure.
I don’t care about prison politics and those who embrace the negative prison culture.
I’m going to stand up for what’s right as I continue to live a positive lifestyle from within prison.
FAITH – I have faith that all my efforts and hard work will pay off. One day my visions of success and freedom will be a reality.
I have faith that the Law Of Attraction is a law that cannot error.
CARING – Because I care, other people care. When other people care, it serves everyone well. The law of attraction is in full effect.
KINDNESS – Being kind to everyone is extremely hard to do…especially in prison. But its possible. Anything is possible if I make it a top priority. And Kindness IS a top priority.
GENEROSITY – This asset is similar to Sharing. Although its in my heart to be generous, I must be selective and careful. Its against prison rules to give, share, sell, loan, or borrow anything.
Not too long ago a friend of mine accidentally slept through dinner. That means he would go about 20 hours without eating. When he asked if I could help him out, I did. I broke the rules and gave him some food.
As I write this, I don’t like how I’m admitting to breaking rules. I don’t like how I have to break rules to be kind and generous. When I gave him the food, I had to sneak it to him.
I guess I could’ve and probably should’ve told him, “No, giving food is against the rules. Please respect my efforts to be a model prisoner and don’t ask me to break the rules because your lazy ass slept through dinner. Besides, they’ll be calling breakfast here in about 20 hours…you’ll be okay.”
But if I would’ve said that, I’d be in violation somewhere else in my personal code of conduct…such as Sharing, Generosity, Being Impeccable With My Words…etc
Life is full of choices. Sometimes we just have to do what we feel is right in our hearts.
THANKFULNESS – I’m extremely thankful for all my assets and blessings. Despite being in prison for so long, I’m a very lucky and blessed man.
APPRECIATIVE – I’m very appreciative for everything that comes my way. My wife, family, and friends fill me up with so much love, that it leaves very little room for anything else.
In closing I’d like to point out that the quality of your life is completely up to you.
Condition your mind to focus on your assets and all your blessings. Don’t give negativity any energy.
If your in an undesired situation that you cannot change…change the way you think about it.
Learn to control your mind. Direct your thoughts in the direction of peace, love, forgiveness, and understanding.
Change your mind and it’ll change your life. The choice is entirely up to you.
Steven D. Jennings
My days fly by. I’m always busy.
I’d say that 90% of my days are exactly the same. And if you think about it, your days probably don’t differ much either. Ever heard of the saying “Same sh*t, different day?” That applies to us all, no matter where we are.
Sometimes in the midst of your busy day you’ll experience something quick, brief, and full of inspiration.
Here is a little story I’d like to share:
At 10AM I was in the gym doing my cardio class. After class we had about 5 minutes before movement was called back to the unit. That’s when Andy from H4 approached me. I met him about 4 weeks before I moved out of that unit.
So he comes up to me with a big smile on his face and says, “Dude! Since you moved I’ve heard so many stories about you,” as he laughs.
His smile and laugh is infectious. So I’m smiling, too. I say, “Oh yeah? What did you hear?”
“Lots of things,” he responds while trying to stop laughing.
“Like what!?” I demand with a smile.
“Oh I don’t know! Like dumping a dirty mop bucket all over a table full of sex offenders, farting on people’s heads, shoving cellies under bunks, knocking people out, you know…things of that nature.”
He continues, “…I was surprised at all the war stories. The Steven I know is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.”
Wow! I reached out and shook his hand and said, “Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m on a new journey these days.”
Then movement was called and everyone left the gym back to their units.
That brief little conversation left me feeling good and inspired. All the positive seeds I’ve been planting in my mind and in my actions are showing.
It’s just one example of YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. Therefore, it is my desire to always sow: love, truth, compassion, respect, and understanding. It’s only a matter of time before the universe responds.
Here are a few key points in the book, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen:
*As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
*In life, you do reap what you sow.
*Life’s experiences reflect your pattern of thought.
*Cause and effect.
*Think in the right way.
*Powerful weapon inside yourself.
*You are the master of your own thoughts.
*You hold the key to every situation.
Hello! Over the last 12 months, I’ve been doing a lot of moving. I moved from H4 to the Honor Unit in H6. Then I moved from H6 to the Dog Program in H3.
Moving from unit to unit can be stressful…if I let it. Because to some I’m the new guy, and certain people try to take advantage of that. They show a lack of respect and push boundaries. I try my best to view moving as an opportunity to meet new people.
Most of these new people don’t know anything about me, except for what I show them. So now is my opportunity for new beginnings by showing them love and respect as I treat them with honor and dignity.
For the most part, the universe has been responding favorably to my positive efforts.
However, in the game of life (especially in prison) I must be prepared to deal with every force that comes my way. Especially the negative.
Here’s a little situation I recently found myself in:
I was in the dayroom, conversing with a few of the fellas.
Then all of a sudden, JP walks up to me and asked me a question. JP is a S.O. The fellas hate him!
There was a time when I hated him too. Fortunatly, I’m on a different path these days.
I treat ALL people with dignity and respect…that includes wierdos and S.O.’s.
Before I responded to JP, I tell him, “Let’s go over here.”
And then we move to a table away from the fellas.
I do this as a curtisy to the fellas. Because I know they don’t want these type of people anywhere near them. Plus, I don’t want to be the subject of their gossip, talking about I’m the one attracting misfits to their little area.
TOO LATE!!! As I return I hear one guy saying, “I don’t get it! I just don’t f*cking get it! I don’t understand how anyone could f*ck with that sick son-of-a-bitch! He’s in here for f*cking his own kids!”
No one speaks after that. They’re all looking at me. I feel uncomforable.
My instincts push me towards aggression. Years ago I would’ve lashed out whenever I felt this way. But today I am able to recognize and control my emotions. I’m able to think clearly and concise as I demonstrate self-control.
My mission in life is to treat everyone with respect. That includes these very fellas that are making me feel a certain kinda way right now.
As all eyes are on me I say, “Sorry about that. I meant no disrespect. That’s why I took him over there…away from you guys.”
One guy asks, “Why do you even f*ck with that chi-mo?”
I feel like I’m on the spot. Like I’m the one getting “paper checked”.
I keep my cool.
I respond by saying, ”I’m committed to a positive lifestyle. That includes being kind to all people. I’m not nice to that guy because he deserves it. I’m nice to him because I desire inner peace. And being nice to people brings me that.”
One guy who was shuffeling a deck of cards this whole time, drops the cards on the table and says, ”I’ve heard enough BULLSH*T for one day…I’m outta here!” He gets up and walks away.
I take offense. But I say nothing. My heart is beating fast and I am trying my best to stay focused and composed.
I’m in a situation I’ve never been in before. And I’m responding in a way that is relativly
new to me. I’ve never really responded like this before. But then again, I’ve never been in a situation like this before.
We eventually all go our seperate ways. But I know our paths will cross again…several times. So I go to my cell to self-reflect, meditate, and re-compose.
Because it did cross my mind to tell everyone to “F*ck off!” But if that’s the case, I might as well have told JP to F-O! I mean whats the difference? Mean is mean, regardless of who it’s directed to.
None of this F-O talk is an option for me. I know what I need to do…STAY FOCUSED!!!
I will use my strength and intelligence to continue to rise above all the negative influences as I impose my own goodwill.
Now my focus is on being kind and respectful to some of these fellas who now look at me differently. It would be so easy to stoop to their level and be an ass. But I know that could lead to bad things….for them! I’m not that man any more.
And my actions will prove it!
(Please read the Glossary of Prison Terms for clarification on terms used in this post)
Good day to all! Thank you for taking the time to follow my blog.
For those of you who enjoy a deeper level of consciousness and a more focused life, this post is for you. And those who lack in this concept, this post is especially for you.
It is my prayer that this post will help assist in a great awakening to those in need.
What if I told you there was a harmless pill that would give you psychic abilities? Would you take it? I assume most would. For in doing so, you would be able to accurately predict future events in your life and in the lives of those around you. How awesome would that be?!
The pill doesn’t exist. However, the psychic ability within you does exist. It’s in everybody. But in order to activate it, you must know what to look for. And that is: “mental tendencies” within yourself and those around you.
Who knew such a complex issue could be so simple?
PAY ATTENTION TO MENTAL TENDENCIES!!!
Mental tendencies that have been set in motion will cast a huge shadow. And now, after reading this post, YOU will be able to see the manifestation within that shadow before it materializes.
Mental tendencies are both good & bad. Some need correcting while others need support and encouragement.
As I reflect on my life, I can recall numerous “mental tendencies” that needed serious correction. Correction never came and I ended up in prison.
In the 3rd grade I had a principal named Gaylord Shank. This man had a spirit prophecy simply by observing mental tendencies. He told my mom that I’d end up in prison if something didn’t change within me.
He was right!
He was able to draw a logical conclusion from an already established premise.
And now you can, too.
Have you ever heard an adult say this to a child: “Wait until their teenage years…he/she is going to be a handful…”
Again, this is a prime example of someone drawing a logical conclusion from an already established premise.
The problem is, all too often, that the parents/adults don’t do what it takes to resolve issues or to correct behavioral problems within themselves, much less their children.
But with a little focus, effort, and understanding…all that can change.
Understand “mental tendencies” and what they lead to.
Replace bad mental tendencies with good ones.
Take the time and effort to have a positive impact on the lives you come in contact with. Especially yours, your family’s, and your loved ones.
YOU CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE simply by:
- Paying attention to mental tendencies.
- Drawing a logical conclusion from an already established premise.
Now that you understand, the question is: What are you going to do about it?
If you are facing some challenging issues with yourself or your children and want some advise on how to overcome, perhaps I can help. Feel free to Contact me.
Just the other day I walked into my cell after being out in the yard for two hours. The first thing I noticed was dirty socks thrown over an out-of-place pair of shoes.
After I ventured farther into my lavish 6’ by 10’ cell, I noticed dirty shorts and a dirty t-shirt piled in the corner.
This is a direct violation of the verbal agreement between my celly and I. Before I moved in, we had in-depth detailed conversations about how we like to live, and expectations we place on each other.
I specifically told him that I like all the shoes lined up neatly and facing the same direction. I also told him that I don’t like dirty laundry thrown on the floor.
Part of the deal was: He keeps his stuff neat and orderly. And in return, I won’t pull his hair, slap his face, pinch his cheeks, bite him, shove him under the bunk, or kick his ass!
Okay, granted. I wouldn’t do any of those things. Not anymore at least. But there was a time, not too long ago, when that’s exactly how I would deal with a messy celly.
As a matter of fact, the last incident of this nature occurred back in 2007. I didn’t handle it well at all. You can read about it in my ebook, Stone City: Life In The Penitentairy.
Here I am in 2015. I still face the same situations and challenges. Such as messy cellies.
I realize I’m somewhat of a perfectionist with OCD. So this current situation with my celly, is a perfect opportunity to replace old habits of “reaction” with new habits of perspective.
Rather than to respond with negativity, there is another way to relate to life. A softer, more loving, graceful path that makes life easier and the people in it more compatible.
By being a jackass perfectionist, my life was not full of inner peace. It was full of conflict! I was constantly engaged in a losing battle, with one celly after another…year after year.
Even when I had the occasional “good celly” (like I do now), I would focus on “whats wrong” (shoes outta line, messy shelves and desk, bed not made, etc) and my need to fix it. I was dissatisfied and discontent.
The very act of focusing on imperfections, pulls me away from my goal of being kind and gentle.
Yes. When I walked in and saw my celly’s mess, it did trigger an old compulsive thought pattern. But I quickly recognized it. And I nipped it in the bud with love and understanding.
It took me all of 10 seconds to line up his shoes and place his dirty clothes in his out-going laundry bag.
When he came back to the cell, he immediately noticed. He thanked me. Then explained how he was in a hurry to get in the shower. I said, “Your welcome.” Then I reminded him of my OCD nature.
Our conversation was peaceful and friendly. I doubt he’ll do it again.
Moral: Make peace with imperfection. This works so much better than exploding with negativity.
Ever heard of WriteAPrisoner.com?
What about goodprisoner.com?
Out of hundreds of pen-pal websites for prisoners, these are the two I chose.
It took me about 9 years, but I found her. The love of my life. The most amazing woman I know.
My strategy was simple. Be bold and straight forward.
I’ve been on these sites for years. I have received tons of hits, only to find out that most these people are a waste of my time & postage.
Most men in prison will settle for the first woman who shows interest. These men use & abuse until the money is sucked dry. Or until they get out of prison…then it’s “good-bye”.
I see these relationships scattered throughout the visiting room. I feel sorry for these women. They have no idea what’s in store for them.
I could never play with someone’s emotions like that. So if I feel someone isn’t right for me, I nip it in the bud before it even starts. I was doing A LOT of nipping! My approach was all wrong. For years my ads read like this:
Somewhere in my heart beyond all my pride, I have a secret desire so intense it can’t hide.
A desire for someone to cherish and hold, the need for a love in my world that’s so cold.
Someone who keeps me shining through the day and night. Because living without love just doesn’t feel right.
Someone who will be there to kiss away my tears, secure my doubts, and release my fears.
Someone I can depend on to be a friend, who can restore my faith in love once again.
Maybe I’m wrong and shouldn’t be telling you this, but love is the feeling I so desperately miss.
Hi! Not only am I looking for a pen-pal, I’m also looking for someone I can share emotion with. I have a desire to love someone, but being in prison for the past 10 years makes it hard. I’m open and honest with good values. I know you have lots of questions, so don’t hold back. Ask me anything you desire. Let’s have fun getting to know each other. There’s so much more to me than what meets the eye. Unfortunately this ad permits only 200 words and I’ve already used them up. 🙂 Or maybe it’s 250 words. At any rate it’s not nearly enough. So please, write me a letter and I’ll get back to you with a lot more depth. Sincerely, Steven.
That ad didn’t produce desired results. So I posted this ad:
Writeaprisoner.com, huh? What brought you to this site? What’s the attraction? Hmmm…all I have to say is choose wisely. Most of the men I am around are bad news.
Don’t be fooled by the charming smiles and sweet words. 80% of the men in here have a hidden agenda. They’re users and abusers looking for a meal ticket.
My agenda is up front and simple. I’ve been in prison for 16 years and I’m looking for a sexy lady. I’m looking for a fun, flirty friendship. I want to hug, kiss, hold hands, and look at a pretty face.
I’m realistic, honest, and remorseful. I love to talk in depth about any subject. I’m not looking for any handouts. I just want a sexy lady in my life. Race and age doesn’t matter. If I’m attracted, we can get it rolling. I’m not your typical prisoner. I’m grounded and well rounded. No tats, no hate groups. I love life, I love people, I love my family and friends. I love kids and animals. I love and respect women. I’d love to have someone special in my life. Maybe it’s YOU!
Although these ads were producing a lot of hits, they were attracting the wrong type of people for me. So I decided to just cut to the chase and put it out there. I then posted this ad:
I am looking for a sexy lady to marry me and have conjugal visits with. So, what’s up? Wanna do it? No drama, no stress. Just come make love. Keep your last name and continue to enjoy your life as you know it.
I’ve been in prison for 18 years (since I was 20) and have 20 to go. I’m damn near a virgin! I don’t have any STD’s and prefer you don’t either. I am strong, healthy, and ready to bless some lucky lady. I’ve had several offers but had to respectfully decline. Although it’s been a very long time, I am not so desperate that I’ll fall for the first willing lady. I’m patient and I’ll continue to wait for the right person. Write me a letter and lets talk about it. I’ll bring excitement and adventure to your life.
That ad brought me a wave of responses like never before. Ladies that were closer to my type started to hit me up. That’s when I knew I was on to something.
At this point, all of my ads were posted on Writeaprisoner.com. But because of all the encouraging responses from my last ad, I decided to post an ad on Goodprisoners.com as well. It read like this:
Yep, that’s what I’m looking for. But its not what you think silly little freak. Let me explain…I’ve been in for 18 years and I have 19 years left. At first, conjugal visits were for men who were married prior to prison. But recently a law passed that allows men to get married while in prison. So that’s what I want, a sexy beautiful lady who is willing to legally marry me and have conjugal visits with me. No drama, no stress, just love – an amazing out of this world love! Keep your life, keep your name, and continue to do whatever it is that you do.
The only difference is now you have this amazing surreal sexual sabbatical to look forward to. What I have to offer is not just for anyone. I’ve already had several offers. I refuse to settle if she isn’t up to par. I’m not some desperate bum sitting in prison. I have drive and passion. I’m about to publish the following books and sell them worldwide: Stone City…Life In The Penitentiary; Chirpy…The Amazing Little Jailbird; 101 Ways To Get Your Ass Kicked In Prison; Poems From Prison; Prison Ink; Prison Diaries; The Prison Yearbook Project; How I Made Millions From Prison.
I’m clean, fit, no STDs, don’t smoke or use drugs. I’m very remorseful for my crimes and I strive for redemption. I’m open, honest, and full of love and compassion. I want to bless you as much as you’d bless me in this special type of relationship. If I’m not for you, pass me on to a friend. I’ll compensate you if you find me my lover. E-mail me via Jpay.com. I’m on Facebook or just write me. Please include a picture, thanks.
That ad hit hard! Ladies were hitting me up left & right. I wasn’t sure who to choose until I got a letter from Suzie. This woman is the absolute best! She is the love of my life. I am so lucky to have found her. True love is out there if you keep searching,…and its sooo worth the wait!
And that my friends, is how I found love from within prison.