Peace is different for everyone, but I will share mine with you. In trying to explain to my friends, who have never been in or near a Prison, they just don’t get it. But I am sure some of you will.
When I think of peace, I do not think about palm trees blowing on a warm beach, or a crackling fire in a cozy cabin with winter’s first snow, nor do I think about running my toes through cool mossy grass alongside a babbling brook. I don’t think of anything remotely like that. What I humbly tried to describe may invite you to imagine a scenic dreamlike picture, but it’s not the environment or place that brings me peace.
Prison was a place of constant distraction, loud voices, screams, profanity, and unrestingly noisy. The surroundings were a constant reminder to me about my life at home; I felt as if that past life had been nothing but a dream.
Even though I couldn’t find a place to be alone, or drown out the disgusting sounds of burps and farting, I took comfort in what I had inside of me.
Sitting frequently outside on a cold metal picnic bench, bundled up in my oversized ugly green winter coat (referred to as “big green”) I observed by watching and listening to the other ladies; imagining myself filming a documentary. But, instead of staring or judging them as if something was wrong with them, I noticed I began to ask myself, “What does this say about you, Holly”?
A mother with an autistic child referred to her personal experience raising an autistic child, “like a blender”. “When I enter a room, I see the room filled with people mixing, interacting and blending together. But when my autistic child walks into the same room, it’s like someone threw a spoon in the blender. Then blending is interrupted, people act differently; they stop, then look away or go to the other side of the room. When I noticed this, I realized my child is an opportunity for others to look at themselves.”
Federal Prison was my opportunity to look inside myself. Life isn’t to be lived without peace; the Prince of Peace is trying to fill you up with it! Once I started looking inward and gave up expectations and accepted others different then me, life became much more peaceful.
For all those miserable people out there, who think they are better, smarter, in control, entitled and self righteous… how peaceful are you, really? What’s it like to live everyday, feeling the office would fall apart without you? Nobody can do anything better than you, you are the only one with any sense, everyone else is stupid! If you are reading this with your mouth wide open, good! Maybe something inside of you will be stirred.
It’s not what is happening on the surface of our everyday lives that is important; it’s how you choose to handle circumstances, situations and others especially when things are not going your way. Finding peace within goes clear to the bone!
Unexpected Treasures, Holly