Best Friends

I sit with you for six hours. We talk about anything and everything imaginable. Laughing at all the humorous things that have occurred in our lives since we last had the chance to sit and speak. I love that even with all that we have going on and how difficult our lives have become, we still laugh together. You tell me how your days have been going, and I tell you about mine. We talk about how our friends are doing, the updates keep my mind on what really matters in life, the people I care about. We reminisce on people we used to be close to who are so distant now. I focus on the good memories, they are what matter most to me. We talk about our future, its comforting to discuss it. To plan it. It reminds me that this is temporary and soon shall pass. I drink a bottle of 2% milk, which is so much better than the skim milk I have become accustomed to. To be honest, for these few hours I always forget how much our lives have changed in the past three months. In this moment all that matters is my best friend is here with me. I realize in these moments when we talk about how we are that no one gets me quite like you do. It is like the whole story of our lives was written to bring us together. I get so lost in our conversing that I forget that you soon will have to leave. I hold your hand in mine, never wanting to let it go, knowing that soon I will have no choice. You say “I love you John,” its amazing how much power such a simple phrase has.

Then before we know it 3pm has come. Its time for you to go. We say our goodbyes and you head out the door. Nothing hurts me more than watching you walk away like this. “Its only temporary,” I say to myself.

I walk back to my unit. Reflecting on my life, I decide if I had the chance I wouldn’t change a thing. Through all that has happened, good or bad, every little moment led up to us being together. I would never risk a present without you, no matter what I had to go through in the past. I couldn’t do this without you.

I hold a paper in my hand, you sent me it. Its a picture of some random couple kissing on the beach. It says “A relationship is perfect when two people can act like best friends and lovers.”

How perfect you are for me.

Advertisements

Carmex Lip Balm. One Dollar and Ninety Five Cents.

You would think this is the most ridiculous thing to find yourself focused on. Chap stick. What a tiny thing in such a busy life, but I have been sitting here all morning thinking and my mind keeps going back to this tiny tube of Carmex. I think its how much it reminds me of home that I can’t get away from. There is not a lot in your daily activity in prison that makes you feel at home. It’s loud, bright, and stressful. All day. For these few seconds when I was putting on this chapstick this morning I was right back at home. Maybe it was the connection in my brain of that smell to home. I remember using it all throughout my childhood, its what my father had around the house. They say smell has the strongest connection of all senses. Whatever it is, I think the point is how much prison has made me realize how much I appreciate the little things in life. You would usually just go about your day with not a bit of thought as to something as minuscule as a two buck tube of chapstick. At least I know I would pay it no mind. Now that tube of chapstick is the closest connection to home in my day. Though any of time they mean nothing, those little things hold so much power when they are all you have to keep yourself uplifted throughout your day. I don’t understand how I ever took anything in life for granted. I know one thing though, I never will again. For now though, I will just put on some more chapstick and remember how much I have to look forward to. How lucky I am and have been, to not just have the big things in life, but the little things too. We almost seem to get so caught up in our lives to not reflect on the beauty of it all.

How strange and amazing it is to just exist at all.

Ahimsa

To live one’s life doing as little harm as possible.

What a beautiful world we would live in if we all remained mindful of this throughout our lives. It is impossible to cause no harm to others, its just part of life. I have caused plenty, not just in the aspects of physical harm, but emotional as well. I think the key is making a commitment from this point forward to cause as little harm as I can.

I believe the key to this is to take it one step further from not causing harm, and focusing on compassion towards all other beings. Until recently, when I heard the word compassion I thought of small acts of caring throughout your day, such as giving some spare money to someone without. I still believe these are acts of kindness which show compassion, but upon reflection I see true compassion as so much more. Its a permanent lifestyle, to put others first without any expectation of thank in return, a way of thought.

I don’t mean only gratuitousness through giving money or material possessions, but sharing the wholeness of yourself. Your grace, your love, you trust, you caring, your intellect; sharing your existence with all those you encounter.

We have all shared this generosity at some point in our life. I would be hard pressed to believe any one of us did not feel good for their being compassionate. “Selfless selfishness” I heard it referred to. That in helping others with no expectation of return we gain so much more than we could imagine, gains on a deeper level than we can fathom.

Its not an immediate change, but a process consisting of many cast of kindness, all which begin to change the way you approach things. The process for me has just begun and I know I have an amazing journey ahead.

So many statements have held power overtime and are as strong today as they were when first said. This shows that power every time I read it, so Ill leave you with it today:

“If you cant love King George V, say, or Sir Winston Churchill, start with your wife, or your husband, or your children. Try to put their welfare first and your own last every minute of the day and let your circle of love expand from there. As long as you are trying your very best, there can be no question of failure.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Negativity Is Contagious

Maybe its the environment you are in when in prison or maybe its human nature, but I just can’t seem to get it out of my head today. I’m not so much shocked of how it is, I do not think it is strange to find negative people bring out the negativity in others. What I find shocking is that even after I identified this cycle of negativity around me, it still manages to affect me. When in prison, there are negative people almost everywhere, there is not way around it. You are constantly subjected to the negative talk and people. It is not the ideal environment to be in when recovering from drugs and alcohol, or just trying to fix your life. I recognize that prison is not the easiest environment to stay positive in, but prison is easier when you are positive.

Self improvement is not the biggest focus in a prison. Its filled with a significant amount of people complaining about their circumstances, blaming others for putting them where they are today. Most people put focus into mollifying their actions instead of owning them.

I am not innocent in this, I have lived most of my life being pessimistic, and I never failed to express my pessimistic beliefs to others. When I am around these people I go right back to my negative frame of mind. I don’t want to say everyone does the same, I try to stay away from such absolute statements, but I can say a significant amount of people hop on the negativity ┬átrain and ride along with others. It’s very cyclical.

I have no room for judgement, I am merely being observational. I was just as pessimistic a few years ago. I saw no future in which had anything positive in comparison to the present. I suppose I still have some negative views I hold as truths. I think its difficult to be 100 percent positive all the time, if not impossible. I still see the world as it is. It is suffering. Everyone spending day after day in a world of misery trying to be happy. Yes, in itself that it a negative statement, but its the things we find in our lives that outweigh this misery which makes us positive people.

What changed in my is my outlook on my life as a whole. I found what makes me happy, what makes a difficult life worth living. I found my best friend, the perfect companion, I just happened to get lucky enough that when I asked her to spend the rest of her life with me, she said yes. Ever since that day life has not seemed nearly long enough. She makes me want to be positive, to live better, and to be better.

This is my focus for my time in, to remember the positive in my life, spread my positive though to others, and surround myself with people who wish to do the same. I find that it is the best way to stay happy, and in the end, isn’t that what matters most?

– K