As I reflect back over this past week, I’m thankful that another week has not just passed, because simply “passing” doesn’t mean that anything has necessarily changed. I find personal benefit in assessing my growth goals weekly.
Each day and week I spend in federal prison is a challenge that I have to focus with intention on being better. I know there are challenges ahead of me, & I have to work extremely hard while inside to prepare myself for the opportunities that await me once I’m home. With less than 9 months to go before transitioning back to society, the actions I take on a daily basis are critical to ensure I hit the ground running.
This past week, I started the Residential Drug Abuse Program known as RDAP. RDAP is a premier program the Bureau of Prisons offers for those who qualify. Each day is earned, not given, and the sense of community it builds with the men seems to be making a positive impact.
RDAP’s 9 month journey is a mental process of breaking down core elements of the choices I make, and reshaping my mindset to make better decisions other than the ones that led me to being a member of society that’s been impacted by the justice system.
Two words we discussed last week were “SENTIMENTALITY” & “SUPER OPTIMISM”.
Sentimentality can be described as when we excuse all the bad parts of our character, and only focus on the positive aspects of ourselves. This can be seen as making ourselves look good by disregarding the less favorable parts of self. Publicly you appear extraordinary, but behind the scenes, you participate in behaviors that are contradictory.
I had to reflect on times in my life where I have displayed sentimentality, which if I’m honest, it’s been often. I am guilty of pumping up my positive qualities in certain areas to try and diminish my fearful shortcomings. I realize that when I do this, it doesn’t actually display strength, it shows weakness. Whenever I choose to NOT FACE my shortcomings, I fail to learn the lessons they offer. The truth about my shortcomings can’t scare me if it serves my higher purpose.
Strength isn’t always spoken, it’s displayed, and it gives off an unspoken aura. It takes true vulnerability to openly speak to our weaknesses when we seek healing, and this is the quest I’m on, and the only tests I want to apply myself to pass with “Straight A’s”.
Expressing my vulnerabilities to those in my inner circle at times has been difficult, but one way we recognize what we want, is to first recognize what we don’t want. I desire to stay on the leading edge of thought, and continue the process of building inner strength.
- Super Optimism:
Super optimism can be described as a hyper, sometimes delusional varying degree of optimism. Optimism is when you are able to find the lesson of positivity when negative things happen. Optimism isn’t just positive talk, but rather optimism is rooted in wisdom for those who seek it’s fruit.
Nothing happens by chance. Everything is an effect of a cause. Nothing is ever just is. It is results from an action that caused things to be as they are.
When I reflect on myself regarding super optimism, I battled against this a little because I always approached things from an optimistic point of view even before I knew what this word meant. I’ve always been told that I can find the positive in any situation, and I can make a person feel something that is really bad, not feel as bad as it is. I’ve been told I do this naturally and it’s very believable.
It comes across this way because it’s a genuine effortless quality I possess. I really do feel naturally optimistic about life and the future. However, there is a level of optimism just like anything that needs to have boundaries. If a negative event happens, I can do a better job of stating the reality that what appears bad is bad. This is where I’ve been a bit super optimistic by never wanting to state the blatant obvious.
For example, no matter how internally optimistic I was when was sentenced to federal prison, I have to admit this was a negative consequence of poor decision making, and careless unconscious choices with disregard for the law. From stating the obvious, and openly showing vulnerability and humility, I can then intercede with optimism that’s not overinflated.
As I continue to reflect on each day, I am reminded that I must be selfish as it pertains to my growth. Many human species don’t’ like the idea of being selfish, but that’s because they misinterpret the basic life principal of selfishness.
We cannot be other than selfish, for we can’t see, comprehend, or be conscious other than from perspective of self. The tiniest of all living organisms comprehend, and this is done from the selfish perspective they carry.