I received a letter yesterday from Louis.
The day he talks about in the letter (first three photos) was a day a couple months ago that, hands down, both shifted life for me [as a result of what he shared] AND confirmed this again:
By showing up, we can and do positively change a life, change the outcome of how someone feels about their life and helps them actually keep living…
“Thank you for your courage and willingness to help. I was struggling to find meaning in life. You had the empathy and understanding to see my weakness and do something about it. I believe God brought you here that day to stop me from letting depression win.”
This human work is without human words, it really is.
I also heard the following (or version of it), over and over again from different men and it stayed etched in my mind and heart long after I told Josh and Nolan about these two days:
“I was locked up when I was 16.”
I saw Nolan (16) in each of these men, now serving 8, 15, 25 years or life without parole for their crimes and I saw Nolan, too, inside the time squarely spent focused on Louis who was deeply struggling.
When I say that life fulfillment is partially built by relationships, I mean these relationships, too.
How you relate with those you don’t know (and who the world doesn’t normally want to know), finding a connection (there are many) is deeply meaningful.
The conversations, the care and the change we see in the men we support is how I most want to keep relating with the world.
Getting outside of myself and helping to, one prison and one man at a time, create new systems (the system, as we know, is broken), as well as giving them the tools so desperately needed to create new inner lives and healing adds to life because it adds to these lives…
Childhood trauma is real and *they* (these kids) live inside our prisons (Google the ACE trauma test — most of the men we work with answer yes to 80% or more of these questions).
We’ll be back, hopefully as soon as mid November, likely to a new prison, but with similar desire, presence, tools, drive and commitment.
We can do and create anything with these five things…
Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…
To the best of the rest of your life!
Life is good.