I am struggling to receive love because it falls way short of what defines love for me. This is where hard work and growth meet.
Incarcerated: 28 years
Housed: Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois
I have learned alot about love. I have learned it is an action word. I can’t just say that I love you, I have to show you! Love is unconditional. Even if you can’t have a relationship with someone, you can still love them. It is selfless, pure, kind, honest and true. I have been sharing this insight with my brothers and family, and I thought I could share this here and really be impactful. For the incarcerated, we find it very difficult to believe people when they say that they love us, when their actions don’t match what we believe love looks like. This stresses us out and can cause us to ruin relationships we should cherish. The lesson I learned is this: Everyone’s life circumstances and experiences have shaped us, and ultimately help to formulate how we view love. It is not that people we deal with do not love us, they just do not understand love as we do, because we’ve had different experiences and concepts of what love is!
For those of us incarcerated, especially those of us who have been gone for a long time, we appreciate things on a much more intensive level than most human beings. Our deprivation of not having the things that we want so much causes us to hold, treasure, value, and love things on a much deeper level than the average human being. Our love is intense. To hold people who haven’t been shaped by the same experiences as us, to our standards of love, isn’t fair to them, or to ourselves. We have to learn how to love and be loved from the place in which that love resides. I am struggling to receive love because it falls way short of what defines love for me. This is where hard work and growth meet. Now I have to do the necessary work so I can get to a place of peace. Sharing with you has already helped me through my personal revelation, thank you.