Prisoner Testimony on the Positive Impact of Lionheart’s Houses of Healing

28/10/19 0

We receive so many remarkable letters at Lionheart. I share the following as it is, in my opinion, an exquisite expression of what authentic healing looks likeRobin 

(names and other identifying information has been changed).

My name is Daniel and I am a 39 year old inmate in the state of California.  My incarceration began on the fateful night in the summer of 1998, when I partook in the violent armed robbery that ultimately led to to a death.  For many years I struggled with the idea of having to serve a 26 years to life sentence for my part in the crime because I simply looked at it as just being the getaway driver.  I lacked the sense and understanding to truly comprehend what my accountability was in this person’s death.  This led to the 12+ years of my incarceration to be filled with addiction to alcohol, drugs, and the criminal lifestyle.  It wasn’t until I finally transferred to another prison in 2010, that I started to distance myself from people and bad habits I had refined over the years.  It was out of desperation that I finally chose something different for myself rather than to continue living a life of insanity (doing the same things over and over again expecting different results).  I left one dire situation for another, but luckily 3 months after my transfer, another facility was accepting volunteers.  I jumped at the opportunity and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life.  My journey to becoming a better man started to blossom.  Where I had previously thought I could do things on my own, I was finally able to come to terms with all those positive outlets I needed.  None of this was possible without the help of other inmates, my relationship with God, the many groups I attended and, of course, books.

The first book I ever read pertaining to change was the House of Healing.  It opened my eyes to so many harsh truths about myself that I wasn’t ever able to accept or acknowledge for most of my life.  Being a victim of abuse (verbal, physical, sexual) during my formative years really played a huge role in shaping my mind in a distorted fashion.  I grew up lonely, ashamed, burdened with guilt, and most of all angry at the world.  It’s no wonder I found it easy to turn to alcohol, drugs, and the gang lifestyle.  My anti-social behavior left many victims in my wake, and I lacked the compassion to even realize all the harm I was causing myself and others.  Taking the time to read that book helped me see deep within myself, and the light exposed a lot of those darkened areas of my past.  I was now able to accept things for how they happened and know that it wasn’t my fault at all.  I was simply an innocent child who lost out on his childhood and didn’t know any better.  Having someone else share their experience with me allowed a measure of faith I didn’t think was possible, but it proved to be pivotal in my path to living life to the fullest.

In short, this book (Houses of Healing) has launched my career as a new and better man, and I can’t help but think of how helpful it would be for others to get beyond their own troubles and experience the same type of healing I’ve been blessed with. When I left _____ State Prison, I never thought I’d lose access to this great and wonderful book. I was hoping that you could help me obtain the book and the curriculum that goes with it. This prison is known for being a reception center for inmates who go to fire camps, so it doesn’t offer a whole lot when it comes to cognitive behavior treatment.  I’m trying to get a group started so that I can continue to work on myself and help others.  It’s not just something I plan on doing in here, but something I plan to continue on the streets too.  For there is no better way to live life today than to do it giving back to others.  Any assistance you can give me pertaining to House of Healing would be most appreciated.  I promise to continue living life to the fullest in all joy, and promote a wonderful life full of healing.  Thank you for your help.  I remain forever in your debt. —–                               Sincerely,    Daniel