Last November, Beth and I went to Eastern State Penitentiary and took the audio tour of the grounds. It was a fantastic trip; I was struck by the design the Quakers had implemented. Many of the cells in the early design were built to isolate prisoners, because through isolation would bring self-reflection. With its high walls and individual yard areas for prisoners, it was said that a man could serve his entire term at ESP and not see another prisoner.
I do see the benefits of a time of self-reflection, but for many self reflection becomes self absorption and the problems that we’re supposed to be reflecting on become to large for us to face. Suddenly we are in trapped within a prison of our own making. The walls are high and there is no one around. At least no one we can hear or see because we are enshrouded or encased by our problems.
That is the great lie. That we are alone. Many of us feel that no one has gone through what we have, so we hesitate to share what are weaknesses and struggles are.
Breaking out of my internal prison is something that I’ve been very conscious of in the last few years. The walls of my prison took at least 30 years to construct, so I know it’ll take some time to excavate them. I have to be patient; eventually I’ll be on the outside of the walls as the rain falls down on me.
Today was my day off from P90 so I went for a 5K run. Had a personal best this morning and completed my 3.1 miles in 28 min. Felt great!