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The Founding of Lifespring

Reflections on the Worth of Lifespring

The Business Acceleration Workshop

The Basic Training In Federal Prison

How to Realize Your Dreams and Improve Your Life

A Graduate's Story

The Basic Training In Federal Prison - Page 4

Little by little, we saw the layers of emotional concrete cracked and peeled back to reveal an inner core of tenderness and longing to love and to be loved. They discovered that this desire reached way back into their childhood and that their longing for parental love and approval persists, however deeply hidden or resisted.

"My mother never kissed me and I can only remember her hugging me once," said little Dorit, a former WAC who had let out a contract on her husband after he repeatedly threatened to kill her. The contract was fulfilled and Dorit and her hired gun were jailed.

Dorit was loaded with mistrust. She deliberately kept herself apart from the other inmates whom she regarded as potential "snitches," back stabbers, liars. She had imbedded her feelings in concrete.

But one morning she took the mic and said, "I cried last night for the first time in years, and I feel clean inside. That's something the sharks (guards) could never do to me. I found something in myself I haven't seen for 10 or 12 years. A feeling of caring, and I never want to lose it again. I care. I do care!" Later, she told me, "I didn't ever want to be a killer, but it was him or me!'

Later in the training, Dorit and a marvelously comic young woman named Linda, who had previously disliked and mistrusted each other, became warm friends, hugging each other and laughing at their former enmity.

We had been surprised at Ft. Grant to see the men crying so freely to release their suppressed feelings. We found the women at Pleasanton were just as resistant to tears as the men had been. Said Carole, a tall blonde, "This is the first time I've cried in a long, long time, and it feels good. I just couldn't let go. I was forced as a child not to show my emotions and not to cry, but now I don't have to punish myself any more... I hope everyone here has had as beautiful an experience as mine has been!"

Gradually, the women came out from behind their protective screens to experience their feelings and a new sense of freedom.

Page 5

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