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Joseph Benitez F01519

My biggest change

I’ve been spending my time reading books, and the main thing that I’ve learned is that the only way to actually truly change is to change your perception.

It takes 1/10 of a second for a brain to make a judgment of a person place or situation. Throughout our lives we experience all types of situations and come into contact with all types of people, and through these encounters we develop and “intuition“. We feel confident in these “intuitions“ and we trust the judgment. We become bias and we begin to develop a perception of the world.

When something happens to us, such as traumas, injustices, or painful situation, we store them away. For some of us we don’t deal with them. The traumas that I went through, the injustices and the pains, I’ve left them alone and did not deal with them. I didn’t know how, so they just sat in my violation column. What I needed to forgive, but I resent it instead, when I need to ask for forgiveness, I acted in violence instead. I allowed those traumas to fester, I allowed them to distort my perception. I held onto a negative perception, by refusing to deal with the pain properly, it started to affect every aspect of my life, my family, my friends, and even my faith. My view of the world was negative so my thoughts were negative, my beliefs were negative, and my actions followed suit. No matter how hard I tried to change my behavior, I tried to change my attitude, but it never worked. It was like having the street names, but the wrong city map. I continued to find myself an unfortunate situations; I needed to find a change.

Doing CGA (criminal gang anonymous) I came to step 4: “a fearless and moral inventory of my wrongs, resentments, and the good“. I took the step very seriously, and when I finished my list, and moved on the step 5, which is taking responsibility, I felt myself finally able to breathe. I realize that I held onto all those traumas, injustices, and painful situation and after doing step 4 and 5 I was able to finally deal with them. I relieve myself of that burden. After I got rid of my traumas, injustices, and pain, I replace them with compassion, acceptance, love, and forgiveness. When I interacted with people I came in with these principles and would be able to avoid getting myself into bed situation‘s. Doing this I began to change my character and my habits, all the negative thoughts I had were no longer there. I began to change my actions as well. I can’t say I no longer run into trouble, especially in prison, but what I can say is that I handle it very differently.

Where I used to have a negative perception and any time something happened to me or someone did something to me, I would react negatively. I’ve now changed it to where I feel compassion toward that person, understanding that, maybe they’re having a bad day or somethings wrong with them. I accept the situation, not getting angry because it’s not going my way. I’ve come to understand that I only control myself so if I don’t want to find myself in bad spot I had to change my perception. I’ve also come to understand how important it is to give back. So, I make sure that I am able to help anyone that would like it. I have found out that my purpose is to give back so that I can make amends for the wrongs of my past and to also help someone to not make the same mistakes that I’ve made. Our stories are similar, the only difference is the details. So whenever an opportunity comes, I share my struggles and how I’ve been able to combat them. I also make sure that they understand the power of asking for help from your support network and also your higher power.

I believe in God and I believe in the sacrifice he made for my sins. When I came to understand this, I