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Raymond Gonzales BG6497

Lessons Learned

What I have learned in my life, is to keep moving forward.

With my life I have had to let the past go. With my hope and my strong faith, it keeps me going! I just don’t give up. With the positive changes in my life, all my goals, I have done all my ARC classes, and all alone in my cell because of COVID-19, now I’m going to level 3 yard. So, I’m doing good, no trouble. No fights. And it feels good. To do good. I see in my future moving toward a new goal, make it to level 2 yard. Next. And get in every class I can get in, to keep me learning more in my life for myself help. I also want it so I can do the work of change. In my life, you have to want it to do it. If you want to change!

I am religious. I have gave my life to Jesus. I need it for a new life. I could not live my old lifestyle no more. It have got me nowhere but trouble. I had let all my gang lifestyle go and drugs too. I have been clean from 6/2014 to now 7/2021. And it feels good, I can be myself. I am in a good mind of thinking to do what is good in life.

I have put myself in school. I did not like school before it was hard for me when I was a kid. It was hard to learn, but today I love to learn. I am a willing to do the work even in self-help. A.V.P. I also do church of the classes. I pray every day in the morning I read the Bible every day I also study the Bible. I asked God to keep me changing and doing what he wants me. To do not in my on understanding.

Well here goes some insight. I open up now days to be a help to others, like I have said, that was a "no no". My old lifestyle you don’t talk about your lifestyle. The gangs life. But that’s not true, so a lot of hurt and pain came from when I was a kid. I have been sexually abused and hit a lot too. That had put me through a lot in my life. I had not let no one get over me again. I had become a gang member and hid deep in drugs for my pain.

I had good things in my life also, mom/dad has been there for me too, but I wanted my gang life more. It became a habit and my belief that was my lifestyle. A cycle that was hard to change, addicted behavior committing crimes.So having that pain in my life and not forgiving others, that hurt me. I would take it out on other people that got mad or were trying to get over me.

I have learned that it was me that had to change. It’s no one‘s fault for me doing bad it was my fault. I have a choice in life to make the crime of choice is not my lifestyle no more. I have become a heart of change. In my life of love, and care to help others to get understanding in life. That we can change our life. There is hope if you want it, but you got to want it and do the work to change.

When I came to a day and said "I need to change my life, I can’t be putting all my family through pain and hurt" before I came to jail for life. It’s not all about myself, it's about the one I hurt too, it’s not right. I had to stop it. It was all so hurtful to me without me seeing it. One day I see I make a change in my life because we don’t have to fight. Once someone gets you mad I have learned to talk it out and make peace. I am a peacemaker.

So, I have learned what was getting me in trouble was me and where my anger came from . So, I learn to fix it with hope, faith, peace, love, forgiveness, and let the past go!

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know so I said do you all God bless

Your man of God,

Raymond Gonzalez

Why do you want to participate in The Amends Project?

How important is it to share your truth and experiences?

Well, I can say I have learned a lot by doing this; sharing and opening up. Because it was hard for me, to open up at the things I have been through in life, I have been hurt bad. And it was hope for me to forgive them because they hurt me! So, by me doing this ARC class I learned to open up, I have learned to share. It began to give me some deep healing inside that I needed. I have learned to forgive myself and others and learn what I need to change in life. I’ve got to see how I was and all the things bad I was doing. It was wrong, all my beliefs before. You would think that as a former gang member you don’t open up and don’t share about your life and that’s not true. That bad lifestyle has messed up my mind. By me changing my life, it has cleaned my mind out. My beliefs are today, as a peacemaker and a humble man. I have learned all this by going to and participating and sharing. Reading the work, then doing it. The more I have done it, the more I have learned. It helps me out a lot when I first started doing this. This was hard. I know some of the words and understand what they mean like inside and downfall. I have learned self control of a process lifestyle with spiritual principles in my life. I go to the share what we learned so others can learn, also we can be a help for others. We can learn off each other as a team. I have learned a lot of responsibility with good understanding in my life. I know what I do want in my life. I have learned that it’s not too late to change our life. There’s hope and help for us. I have also learned what are triggers and what gets me mad and how to control my anger with good behavior. I have a kind caring and forging heart, that did not come easy before. I have learned that it helps me out a lot and this is some good things I learned from ARC class. I have never seen this kind of class before. Doing the ARC class has been a big help. I love to do this and know good understanding can make a big change in life. Because it made a big change in my life. All I have done in my life was fight, when someone got me mad or done me wrong. Today, I don’t do that. There are ways to make peace and talk to someone with good understanding. This is what I have learned from this. I do thank ARC for this. They are a big part of my change, so that’s why I say it’s good to do so. I even look at the TV, there are some ARC tv too. I hear them out all the time. I would look at them on TV. It helped to get the whole understanding more to every little thing. I can keep my mind on good things. You’ll get somewhere in life. All my life I have got nowhere, going bad. But today, I’m getting somewhere, even my family are close to me now. Thank you ARC!

from Raymond Gonzalez BG6497

P.S. I am a willing man, ready to do the work and make to change in my life because I do care what I do in my life; I am willing to learn.

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