Prisoner Release Program

I wish I had never developed this thing

Now it’s grown so big

It is difficult to get rid of

I wish when it first entered my heart

At the very start

I had the wisdom back then to drop it

I’ve been feeding it now

For twenty-five years

It’s heavy

It’s big

And it doesn’t want to leave

I’ve sent it notice

It’s time is up

But it laughs in my face

“You need me”

But I don’t

What I want is the space

It’s valuable real estate

I could fill it with more pleasurable things to ponder

Like awe

And humour

And wonder

I’m shrinking it back day by day

This morning I can see the floor again

Pull the curtains back

It’s a fading black patch

I want to paint over it


I’ll be able to renovate this room

I just need it to move

I’m developing the muscles by lifting

But resentment

When it becomes a tenant

Takes a hell of a lot of shifting

*I tell myself, when the grievance occurs – drop it – straight away. Don’t carry the pain, the hurt of the love you expected which wasn’t returned. Don’t let it develop into a coal that you carry and think is handy to warm yourself on.

Resentment is an ink spot that you can never get out. You have to fold up that good shirt and toss it on the bin, or else walk around with a big black mark on your pocket.

It’s the most difficult thing to do, to carry a grudge, and the longer we do it, the more it becomes part of us.

We think it somehow feeds us

But like a cancer, it has formed a tumour down there unseen, eating

Without my phone in my room or any other tool, I have begun (on the advice of Neil Pasricha) to follow a two-minute practice. I have a small book beside my bed for this purpose. He calls it the two-minute thing. Every morning, once I have my coffee, I write one thing I wish to let go of, one thing I want to focus on, and one thing I am grateful for, and I reinforce my ikigai (life purpose)

What has quickly become apparent is that I enjoy writing down that old regret or resentment. So much so that I do the same practice before I go to bed at night. Hey, I’m a high achiever.

It’s humbling how many large and petty grievances I carry around. And when I look in there and ask “Who is leaving today?” I watch them happily skip away….

I feel so much better.

Resentment is as old as time. It’s mentioned many times in the Bible – the oldest book I have ever read. The warnings against it are myriad for an excellent reason. But it’s difficult to tackle old grievances. It’s best to begin on the lesser ones and then build up. I, of course, am starting on death row and working my way backwards through the prison.

The thing I have realised with grievances is if I let them go immediately when they are young and small and don’t take up much space, it is easy. But for the old inmates, especially the ones I gave life to when I didn’t know any better, they are really hard to shift. I’m trying; I don’t want my mind to house a prison. That means I have to work there and walk along feeding everyone, keeping them in line. So much easier to open the cells and turn them into something more pleasurable to have inside me. Unfortunately, what we choose to do can sometimes end up choosing us. So it’s a process.

4 thoughts on “Prisoner Release Program

Leave a Reply