“Just Tell Yourself” by Christopher S., incarcerated student

Let go of the wanting.
Find the joy.
Live for the moment.
Be where you are.

Can you control it?
Don’t deny pain.
Let it come.

Face it.
Feel it.

Let it come and go
like the river,
like the flowers,
like the rain,
like sparrows in a field.

Don’t worry about it.
Why worry?
Paint a smile.

Just tell yourself this.

Try again.
Nothing to it but to do it.

– by Christopher S.

My poem “Just Tell Yourself” contains the mantras I use to get through the pain of my past. I’ve made a lot of mistakes during my life which has led me to recovery and Buddhism. I’ve also been gifted with two amazing little girls. These mantras allow me to focus on the present so that my future is possible.

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