Category Archives: Adolphus Redding

PRISON & WAR

It occurred to me that prisoners and soldiers share a lot of the same experiences.

Neither of us know if we will make it back alive.
We know that our experiences will change us in profound ways.

If we’re posted at one place long enough, we’re bound to lose people who are fighting for the same cause- freedom!

We worry about our families and wonder if we did enough to let them know how much they’ve meant to us.

As men, we all carry a torch in our heart for some sweet girl back home that we try to use as inspiration to make it through our tour of duty.

At times, i’m sure we question the intentions of our superiors. We pretty much are told where to go and when to be there.

No doubt that the food sucks. How the hell can a man survive on food barely fit for human consumption?

We face more than the enemy that is visible. We struggle in our minds against the panic of anxiety over an uncertain future.

Its hard to consider whether people will great us with open arms or discontent when we come home.

We face the uncertainty of whether we will be able to adjust and pick up the pieces of our lives again.

It would seem that there are many similarities between the life of a soldier at war and the prisoner. The thing that distinguishes our experiences is the uniform. I wear khaki as a sign of my punishment. Soldiers wear there uniform as a sign of their loyalty to a nation. I often wish i could trade places and restore my honor. Why should someone lose their son when i sit here as a burden to society?

Adolphus E. Redding
DOC #956796

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

Well, i just passed the 12 year mark.
Roughly, 8 more years to go.

I’m alot wiser and a much better person for what i’ve had to come through.
I’ve taken a good look at myself and realized that i needed to make a change if i wanted to have anything resembling a real life.

I’m thankful that i put that work in and now i’m actually looking at the time i have left and wondering if its enough to complete the goals that i have.
Sounds crazy huh? You’d think all i would be obsessing about was getting out.
My spirit is at peace and my perspective has been shifted in such a way that i realize how much of an opportunity i have with the time i have left.

Hopefully, the work that i’m putting in will pay off in a way that will allow me to impact the community that i return to. I will find a way to do that regardless.
I’m just happy to be me again and live a life of integrity.
It was a long road.

Adolphus E. Redding
DOC #956796

LIVING FREE

You’d hardly think that being in prison could offer any sense of the word freedom.
If you have any experience in the matter, you know that there is more than one form of prison.

Finding myself in prison for the 3rd time served as my wakeup to my prisons of the mind, spirit, and emotion.

Its simple to follow the trail with an experienced mind but as a young man trying to find my way i was doomed.

I’d made countless decisions that had affected my confidence and caused me doubt about my own efficacy in achieving my goals in life.

Having a mind filled with doubts only served to push me further and further away from the person whom i wanted to be.

Doubt led to emotional pains that i tried to medicate away with alcohol and drug use.

When my mother died i was really stuck. I couldn’t handle the rush of emotions that washed over me and drowned my senses.

My spirit suffered the effects of my emotional degradation. I became less motivated to do anything. I wasn’t capable of looking back to face the mess i’d made of my life.

Strangely, i was lucky to get locked up. I was on my way to a worse fate.
I was not at all optimistic when i came back to prison but time had a way of showing me hope.

Addressing the baggage was a moving and unforgettable experience that will allow me to handle anything else life has to throw at me.

I’ve invested in myself and that is the best feeling in the world. I’ve made a world of progress from the boy that kept finding himself trapped within himself.

I finally feel like the man that came to save that kid and let him know that he has what it takes to live.

Adolphus E. Redding
DOC #956796

CONGRATS

I’m amazed and proud of our U.S. Women’s soccer team.
I watched all their matches leading to the final.
I was denied watching the final ‘live’. The cable was out.
Cold part was- it was only my living unit that had no t.v. the day of the match.

I made it a point to watch all the highlights and plan to watch the replay of the match tonight.
All i can say is that i saw some strong, athletic, beautiful women go out and get it done.

My heart was lifted by the team performance it was one for the ages.
That goal from midfield was ridiculous.

Congrats to those ladies for representing the US.

Adolphus E. Redding
DOC #956796

NEW BEGINNINGS

When i made the decision to seek the face of God i knew i had to get right.
The shows i watched on t.v., the materials i read, how i talked, who i associated with, and my manner of speech (internally and
externally).

I didn’t go in to this thinking i would be changed overnight.
I realized i was making a commitment.
My life was literally in the balance.
I wanted to get my sense of peace back.

Going to church took on a different light for me now.
I wasn’t forced to attend and i wasn’t hearing things that i really didn’t understand.
I listened with an attentive ear and i felt the comfort of clean thoughts.

I did have to overcome the pressure of what others would think of my change of heart.
Most of the people that frequent church in prison are thought to be those who have crimes against women or children.
I knew i had to get beyond that type of thinking.
It most definitely was a reason for avoiding services in the past.

I wanted to get healed more than i cared about the opinions of others so i started attending services regularly again.
I tried to focus my vision by sitting in the front rows.
This kept me from looking at who else was there and doing an inventory of what i knew of their crimes.

In my effort to find God i knew i would have to read my bible.
I grew up, as i imagine many other homes did, as a Sunday Christian.
My family went to church on Sunday but the rest of the week the bible went untouched.
Pretty hard to get understanding of something with limited interaction.

What i gained from constant interaction with scriptures was an invaluableinsight to the rebellious man i was living as.
I also gained insight to the man i wanted to become.
The stories of the mighty men of God appealed to me.
I wanted to be someone valiant and able to lead others to the happinessi had managed to find.

Material things didn’t provide happiness.
Drug use only felt good when i was high, i always knew i had to come down.
Sex was just another form of drug use.
Nothing i tried could fill my heart with substance.

Thankfully, God allowed me another chance and i’m determined to make the most of it.
I hope that as i share the experiences of my life you will contemplate yours.
Take the time to slow down and evaluate what your purpose for living is.
If you aren’t happy with what you find, now is the time to change it.

God bless you and God keep you.

Adolphus E. Redding
DOC #956796

INTEGRITY

What does integrity mean to you? I found out that without integrity not only would other people not trust me but i wouldn’t be able to trust myself.

Integrity means being consistent in what i believe and what i do. People watch you when you don’t think they are and having integrity means never having to apologize for not living up to what you’ve advertised as ‘who you are’.

I look at my integrity as the result of the disciplined work that has went into shedding the unhealthy things from my life. God showed me through his word where i was deficient. I was given the choice whether to acknowledge what i was shown and then change.

Life is a lot easier when you aren’t hiding behind facades designed to protect your insecurities. I live a good life regardless of where i’m physically at and its because of where i am spiritually and mentally.

Integrity is a core requirement for anyone who would live a life worth any value. Whether you want that value for yourself or as a means of inspiring others there is a responsibility that comes with the image you project.

Having been found out as one who isn’t perfect and having been punished as one who broke the rules of society i gained my freedom. I became free to confess my wrongs and make alterations. The pressure was taken off.

Out there, some of you are still hiding. You haven’t been discovered for the fraudulent lives you live. Your selfishness hasn’t been exposed because you haven’t been put into the position where it would become evident yet. Your time will come though. If you don’t acknowledge that you are faking your way through life your house of cards will crash violently and suddenly one day.

Learn a lesson from a man who wore a mask for 25 years. Look hard into the mirror. Start making a difference in the lives of others because ultimately, the difference will be seen in you.

The image that you constructed to protect yourself from fear will fade and the image of God’s beautiful creation will be a source of strength to all who come into contact with you. The reflection of your integrity.

Adolphus E. Redding
DOC #956796

How I turned the corner.

I was devistated by having come back to prison for the third time. I couldn’t believe that i had put myself in such a precarious position again and that i still hadn’t figured myself out. It was like i couldn’t trust who i believed myself to be and that there was another person hidden just below the surface.

My worst nightmare was before me. All i wanted was to die but i kept hearing a voice inside me telling me to look at myself and dig deeper. What i saw was chaotic. I was still running from all my feelings from losing my mother. I had suppressed them but that only made things worse. I was a lose cannon of emotions and whenever things got too stressful for me i resorted to alcohol-cocaine abuse.

I new nothing about post traumatic stress back when all this happened to me. I was fighting blindfolded against an enemy that knew my every move.

My recovery started when i ended up being one of the guys that got sent out of state due to overcrowding in our prison system. I got sent to Minnesota. I found the desire to check into some self-help books and made the trip to the library.

I found three books that really helped me address myself on a personal level.
1) EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by DANIEL GOLEMAN,
2) THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-ESTEEM by DR, NATHANIEL BRANDEN, and 3) SELF-RELIANCE AND THE ACCOUNTABLE LIFE-TAKING RESPONSIBILITY by DR. NATHANIEL BRANDEN. These books pointed out areas of my life and patterns of behavior that i had blinded myself to. Each one served my benefit and i became inspired to live a life of integrity and climb out of the hole i’d dug.

When i got done with my “psychological boot camp”, i knew i needed a foundation to build my new life upon. I grew up in church and knew that i hadn’t put real effort into my faith. I’d been going to church my whole life and still didn’t know God.

I made the decision to earnestly search for God and have the “personal relationship” that i often heard mentioned. I had been humbled by all my failed attempts to clean my life up on my own. Now, the work was beyond what i could mentally bear. I acknowledged my need for supernatural help.

Best decision i ever made was recommitting my life to Christ. The life i live today isn’t tainted by pain, low esteem, fear, or selfishness. I’m able to walk in integrity and it has resulted in good things coming into my life to continue encouraging me.

In my next piece i will elaborate on how my life has moved in a new direction.

Adolphus E. Redding
DOC #956796