July 19, 2016

Article is by anonymous blogger: Felo Scripter

My sentencing date is over 3 months away. Today I am a free man. I can get in my car and go to the park with my dogs and sit there and read a book if I want. The concept of doing what I want when I want to do it is something I used to take for granted. I’m sure most people in this country do. I don’t take it for granted anymore.

Even though I am restricted by invisible federal lines while I wait for my sentence to be handed down, the freedom I enjoy while I wait is important to me. After I self surrender it may be a long time before I am able to enjoy this level of freedom again.

The length of sentence I will receive is uncertain. But I have been living in the unknown for quite some time now. The range is huge and the fact that I don’t have any idea yet what I am facing is the worst feeling I have ever known. And yet, here I sit able to enjoy the freedom I have today. It’s an odd existence for sure, living with the awareness of a clock slowly ticking down to zero.

The fact is none of us know what the future holds for us. We are all living on a clock that is ticking down to zero. But many of us live as if tomorrow is a certainty. The sun will appear in the east and we will be there to see it. We know we won’t live forever but this concept remains buried deep in our conscious. Only reminded of it when someone close to us dies. It is during these moments that we are reminded of that ticking clock. Then we grieve and talk about the preciousness of life and family and TIME.

Some months ago I was at my therapist ‘s office. I was in a miserable state. I couldn’t sleep and I was constantly in a state of heightened anxiety about potentially having to go away to prison. I was depressed and negative about everything. Not the kind of person that is fun to be around. It was putting a strain on an already tenuous situation with my wife.

He asked me “What are you afraid of the most?”. My reply was quick and simple “ Being separated from my wife, leaving her alone and becoming disconnected from her emotionally”. He pointed out to me that by living in this state of fear about the future, I was creating the very situation that I was scared of. My fear of being separated from my wife and losing connection with her was causing me to emotionally abandon her and lose connection with her. I was creating the very thing I feared the most.

Next he said to me “You know, you may never go to prison”. “What do you mean?” I said. I was confused and thought he didn’t understand my situation. I had plead guilty in federal court to crimes that don’t allow me to get probation. I was going to federal prison. “Do you have a crystal ball” he said. “Can you predict the future?”. I was getting angry . I started to blurt out something but he held up his hand and stopped me.

“You could die first. You could live the next few months disconnected from your wife, worrying about a future that never happens and then die. You will have spent all the remaining time you have in misery instead of spending your time being present and loving with your wife. It could be ALL THE TIME YOU HAVE LEFT”.

The room became silent. His words had knocked everything else out of my head. I was stunned by the power and swiftness of it. The clarity and truth was undeniable. It simply just was. It jolted me out my pain state and right in to the moment. For a second I saw myself from above sitting there and then I was staring back at him.

Suddenly I laughed. I felt lighter and free for a second. The thought that I might die had cheered me up! A real epiphany had occurred right there and then. I am on a clock that I can’t see. I have no idea what will happen in the future or when my time will run out. I only have control over myself in the present moment. Worrying about the future I can’t control and may never see is a waste of energy and takes me far away from now.

After that session with Bob things began to change for me. I really began to focus on being present and that helps me be able to enjoy where I am now. Home with my wife and free to enjoy my life. I am a very lucky man.

Regards,

Felo Scriptor (Latin for Felon Writer)

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Justin Paperny is the cofounder of White Collar Advice (@whitecollaradviceofficial), a Calabasas company that well-heeled convicts facing prison hire to help them deal with the experience. His past clients reportedly include Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff. “Let Us Take The Confusion and Headache Out Of Preparing For Sentencing, Prison and Probation,” the company’s website cheerily states. Paperny, whose fees can run into the six figures, says he’s already been hired by one person caught up in the college admissions scandal and been contacted by a half dozen others. Visit the link in bio for more information and advice (or maybe this only applies to Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman). ⠀⠀

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