Title of Story: THE CHANGE FROM WITHIN
Written by: Jerome T. Covington
For years I viewed change as an exterior motivation for everything around me to be different. Having a big house, a nice car and fancy clothes were what I thought would change my circumstances. I looked at change as simply doing or saying something different from what is normally said or done. However, I have come to realize that by noticing a change within me; modifying routines, altering appearances, and going from one extreme of life to the other will not change a person. The heart of a person has to change in order for the transformation of one’s self to occur.
I can not complain about how I grew up. My family and I always had plenty of food to eat; good clothes to wear; a bed to sleep on, and a house to live in. My mother worked in the financial industry for the first 15 years of my life then decided to become a housewife. My father joined the military before I was born and he is also a minister. They have been married now for 29 years. He retired from the United States Navy in 1993 after serving 22 years. So one would think how does a young man who grew up in church and comes from a two-parent household, end up going down the wrong path of life. Well, when poor decisions are made, it causes a domino effect of unpleasant events and in spite of the distasteful consequences I continued to suffer, it took me 23 years to see that I genuinely needed to make some changes in my life.
Because my father was a Navy man, my parents and I had to move from place to place. For almost 14 years I never lived in one place for more than 2-3 years at a time. Because my parents and I moved from place to place, I felt like I had to force my way into being cool with all the other young people. Unfortunately, the children I always tried to imitate were always doing wrong. The funny part is, while I was trying to be so much like them, they were always making fun of me. At the age of 16, I started smoking marijuana, cigarettes, and drinking alcohol. So for the next seven years, I partied until the sun came up and became very promiscuous. When year seven came around at the age of 23, I had an experience I will never forget.
One night I was lying in bed when suddenly a dark shadow like overcast covered the walls of my room. Then next to my bed a figure of a person was tucking my sheets in. This person kept tucking my sheets in so tight until I could not move. About two minutes later everything in my room went back to normal and I was able to move again. I was scared and my heart was racing, but I could not call anyone until the next day. Finally, I was able to contact a good friend of mine and she told me that the experience I had was a spiritual message and that God was telling me that if I did not stop being so promiscuous that I would destroy myself. Instantly at that moment, I decided that abstaining from sex until marriage was not a bad idea. Not long after that, I lost my desire to smoke and drink alcohol.
Life is a series of events that happen in our lives. Some we have control over, and some situations are just out of our control. However, the important detail is not that we control these events in our lives, but how we react to these situations is what we must keep at the forefront of our minds. Our reaction to whatever we go through determines the outcome of the event, and the outcome determines the change that is made from within.
Jerome T. Covington, MBA
(JSpeaks The Poet)