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First hand stories

When the desire for revenge gives way to the forgiveness

One of the most difficult steps we take in life is to forgive, to get rid of the feeling of anger and the desire for retribution, when someone has hurt us, wronged us or offended…What is the reason? It is not easy because first of all we need to swallow our pride. Along with that, forgiveness is a sign of weakness. However, the truth is different. In order to forgive you need to outgrow yourself, your own mistakes and weaknesses. Forgiveness depends on the personal choice about what are we going to give room in our hearts for – to the love or to the hatred, which eats us up from the inside.

Strength to free himself from the embitterment and desire for revenge, found within Spas Vasilev. The 31 yo man is in prison since 2014. He is serving a 2 year sentence for possession of drugs. He claims that they were slipped to him. He admits making plans to get revenge.

“For more than a year I meet up with people from the Mission Salvation Foundation team. The course in leadership helps me a lot to start thinking about life and to realizing how much hatred I have kept hidden within me against certain people. I don’t anymore feel malice toward anybody. I used to think that after going out I would repay to this and that person. However, everything evaporated and now I am dreaming how I am going to get out of here and just like the normal people I will head into the good way and build up a better future.”

Spas also have been one of the “normal people”, as he calls them. He graduated the high school for mechanics in Sofia and then finished all the semesters at the Danish college for management, trade and marketing. “I used to have a serious job. I was the head of the warehouse at a company”, tells the young man. And so he goes until he got astray from the right path.

“Everything is due to the environment I got into. That’s where my mistake came from – he recalls. – Otherwise, since very young I was involved in sports. I was in swimming, football, and athletics. At 8 I’ve started training karate and later kick box. For 8 years I’ve been a karate instructor and had children’s groups, as well as older ones. However, at a certain point in time I got together with people who use drugs and doing different criminal activities like thefts, burglaries, etc. I started doing it with them.”

Recently Spas is attending the class for management of personal finances conducted in the frame work of the project “The way of the new beginning”. He is quite explicit that the knowledge will benefit him later when he get released from prison.

“I’ve got some idea how to handle the money, however in the last few years I got in debt, credits from banks and credit institutions – Spas explains. – At a moment it all crumbled down. Earlier even if I had credits from a bank I was paying it back regularly. But along with the new company of people I quit practicing, job, took new loans, and stopped paying the old ones and it all piled up. Everything crashed and I ended up in prison.”

The dreams of the young man relate to the new life he wants to build when he gets out of prison. However, he claims to feel free even while in prison:

“If a person doesn’t know how to organize his time in here, he literally demotes and gets dumb. Ivodor makes us learn all the time, and read the books he brings in. He encourages us to develop, to grow in personality. This helps you forget that you are in prison. You start dreaming for the moment you will step out and will have the chance to start all over again. My dreams are related to start work and have a family. The normal things, which every normal man dreams about.”