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Set yourself free

Patrick Achitabwino

You can mention by your fingers, one by one, people that did hurt you in life, that were stumbling blocks in the growth of your professional career, that pronounced negatives on your dreams, that betrayed you, that took your money and never gave it back, that gave you promises never to be fulfilled but only keeping you on the peripherals of waiting. It hurts. Life should not be like that. Why were they inhuman? You ask yourself. That is the prison you find yourself in.

If you are to move forward and reach your full potential, then you need to break out of the chains of such mental prison. Your mind is barricaded in the cage of anger, regret, betrayal, revenge, loss of confidence and tattered threads of motivation. Your success is scripted on the chapter written behind the cover book of imprisonment. On that page is where freedom reigns.

A successful Zimbabwean business mogul who was framed by a poacher and convicted of a murder that never happened and spent 10 years in prison sums up what freedom is all about. Rusty Labaschagne says: “Even when we are not in prison, there are ways in which we imprison ourselves. We are prisoners of our business solutions, badly selected careers, being obsessed with ambition in the corporate world and even unhappy marriages. Freedom is not just not being in prison, freedom is the ability to make a choice and act on it. Freedom is letting go what you cannot control. Freedom is forgiveness. Freedom is being free from negativity. If you can be free in all your areas of life then you reach your full potential.”

Clinging to the walls of the imprisonment of lack of forgiveness will only hurt you more and shield your eyes from seeing a multitude of opportunities that lie within your touching distance. First and foremost, embody the spirit of gratitude. Be thankful for every little thing that you have. Stop concentrating on what you do not have; it is what you have that makes a difference. Ask people languishing in prisons – when you live in such filthy conditions, starving to death due to diseases and less nutritional food, you come to appreciate every day the sun wakes up in the east that your life is a blessing.

Be thankful for the job that you have; many others admire you for being in the position that you are in. Have gratitude for the family that you have; many others are clambering hills for divine intercession to have a family like the one you have. Cherish the education opportunities you have had; the world is awash with people that are struggling much just to attain the same education that you consider to be least valuable. Every time you breathe, consider it a blessing; people are labouring to have such a breath. You have more reasons to be happy; you are a blessing immeasurable, you just have to start looking at yourself positively.

The worst nightmares you have had, the worst disappointments you have had, have all mostly not been due to outside forces but your inability to forgive yourself, your inability to cherish the many blessings you have, your inability to see the goodness and uniqueness in you at the expense of over glorifying the goodness of others.

Leadership guru Rene Carayol gives us the way out: “Redirect grief, anger or worry into a passionate pursuit of results. Work from the heart and you will heal the spirit. Put fire into your job habits and burn off worry and anger. Spend your energy and time on finding solutions to the problems of change.”

Never expect that life will always be perfect. You will always encounter, dejection, disappointment, failure, betrayal, being unappreciated, being ridiculed, being falsely accused. Those vices will have to be met along the way. Worry not about them. When you encounter them, never backtrack, never give a damn about how bruising they have been to your life. Forgive yourself and free your mind from their pains. Only you can set yourself from the prison of the mind.

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