There are many inspirational stories. How people survive challenges and become stronger and better. But there are none more compelling than the story of boxer, Rubin Carter, an innocent man wrongly convicted of two murders. Carter spent 22 years in jail. While there he continually fought to survive a battle against a powerful foe, prejudice. He could not defeat this enemy, as it appeared to be infinitely stronger than he was, and it seemed determined to destroy him but he did not give up.
Carter’s survival method was to take control of his mind. Instead of giving in to rage and victim-centered thoughts, he developed his imagination and ability to focus his mind on something higher. As a result he transformed his hatred and anger into love. Carter’s story presents an interesting challenge: What does it take to survive such an ordeal? How does one develop the inner conviction, strength and mental clarity to win such a battle?
The answer his story provides is that you do have total control of your mind. Yes, you can lose your property, job, family, freedom and even your life. Yet, you are the only one who has control over your mind and emotions. A power that can destroy your body still cannot destroy your mind.
Carter took control. He learned to focus his mind and filter his self-talk. He taught himself how to look past wrongs and stay peaceful in the flurry of others hatred. He won his war. And interestingly, he was finally exonerated and released from prison. This makes me wonder if prison wasn’t his spiritual path to transformation?
We have other examples of fortitude and determination. In his book, A Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl described his experience as a prisoner in a German Concentration Camp. He stated that his captors could administer physical torture and limit his actions but they could not imprison his mind.
In his imagination, Frankl focused on being home with his wife. Surprisingly, Frankl was one of the survivors of the “death” camps. It would seem that he was victorious in a personal battle of self control.
These people present an important point. Our bodies may be limited, but our minds and imaginations can do anything. Through will and discipline, you can train your mind to perform the impossible. You can achieve greatness.
Carter and Frankl could not walk out of their respective physical confines so they conceived other possibilities. By looking for greater lessons in their circumstances, they walked out of their mental prisons. Carter turned his animosity into love; Frankl imagined his way to freedom and then assisted others to search for deeper meaning.
You have the same capabilities. You can move from the self-created prison of prejudice, anger, or limitation to comprehend and experience greater possibilities. It is a shift, a discipline, and a plan and it results in peace and personal contentment.
Jean Walters is an International Best Selling Author and Personal Growth Coach. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.... website: http://www.spiritualtransformation.com