Releasing From Mental Prisons (Part 1)

by Patrick Liew on September 29, 2011

Have you been strongly condemned before? I’m sure you have.

Many people carry these condemnations – whether from external sources or within themselves – as baggages throughout their lives. It weighs them down and prevent them from soaring in life.

In 1973, one of my teachers, in a fit of anger, told a group of us in front of the class,

“If you ever pass your exams, I will give up teaching!”

To be fair to her, I have myself to blame.

This incident happened during a Chemistry lesson.

I was not keen to find out that if you mixed sodium hydroxide, NaOH, with Copper Nitrate, Cu(No₃)₂, you will get Sodium Nitrate, NaNO₃, a colourless liquid and Copper Hydroxide, Cu(OH)₂, a blue precipitate.

I could not see how this can help me in the real world – neither did the teacher try to explain to me.

Instead, I was having a distilled water (Hâ‚‚O) battle with my friends. We were trying to cleanse each other with pure water.  🙂

We were mixing strange-looking liquid and powder with different materials to see if we can invent a world-changing chemical.

If our teacher had not unfortunately limited the possibilities of my mind, I might have uncovered the genome code or discover the cure for cancer.  🙂

On the other hand, I might have invented permanent paint for graffiti purposes. Or to help ‘Ah Longs’ (illegal loan-sharks) decorate doors and walls for their clients.  🙂

I digressed.

When my teacher pronounced the judgement – or condemnation – on me, I should have been severely hurt. Fortunately, we were having too much fun for the toxic words to sink into my heart.

When I reflected on this and similar experiences, I realized I have been affected by many other negative experiences.

I have allowed them to weaken my spirit and imprison my mind, preventing me from rising up to my highest potential.

There are essentially five ways that I have imprisoned myself. I will use the above experience to illustrate my point.

1.       Situational Prison

I could have cursed the fact that I chose that school and as a result, was taught by the teacher who condemned me.

I could have allowed my chemistry class to condemn me to a life of failure.

2.       Relational Prison

During my school days, I believe we have more respect for teachers than now. Many of us believed that our teachers know better than us and they were generally right.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Therefore, Therefore, when the teacher made a judgment about me, it could have been taken as the truth.

I might have believed that I would never make it through the examination and eventually, through the various tests in my life.

3.       Experiential Prison

When the teacher condemned me, it could have set forth a cascading effect. My heart could have been dampened and my mind, locked in negative thoughts.

My body could have responded to the condemnation. I would have believed in the judgment and my body could have been weakened.

4.       Emotional Prison

What could have been more destructive was when negative emotions started to grow and take roots in my heart.

These emotions could have eaten away into my system. They include inferiority complex, fear, guilt, and passiveness.

5.       Spiritual Prison

I believe our Creator wants the best for me. I also believe the devil wants to bring out the worst from me and lead me down the slippery slope to destruction.

It is strange but true that many people have lived in their self-inflicted prisons. They have become so used to it that it has become a part of their comfort zone.

They have lost the desire to free themselves. There is a lack of proactive initiatives to break out of the imprisonment.

Over time, they have found meaning and significance in their bondage.

Eg. “I am condemned to live through the pain because of my past.”

“I suffer so that I can develop tolerance and resilience.”

They may even like the attention that were given to them. Their friends may even encourage them to accept their fate in life.

Eg. “You’ve chosen to join the company. You have to live with your decision.”

Our Creator has given to me a powerful gift in life – choice.

I can choose to walk the same path, knowing where it will lead me to.

On the other hand, I can decide to take a new and better path.

I can free myself from the mental prisons and walk out a free man – right now.

The choice is entirely up to me.

The words from my teacher woke me up.

I decided to study hard and pass the examination and I did – in case you need to know – with reasonably good results.

I’m not too sure if she is still a teacher but this and other experiences have become learning avenues for me. They have helped me to overcome many other ‘examinations’ in my life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Transformation blog at

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we make the right choices for our future?


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