Releasing From Mental Prisons (Part 4)

by Patrick Liew on October 3, 2011

I remember when I was young, my father onced caned me with a belt. I’m glad there were no laws to stop him then.

That day, I learned from my mistake. It was a lesson I would never forget for the rest of my life.

Later, my papa came to my little corner. He tried to show his love to me.

There were tears in his eyes. He was choking while trying to comfort me.

I could not understand his action. Today, as a father, I do.

It must have broken his heart to see his flesh and blood in pain. He cried deep in his being.

My papa has passed away.

I have no more chance to tell him, “Papa, I love you.”

I cannot buy him his favourite food… Get him a present…

Watch a movie with him… make him feel like a king… Laugh together…

When I look back on my life, there were many hurts and pains. They could have become an emotional baggage in my life and affected me.

I know many people who have allowed negative experiences to put them in bondage. They have unwittingly imprisoned themselves in their mind.

As a result, they have not been able to live up to their potential. They cannot attempt great things and live the life they were supposed to live.

Whenever I go through a painful experience, there are five key questions that I would ask myself.

1.       Is it intentional?

Taking the above experience as an example, I knew that my father caned me not because he had ill feelings for me.

He did not want something negative to come out of the experience. Certainly, he did not want to destroy me.

He could have done it in rage or at the spur of the moment.

As someone who was not educated and has never been trained as a father, he must have thought that it was the best thing to do for me.

Deep in my heart, I know he loved and cared for me. He wanted the best for me.

When I thought through these considerations, I decided to turn the negative experience into a positive one.

It became a beautiful memory of how my father broke his heart for me.

2.       Is it personal?

When someone says harsh words to me – and there are many such occasions – I will ask myself, should I take it personally? If I take it personally, will it help me achieve any positive outcomes?

For example, I have ‘friends’ who spread vicious rumors about me. It may upset me and negative emotions may start to arise.

If I allow it to take root in my heart, I may live my life with anxieties, stress, resentment, and even hatred. To continue this reaction, I know it will eventually lead me to destruction.

The best way to handle it is not to take it personally.

Even if I cannot resolve the matter, I will learn to forget it and move on to live my life with a clear conscience and in good faith. I endeavor to live with full accountability to our Creator and to the relevant people. I will live my life positively and enjoy every FUNtastic moment.

3.       Is it perpetual?

Failure is never final. Failure to respond to it is.

Just because I have gone through a negative experience does not mean that the results must be negative and it must affect me throughout my life.

It also does not mean that I cannot find purpose, meaning, and significance in it.

It does not mean that I cannot respond to it. I cannot replace the negative emotions with positive ones and learn from the experience.

I can always turn it into a positive feedback and platform for improvements. As a result, I can become a better person and live a better life.

4.       Is it universal?

I have always said half in jest that I’m the worst failure in the business world.

Many well-intentioned friends have tried to counsel me against using this label.

It’s hard to believe it but I’m thankful for my failures. The greatest failures in my life have turned out to become the greatest successes.

In my life, if I did not go down to the pits of pain, I will not attain the peaks of pleasure.

These experiences have corrected my path and direction in life. They awoke me to explore other options to pursue my dream.

I chose not to see them as negative but positive experiences.

When I did that, I saw that every experience happened for a good reason. They made me a better person.

They serve to lead me to a higher purpose and to make something useful out of my life.

They become turning points to direct me to some of the greatest achievements in my life.

There are people who go through a negative experience and they will allow it to affect every other area of their lives and everything in their lifestyle.

For example, if they fail in a marriage, they see themselves as a permanent failure in any relationship.

They will not seek out another relationship and even if they do, they will not commit themselves to make it work.

Unfortunately, they carry the resulting negative belief, emotion, and behavior in every task wherever they are and throughout their lives.

5.       Is it terminal?

This is an important question to ask myself whenever I go through a negative experience.

Even though I cannot change the fact that I have gone through the experience, it does not mean that I cannot change the way I look at it.

I do not have to see it as a negative experience. I can find lessons in it that can help me to live a better life.

It also does not mean that I cannot change my response to it.

If I fail to respond to it, it will become a permanent failure. It will become a prison in my mind.

I can choose to fight or flee from it. I can return to fight the challenge at another time, or choose to fight a different battle in my life.


Releasing myself from the prisons of my mind help me to see the potential and possibilities of freedom in life. It propels me to soar higher in 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 turn every negative experience into a positive one?


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