Owning your biography

There is a question, born out of the fire of suffering, that goes like this: “What do my experiences have to do with my destiny?” Such a question arises out of the need to make sense of our life experiences – why did this happen to me? There is opportunity and meaning in all of our life experiences, if we can but find it.

How pivotal was that moment when Nelson Mandela, while breaking endless rocks at the prison on Robben Island where he was kept for 27 years, realized that while they could imprison his body, his mind and heart were still his own? The outward circumstances of his life gave him the tools, the preparation, the practice with which he carved out of his soul the capacities he needed, so that he could become one of the greatest political leaders the world has seen. But only because he took what he had been given and made of it what he did. If he had not done so, how different would have been the fate of South Africa?

Entertain for a moment the idea that before you were born, you looked at the life in front of you yet to be lived and decided upon what experiences you would need in order to evolve. Your pre-birth intentions for yourself in that moment became the fabric of the countless experiences and influences that were given to you from birth onwards. You have been carved by your life until now, and you have learnt much, and gained many skills and capacities.

What you choose to do with what you have been given is the key to your freedom, to your transformation. If you can take back your choices by owning your feelings, your needs, your thoughts, your mental models, your world view, your beliefs, penetrating them with your consciousness and illuminating your darkness and shadow with the light of your understanding, then you can become a force of great good in the world.

“Today when I look at Robben Island, I see it as a celebration of the struggle and a symbol of the finest qualities of the human spirit, rather than as a monument to the brutal tyranny and oppression of apartheid. It is true that Robben Island was once a place of darkness, but out of that darkness has come a wonderful brightness, a light so powerful that it could not be hidden behind prison walls.” – Nelson Mandela

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