Changing Perspectives

Blessings come in all forms.  There is a misapprehension that things have to feel good to be good.   Think about it: eating ice cream, watching TV and lying in bed feel good but they aren’t the things that make an extraordinary life.  Life is for stretching one’s self beyond previous capabilities.  Life is a wondrous adventure. I learned this lesson the hard way.  But I embrace every aspect of the lesson.
I was able to expand myself by enduring a one person work camp.  It was the most isolating experience that one could imagine.  But at the same time it was a drastic way to change perspective.  I was made to work from before sunrise until after sunset, while only allowed a bowl of rice a day.  I thought of prisoners of concentration camps and I actually envied them for not being alone in their plight.
My only possessions were an empty water bottle and two pillow cases that were used for different purposes.  One Pillow case was used to carry all my tools into the woods each day.  The other pillow case was rolled up into the shape of a pet dog.  I needed to have something to love, even if it was inanimate.
The way one’s life is changed by such a situation depends on the individual.  When I escaped, those who knew of my plight wanted me to be angry at my captor.  They wanted me to want him punished.  But the simple fact is that he thought in his heart of hearts that he was reverently serving God by destroying me.  He was blatantly delusional but his devotion to God motivated him.
I lived through an awesome analogy of what happens when one person’s beliefs prevail over another’s.  He could not see my loving heart or my purpose for existing.  He only saw me through eyes that saw evil everywhere. The only way he could quench his own fear was by destroying me in the name of God.
The only time he comes to mind is when I see one religious or political party think they are right at the expense of another.  It brings a twinge in my body because I see my captor’s mentality in their stance.  I wish that all people could absorb my experience so they could realize that when they come from a view of being absolutely right, they instantly show a flaw in their belief.  There is no win.
The truth of the matter is that there is room for all points of view.  It goes without saying that even though my existence bothered my captor, I have the right to exist.  It all comes down to Love vs. fear.  Love is never about destroying the differences that are feared.  A point worth mentioning is that I believe my captor feared me more than I feared him.  In my loneliest moments, I was and still am, sustained by love.
I write more about my experiences and insights from this experience in my book Scallions Are Free, which can be purchased on this site.