The beauty of life can often be a dark, complex, and frightening vortex in which you must fearlessly dive into to discover the beauties that exist. That is exactly what happened to Mark during his eighteen year sentence in Australia.

Although, at first, Mark struggled to maintain his sanity as he expressed feeling emotions of despair, guilt, hate, resentment, and even contemplated suicide. Furthermore, Mark said he grappled with the notion of being able to ‘see the light at the end of the tunnel.’ However, that all started to change after a fellow inmate suggested that Mark read a book called The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama.

After reading the book, Mark said he realized that “prison was all in my mind.” It was this triumphant epiphany that allowed Mark to discover the beauty of life. Mark further illustrated this moment by saying, “These first glimpse or shifts gave me the empowerment I needed to heal myself and most importantly recondition my distorted state of mind.”

Prisoners, who experience feelings of loneliness, vulnerability, and hopelessness, often find warmth and comfort in their belief in a higher power. No person should let their faith deteriorate in the midst of troubling and trying times. Mark also had this realization when he felt contentment reflecting on Jesus professing, “Be still, and know that I am.”

As Mark evolved he began to acknowledge that freedom is a state of mind. Through this discovery Mark explained that his favorite novel was The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. The title itself encompasses the maturation that Mark had endured while incarcerated. He further emphasised this evolution by saying, “The discovery of this mystery will free us from our fear of time and will release us from the sense of being imprisoned by life.”

Mark is the embodiment of empowerment and fortitude; however, he admits that he couldn’t have done it alone. He concludes by expressing gratitude to all those that served as a beacon of hope during his sentence, “And just knowing that Prisoners Abroad provides a service that will help me adjust, I’ll continue to be optimistic and positive!”

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