After 13 Years of Living Hell. . . Forgiveness

891 ABC News, Adelaide, Australia – Imagine being locked in prison, being beaten daily and suffering in inhumane conditions in a cell with 49 other people. Imagine coming out of this living hell after 13 years, being diagnosed with cancer but having found forgiveness, happiness, and even peace.

Reon Schutte, a former South African elite Special Forces solider, was captured in 1992 and imprisoned in the notoriously brutal Chikurubi prison in Zimbabwe. To give you an idea of how bad that prison is, in 2009 there were 1300 inmates and 700 of them died while imprisoned there! Schutte was pardoned and released in 2004, and has since shared his incredible story of survival to more than one million people around the world through speaking engagements and his book, “Set Yourself Free.”

While incarcerated, Schutte subsisted on a half cup of rice and cabbage leaves a day, endured inhumane conditions and daily beatings and learned forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance of circumstances and the ability to reprogram his mind for ultimate freedom. The key, Schutte says, is choice, “a powerful tool to which every human has access at every moment and that is our ticket to freedom, regardless of the situation. We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond.”

When Schutte shares his life journey with audiences, he holds listeners spellbound with his incredible story of survival and overcoming inconceivable odds. At the same time, he inspires his audience members to break out of the “personal prisons” they have created for themselves through fear, hate, anger, blame, lack of forgiveness, self-doubt and attachment to material possessions or status. In his book, Set Yourself Free, Schutte shares 10 Principles–lessons he learned the very hard way–and provides simple exercises to immediately put the Principles into practice.

The 10 Principles to Break Out of Your Personal Prison

  1. Forgive. Not as a favor to others or because you’re holy, but to set yourself free. As long as you hate or hold a grudge against someone, you are their prisoner. They are in control of your life and you’ve given them that power. They may be long gone, have forgotten about you, or even be dead, but if they can still make you think of them in anger, you are their prisoner. Forgive and set yourself free.
  2. Be a victor, not a victim
  3. Failure only exists when YOU choose to give up
  4. Accept Your Circumstances
  5. Choose your response
  6. Lead by Example
  7. Serve others
  8. Understand There is no “There”
  9. Don’t ask “Why”‘ but ask “What for?”
  10. The Power of Choice Resides in Each of Us

Read the full story: “The Power of Choice – Reon Schutte”

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