When not even torture erase the meaning of your life
She began an obliged adventure. One that no one does not dream about; a journey in which one does not pack any bags, and does not say any farewell; with no time to look back or think about all the things you are leaving behind, while driving yourself to an uncertain world.
Mariana was a young 23 years old girl, who used to believe in love and equality; Her pockets were full of dreams, and she strongly believed that Chile, which was the country where she was born, deserved something better than an oppressive dictatorship… It was the 80s when thousands of Chileans were looking for refuge, fleeing from persecution and torture under General Augusto Pinochet´s mandate.
Still today, and after 29 years, she feels emotional when she tells us about the imprisonment she suffered as a political prisoner, when she was fighting for social justice in Chile.
“I was in prison for 5 months; I was pregnant by then, a very special circumstance… I was raped many times by the members of the government security team, the secret services NCI (National Center of Investigation). I was brutally beaten and tortured with electricity. Their aim was to denigrate me as a person. “
In those moments, I talked to God a lot, though I felt really abandoned. I wanted to and I had to survive for my baby”
Once out of prison, they tried to kill her children, and that is why she made the decision to immigrate to Australia. She arrived on 14th February, with her husband and children. This country offered them safety, but also pain and big challenges to face as immigrants.
Mariana learnt that they can imprison your body, but not your mind; they can undermine your body but not your soul; and, despite everything, your faith can remain strong. She is Christian and she finds in her beliefs the strength that motivated her.
I wanted to know how her personal growth had helped her to overcome this experience, and she answered us with the innocent smile of a child:
“I believe that to overcome any experience each of us needs our time, but not a determined amount of time, because this can change depending on the person; afterwards, the personal growth can help us to understand that there is much more in ourselves to offer to others, and that your specific circumstances or negative experiences do not really define who you are; one can always create a better future starting right now. Then you know you are fulfilling your purpose in life”
Today, Mariana enjoys her grandchildren while she looks at her partner’s eyes, -as she calls him-, and feels an infinite love.
She still has a lot of dreams in her pockets, like buying her own house, travelling around the world, finishing her Masters in Theology and continuing helping others to make this world fairer.
“Towards Hope”, this is how the artist Sissy Reyes has named the photograph which has inspired Mariana’s story. A Mexican who has seen a vivid, loving and generous woman, and who describes their encounter and how she has felt inspired:
“I found Mariana looking back to the past with her eyes, thoughtful, melancholic. In her mind, she had an image of her mother waiting for her outside of the police station before they put her into prison. Mariana can’t contain her tears. ”I still cannot speak about my mother, even after so many years” And then I saw the depth of Mariana’s story: positive, joyful, beautiful, loving and always trying to transform herself.
Mariana remembers the past through the portrait, but she also perceives the present full of love, family and hope… in a prayer of hope.
In our lives, there are some moments in which we wonder, “Why are we alive?” “What is the meaning of my life?” According to which principles do I want to live? If in the end, I have to die, what is the meaning of living itself? These questions can lead us to an existential crisis, to wonder whether it is worth it to continue living, especially when we are facing critical situations.
Each of us has a purpose in life. And we discover it through what we do and what we create. The idea of discovering the meaning of life, places us in a situation of superiority to bear the difficulties even though they are very painful.
From the point of view of our personal growth, this is the origin of self-accomplishment. The sense of life cannot be made up; it should be discovered and this is the first stage of consciousness.
As Karls Jaspers said “A human being becomes what they are, due to the causes to which they adhere themself.”
¿How is your current way of living related to your real purpose in life?
Mariana, you inspire me!