In my life, I have rarely come across women who said they are very happy with their in-laws. Most of them had some or the other complaints about in-laws. Before my marriage, I used to think I will be different where I will not have any complaints about my in-laws. After marriage, my story is the same like all those women who felt unhappy with their in-laws.
I felt anger, hatred, resentment for my in-laws. Seeing my negative emotions,one may think my in-laws would have harassed me and that’s why I developed these negative feelings. Reality is they gave me all the freedom to be myself and never even scolded me for anything. But I developed my negative perceptions out of my own expectations and my own reasons.And ironically, I used to think I am more spiritual and a better person than them just because I did many spiritual courses and read lot of books(It took me some time to understand that true spirituality is being loving, kind, joyful, peaceful and it does not depend on the number of courses I did or number of books I read). This attitude filled with pride made my life tougher and filled me with lot of negative thoughts and emotions. Outwardly, my behavior is normal where I smiled , spoke nicely and all with my in-laws. But inwardly, my thoughts and emotions are filled with judgmental attitude and constant criticism.
This went on for 6 months and one day, I could not bear my own negativity. My negativity suffocated me and made me feel like a prisoner. I wanted to be free of negativity and fly high in bliss.Thanks to the spiritual courses I did and God’s Grace, I realized the mistake must be in me rather than in my in-laws and I felt if the mistake is in me, I can correct it. I realized I should work on 3 levels to solve this situation – 1.Emotionally 2.Mentally 3. Karmically. Forgiveness and Meditation on Twin Hearts(MTH) are two practices which can work on all these 3 levels.
After MTH, I blessed my in-laws. Initially, it was mechanical where my mind used to resist and say – “why should I bless? why should I ask forgiveness? what mistake I have done? why should I forgive them?” But I persisted with my practices inspite of inner resistance as I was suffocated with negativity. And by the time I completed 100 days of practices, my inner resistance melted and I noticed below changes in my relationship with my in-laws.
1. I liked them genuinely.
2. I felt grateful for them/
3. I could spend hours and hours of time with them and enjoyed their company(Earlier I used to feel as if I was wasting my time by being with them).
4. I did NOT feel I was more spiritual than them. Comparison did not exist. I could see their awesomeness and appreciate them wholeheartedly.
5. I happily shared my resources and my time/
6. They became my friends rather than in-laws. (A person once told me – if family can become friends and friends can become family,life will be beautiful. I totally agree with this line).
7. I accepted them as they are without expecting them to change in any way.
My in-laws were same before and after. They did not change in any way. They were good before and good after. But I changed and hence the quality of my relationship changed. This experience taught me a profound lesson that any relationship friction is due to my own negative thoughts and emotions rather than the fault with the other person. This lesson gave me freedom because if problem is in me,I can correct it. It may take time but its not impossible.
After this episode, whenever I get anger, hatred, judgement,jealousy towards other person, I do below practices till my negativity is gone
1. I acknowledge and accept my negative thoughts and emotions rather than suppressing them or feeling guilty.
2. I take ownership for my negative thoughts and emotions rather than making other person reason/owner of these negativities.
3. Forgiveness(Asking and seeking).
4. Blessing the other person.
5. Inner reflection.
Thanks to these 5 practices, all my relationships are peaceful and I feel grateful to every person in my life.Yes, negative thoughts and emotions keep coming now and then but they are like temporary clouds which cannot hide sunlight forever. I know that as long as I am practicing Guru’s teachings, I can fly high in bliss and if I can practice even simplest of the simplest teachings given by Guru, I can lead a life filled with peace.
If I had not known and practiced forgiveness and MTH, I would have been filled with negativity for my in-laws life long and carried this to next life time and I don’t know how many life times it would take to transform this relationship. Thanks to Guru’s teachings, a relationship which would have taken lifetimes to transform is transformed in just 100 days. Its a miracle to me. I cannot praise Guru enough for his priceless teachings(which are very simple) and compassion. I can only recite Guru Gita out of my love for Guru and shed tears of gratitude for being blessed with a Guru like Guru (Guru Gita is a beautiful conversation between Lord Siva and Maa Parvati where Lord Siva talks about Guru. English Translation can be read at http://www.yogalifesociety.com/GuruGita.html)
Sarve jana sukhino bhavantu!