I was listening to one of the discourses of Isha Foundation‘s Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
In that particular video, Sadhguru talks about the inward and outward dimensions of our life, not letting outside situations control our happiness / emotions, and being joyous is the fundamental aspect of everybody’s life.
This reminded me of an incident from my childhood.
I was in 5th / 6th Grade. Our next-door neighbor’s family consisted of an elderly couple and their four sons. Eldest of them got married; daughter-in-law entered their house. She was quite friendly and connected with kids pretty well. I remember she would give me a rose grown in her garden on my way to school.
Initially, things were fine. Eventually, typical mother-in-law vs daughter-in-law friction cropped up. Verbal fights (quite loud and audible to neighbors!!) started happening. They would patch-up and function as a family post fights; but that would obviously take its toll on the people involved.
It was the daughter-in-law’s first birthday after her marriage. She was pretty excited; she had made sweets, her parents had sent her a saree as a gift. The previous night, for some reason, a fierce argument started in their house. Neighbors (my parents included) had to intervene to stop the fight!
Next morning, their was a knock on the door. The daughter-in-law was at our doorstep, looking so beautiful in the new sari, and with sweets in her hand. We wished her ‘Happy Birthday’. She smiled and said, “I had made the sweets already; so I thought I would celebrate my birthday. These fights do happen; why should I let it affect my special day? My in-laws are enjoying the sweet I made at home :-)”. After she went back, my Mother appreciated her attitude.
She could have let the previous night’s fight ruin her birthday. But, she took it in her stride and kept her happiness intact.