Posted byMeditation USAon June 19, 2020
Jaesook Cho / Post Office Service
I was the youngest child in a family of 4 brothers and 4 sisters. Somehow, I always found myself alone. My father died when I was seven. My mother doted on all of us, making sure we were cared for in every way. She worked every night to provide for us, all the while swallowing her tears over my deceased father. I watched closely and constantly as she suffered and because of this, my childhood was filled with tears and sadness. Even though I had many siblings and my mother, I felt like there was nobody in my family with whom I could truly share my feelings.
I wanted to live happily. I thought marriage was the answer
When I got older, I was proposed to by a young man who happened to be the oldest child out of 7 siblings. I remember my older brother telling me that it wouldn’t be easy to be the wife of the oldest son in the family. He said that my in-laws would always be tough on me because they wanted the best for their number one son! But I liked the idea because my future husband’s parents were young. I thought I would receive a lot of love from them. Love that I didn’t get from my parents. Also, he had lots of brothers and sisters and I knew how to get along in that kind of family situation. I thought it would be a good match.
Once we were married, I did my best to get along with my husband’s parents, but just as my older brother had predicted, my new mother-in-law didn’t think I was a good enough wife.
My father-in-law had always been the patriarch and provider for our family. My husband and I were in our 20th year of marriage when his father passed away. I took care of my mother-in-law at that time and she was physically weak and struggling with the empty space in her life now that her husband was gone. My husband and I brought her into our home to care for her but she was not happy with either one of us.
One day she said, “when I was sixteen years old, I married a poor man, gave birth to 7 children, raised and taught them through many hardships, but in the end, only you seem to be living comfortably.” She continued, “after meeting my son, what are you worried about? You are in the throes of luxury.” She was angry day and night all the while lamenting that the life she had lived was unfair.
When I collapsed from a stroke, my brother-in-law recommends this meditation
At first it was sad, but soon the situation turned from sadness to pain. My situation was getting desperate. On top of all this stress with my mother-in-law, my children were in college. We needed to pay for tuition, room and board and books. At one point, my son told me that he was not getting enough to eat because we couldn’t give him enough pocket money. My husband tried to start a small business to subsidize our financial needs, but it didn’t work and the business failed.
This only made my mother-in-law angrier. She blamed me for everything. She would say that the household wasn’t running smoothly because of me. My husband also began blaming me because his new business failed. My life was a war. I began to hate my mother-in-law and even started to hate my husband. Then, I broke down and realized, all these problems were my fault. I cried. I felt like dying.
I eventually had a stroke. After my recovery, my brother-in-law suggested I should try this method of meditation to relieve my stress.
The “Me” that didn’t like my Life and compared myself to others’ family situations repented
Once I started doing this meditation, I began to realize just how greedy I was. While working, I always wanted recognition. I wanted my co-workers to think I was a kind person. I never listened to my mother-in-law’s stories because I was so busy. How could she like me when I was so unfriendly to her?
I threw away and let go of all of these things while meditating. I kept throwing away my “self” who was busy comparing my life to my mother-in-law and to other mothers-in-law whenever she scolded me. From my mother-in-law’s point of view, I was a bad daughter-in-law. I thought I had obeyed her because I honored her family and obeyed her wishes after marrying her eldest son. But I soon realized that from my mother-in-law’s point of view, her son had been stolen from her. Nowadays, I ask her how she feels and I try to keep our communication better so we don’t bury our feelings.
When I look at my mother-in-law’s face, I feel sorry for the traces of her severe hardships in the world. Now, I try harder to make her comfortable. I’ve started to cook for her and to buy her clothing that she couldn’t afford in the past. Our relationship is much better now. She feels sorry and says that she knows she made life hard for me. She tells me that I’m the only one she can rely on. She too, wants to begin meditating after seeing my transition.
Now I live a true life within a world worth living
After seeing the power of this meditation, my mother-in-law now understands that my husband and I only want to sincerely help her – not because we have to, but because we truly want to. She wants to meditate too! Life is too short to live in a mind full of stress.
Before this meditation, my husband and I fought almost every day because we both had such different perspectives. We even had divorce papers prepared and would say that we didn’t want to live with each other any longer and blamed each other for our problems.
But I recommended this meditation to my husband and after just two weeks of meditating, he saw what I could see. He saw what his “self” was doing to others and that he was making his life harder than it had to be. He apologized to me and told me that he would never make my life that hard again.
Now I know that everyone around me is somebody to whom I should be grateful. I’m learning to truly live. These days, thanks to this meditation, I feel like I’m in a world worth living.