Kumud and Saloni were sisters and although they had settled in different cities, they used to chat regularly and would also meet up once in a while.
Both their husbands were managers in their respective firms and both were pure workaholics.
Kumud had a 8 year old daughter, while Saloni had a 6 year old son. Both of them were working part time; Kumud in a salon, and Saloni was a dance teacher.
Over the last couple of years, Saloni had noticed a drastic change in Kumud; from an always complaining, crying woman to a cheerful and bubbly person. She would always be happy. Whereas Saloni would always keep complaining about the missed date nights with her husband, Kumud had become totally the opposite. Saloni had been wanting to ask her sister whether the ‘happiness’ was just a mask under which something sinister was happening or was she genuinely happy.
Not able to withhold her curiosity any longer, she finally went to meet Kumud. Kumud was in fact surprised seeing her sister out of the blue. “What do I owe your gracious presence for, your Highness Saloni?” She joked.
Saloni said with pleading eyes,”Sis, please tell me the secret of your happiness, honestly?”
Kumud arched her eyebrows and with a smirk replied,”Oh my God, seriously? You came all the way here to ask me this? You could have simply called.”
“No, then how would I come to know whether you are lying or speaking the truth. You know I’m a pro in reading body language.”
Kumud then made her sister sit down, offered her tea and said, ” The secret of my happiness is that I have started loving myself.”
Saloni had a question mark in her eyes.
Kumud continued,”You remember how unhappy I was in the initial years of my marriage. I did not have any problem with my husband as such, but I somehow felt that he was not paying attention to my needs. He was a workaholic at that time and he still is. But I was totally dependent on him to make me happy. So I was always dissatisfied. I always wanted more and more. Then, when our daughter was born, our priorities changed completely. Again, I felt as if I was being left out. I would always be sad and complaining. You have bore the brunt of it, I hope you remember Saloni.”
Saloni said, “Yes sis, I remember your late night calls, bawling your way for hours together. So, what happened then? How did you start loving yourself?”
Kumud replied, “It’s very easy actually. If you love yourself, you are not dependent on anyone to make you happy. You make yourself happy. The day I realised this, my life has changed completely. Initially, I would totally rely on my husband; like he will take me out to a restaurant or movie or a picnic. But when he wouldn’t, I would feel devastated. So, what I do now, is I don’t rely on him. If I want to watch a movie, I ask him. If he says no, I go alone. Or take my daughter or any friend or whoever is free and wants to come. Similarly, if I want to try a new cuisine in a new restaurant and husband is not free, I go alone. Basically, I do all those things that make me happy. I go to the beach, I go for long drives. This doesn’t mean that I don’t love him or he doesn’t love me, he too joins me whenever possible. And the best thing is, he doesn’t stop me from doing these things that I love. He knows that he can’t be there with me always and he is at the peak of his career now and he is very content with the way everything is going. And one more thing Saloni, why do you want to take the obligation of your husband or anyone else for that matter to make you happy?”
“You are so right sis. It’s high time that I take charge of my own life.” Saloni said.
Kumud replied, “You are already doing what you love to; dance and teaching others too.. So now, learn to love yourself and be happy always!”
Never give the responsibility of your happiness to others. Love yourself and be happy.
This is true for both; men and women and for all ages too.
Author’s note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.