Spoilt children get everything they want and therefore expect that for the rest of their life everything will go their way. Of course, they don’t get what they want all the time and so they become irritable grown-ups – Radhanath Swami.
Once a happy little dog entered the House of 1000 Mirrors. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging fast. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast. He smiled, and was answered with 1000 smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I’ll visit it often.” Another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, also decided to visit the house to cheer himself up. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see them all growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, I will never come here again.”
After a busy day’s work, with all the physical exhaustion and mental stress, we return back to our homes. How welcome home feels depends on the mood in which we enter it. If we enter disgruntled and irritable, the spouse will catch our mood at least to some extent and home will no longer offer the rest and peace we are looking for. If this happens regularly enough, the thought of home will repel both husband and wife. What a sorry state of affairs would that be! On the other hand, despite the day-long toil, if we enter the house consciously garnering all our jolliness, how admiring would the spouse be? In today’s world, both husband and wife know that the other has busy work schedules. Knowing this well, if even one of the spouses proactively tries to garner the extra strength to be especially nice, what a profound influence would that be on the relationship.
Radhanath Swami explains that a devotee of God is never disheartened by the environment. The temporary environment around us is always changing. Sometimes everything is very favorable at work and home, and sometimes it’s not. We can translate whatever happens in our life into a positive opportunity to make steady spiritual advancement and come closer to God. Whoever we are, things will not always go our way. A true devotee is one who doesn’t complain even when put in the most trying circumstances. Instead, the true devotee moves forward with a grateful heart irrespective of the circumstances.
If we expect that our spouse will tolerate whatever tantrums we throw, then we will suffer. Instead, if we learn to be grateful in all situations, the unwelcome situations in the world would not disturb us too much. We will thus be able to remain joyful. And this joy will nourish the relationship between husband and wife.