What I Learnt About Happiness From My Mother After She Lost The Love Of Her Life

Akanksha Rathaur Akanksha Rathaur in Let's Face It on 5 June, 2017

My father was whom people would call, a "success" but while they meant professionally, he evaluated his success in other terms. His pride lay in the fact that he was very content with life. He was a happy man with a happy family comprising of a loving wife and a lovely daughter- he knew he had it all.

He used to write letters to my mother stating that if god granted one wish only, he wouldn’t know what to ask for, for he had it all. And if he were to die today, he would happily give in with nothing but content in his heart.

Even after losing her husband at a very young age, my mother didn’t give up on her strength and vigour. She always said that the love and the bond she shared with my father was enough to last her a lifetime. Being a doctor and a highly successful professional, she was more than often submerged neck-deep in work and hence never let her emotions or her pain place themselves above her work. Come to think of it, it might have also served as a defence mechanism and shield to cope up with the loss.

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She kept on climbing the professional ladder, but the hollow pit in her heart never got filled. Despite being immensely successful, her smile lacked the shine that father used to bring in her. Despite being such a spectacular business woman, she still emphasised more on life lessons than money lessons.

For she valued family above and beyond anything else and knew through experience that it is not money or materialism that makes one happy, but love.

Many years later when I stood at a point where life branched into a forked path, I chose family over a career. I chose to marry an Army Officer because that is what I wanted. I chose to be available for my mother at her every beck and call because she deserved it. I chose to spend time with my ageing grandparents because in that lay my happiness.

What I didn’t choose was pleasing the society, and that is till today, my biggest achievement. So you can term me as a self defined- happy person. Life is not about proving yourself to others, you are not successful if you earn well or if you are educated. You are successful when you attain “contentment” (the new nirvana).
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And that is I imbibe- to be happy. In the race against time, we often end up losing precious moments of life and forget to enjoy the little pleasures.

It is okay to not want to do what the society often expects you to do, and it is more than okay even if you aren’t swimming with the tide, controlled by the society. Just be sure of your decisions and stand by your choices. Because if you doubt yourself, the society won’t be far behind and will soon overtake you.

Don’t worry about people liking you or despising you for a wise man once said, “you can be the juiciest, peachiest peach in the world and there still will be people who hate peaches. But the day you die, everyone will praise you. So don’t stop living just to get people to like you, because that is exactly what they want - to see you unhappier than they are."

Nobody has the perfect life, we all have our own issues and battling their own demons. Some people have bigger issues than others, but we are all fighting our own battles. Pick your battles, it is not necessary for you to fight all the battles that life throws at you. Be a “happy person”.