The Eigth Life Lesson: Wisdom about Marriage

Dear Isabella,

Although it is not necessary to get married, I do hope that you will have a good husband if you choose marriage. Choosing a good husband is a personal thing. But there are some basic criteria, like hardworking, generous, kind, honest, polite, faithful, caring and no addictions involved. Once you have found the right partner, you are about to start a new journey.

Marriage is not the happy ending of your life. Marriage is just the beginning of a new life. Whether a marriage is good or not depends on the seeds that you have planted in yourself and your relationship before. If you are a happy single before, you will more likely to have a happy marriage. If you always respect and care for your boyfriend before, this guy will be more likely to respect and care for you when you two get married. So we always have to invest our energy and love in ourselves, family, friends, and other relationships in order to have a happy marriage.

Marriage requires a lot of work. But working hard for your marriage is the fun part. The key is to give and give all the time. Love your husband like loving yourself. It is because once you only focus on your needs and expectations, you will not be able to appreciate another person and enjoy the present moment. Moreover, once your husband senses your selfishness, he will be less likely to commit and work hard for the marriage. Remember, no matter how you try to justify your expectations or thinking how right you are, desires cause suffering. No one can ever meet all of our expectations and be exactly the kind of person that we wish him to be. If you hold on to your fairytale dream about your marriage and refuse to truly understand your husband, you will definitely feel disappointed. But once we let go of our expectations and see that person as who he is, we will discover a lot of wonderful qualities in him that we have never expected. With this attitude, marriage will be filled with excitement and wonderful surprises. Trust, appreciation and generosity are the keys to a successful marriage.

Marriage is not about right or wrong. The priority of a marriage should be the quality of a relationship, not what is right or wrong. Sometimes you lose even you win a battle, if both of you got hurt deeply. When you disagree with your husband, use an open, fair, and calm attitude to express your ideas. If anger comes up, observe your anger and take some time out to calm yourself before speaking to him. Planting violence and anger in a relationship is never the wise thing to do. Disagreement can be a golden opportunity to understand each other and strengthen the bond. Do not make it like the end of the world and lose your cool. If you and your husband do fight, be forgiving and courageous to say sorry first. Saying sorry first does not mean that you are weak or giving in. Saying sorry first is for apologizing for the suffering that you have caused during the argument and tell him that you would like him to help you understand him better. By doing this, you open the door for a peaceful and genuine conversation. We cannot truly love without understanding.

For me, marriage is a great learning experience and the beginning of true love. 🙂 I wish that you will find your true love and have a heaven like marriage.



Facing the Chattering Mind


Life is itself suffering.  None of the conditions in life is permanent or controllable.  We indulge ourselves in all kinds of pleasure to try to hide away from the constant chattering of the mind.  It is because this constant chattering of the mind remind us about the fragile nature of life.

Suppressing the mind will only bring us temporary peace. There will always be a moment that we have to face the reality.  However, following the crazy mind, looking into the chattering, and taking this chattering too seriously will make us crazy.  So how should we deal with suffering?  Rather than using the natural fight or flight response, we should embrace it.  We do not hate it or like it, but we observe it.

Suffering is actually our biggest teacher.  It is our true friend.  It reminds us how precious each moment of life is because it is not permanent.  It remind us to treasure our loved ones because they won’t stay forever.  It reminds us to let go because holding on to things or perceptions will make us suffer more.  When we are able to let go, true happiness and inner peace will visit us.

When we come back to ourselves and spend some time alone, listen to this chattering mind.  We can observe it and see how it changes.  If suffering shows up, we say hello to it and acknowledge it with a smile.  Then we are ready to learn some life-transforming lessons. 🙂

The Seventh Life Lesson: Do not pity yourself


Dear Baby Isabella (5 months old),

Now that the doctor said you are most likely a girl, I will call you Isabella. 🙂 As a mom, I will have a lot of hopes and dreams about you. But I can never control what kind of person you will become. You may have some qualities from mom and some from your dad. But you will never be exactly the same as we are. You may be born with your own tendencies, characters, intelligence and talents. You may have something that both mom and dad don’t have. That’s what makes parenting challenging and exciting.

No matter what qualities you have, do not pity yourself. Do not just look at things that you don’t have. Instead, make the best out of what you already have. You don’t have to be smart, beautiful or rich to be successful and happy. You just need to work hard, be responsible, be independent, compassionate and truthful. Besides, whether you are smart, beautiful, rich, etc, are just external values imposed by the society. Whether you are smart, beautiful or rich is all relative. You should never judge yourself based on how the others see you. Do not even let me and your dad determine who you are. How we see you is just a reflection of yourself, not the complete truth. You need to believe in yourself and be the best of who you are.

Self-pity is very handicapping and poisonous. When you feel sorry for yourself or let the others feel sorry for you, you will not be able to see and use your own strengths. This causes ignorance. Then you keep wanting more and more. This causes greed. You will feel that everyone in this world owes you something. This causes anger. The anger, greed and ignorance in you will eventually destroy you. And you cannot stand on your own feet and live fully.

Everyone of us is born with different abilities. But we are responsible for own happiness. A successful person is someone who can see and use these abilities to their fullest for the benefit of the society and one’s own happiness. What kind of person we have become are caused by all of the small and big decisions that we made in the past. There is nothing in this world called luck. Everything happens based on the natural cause and effect relationship. That’s why superstition comes from ignorance, the lack of understanding in this relationship.

Isabella, I wish you a successful and happy life in the future. Dad and I can’t wait to get to know you more. 🙂


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