There is an old Tibetan story that I would like to share with you. It gives us a lot to think about.
“Once upon a time, there was a rich king who had four wives. He loved the fourth wife the most and adorned her with the richest robes and treated her to the best of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the very best. He also loved the third wife very much and was always showing her off to neighbouring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another. He also loved his second wife; she was his confidant, and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the king faced a problem, he would confide in her and she would help him get through the difficult times. The king’s first wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdoms. However, he did not love his first wife as much and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.
One day, the king fell ill and knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered,” I now have four wives, but when I die I will be left all alone. “He first started with the fourth wife whom he had endowed with the finest things, and asked if she would be willing follow him and keep him company in his death. “No way, life is too sweet “she replied and walked away, the answer cut deep into his heart. The king’s heart sank and turned cold from the very similar responses he received from the third and second wife. The king felt very devastated, just as he was leaving, a voice called out “I will go with you, I will follow you, no matter where you go.”
The king looked up and there was his first wife. She was as skinny as she was malnourished and neglected. Greatly grieved, the king said,” I should have taken better care of you when I had the chance!”
Truly, we have all the four wives in our lives;
Our fourth wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die. Our third wife are our possessions, status and wealth, when we die it all goes to others. Our second wife is our family and friends, no matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they stay is taking us up to the grave. Finally, our first wife is our soul, often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power, fame and friends. However, the soul is the true replica of who you are. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the grave.
How well do you feed your soul and guard it? Will we look back and wish we did more when we had the time? Let us think of ‘our four wives’ and prioritize them accordingly. Best wishes, Mercy Karumba. To read more stories by Mercy, click HERE
Photo credit: http://andiesadventures.com