BY J E SOLOMON
When it comes to in-laws, it’s not every married person that’s lucky enough to have adorable in-laws. There’s a chance that a spouse may have to deal with an annoying and intrusive in-law. Such a situation can be disturbing for both spouses, especially the one who’s facing the challenge.
Stella, a 33-year-old mother of two young children found herself having to deal with a mother-in-law who was a pain in her life. She had been trying to cope with her mother-in-law’s strange behavior simply for the sake of her marriage. Her husband, Ken, was aware of the problem. He had become helpless. Sometimes he even wondered if his mother had a psychosomatic problem. In fact, Ken’s ex-girlfriend Awura Afua broke away with him after a confrontation with his mother that resulted in a fight between Afua and a third person.
Stella was known to have a big heart. She was respectful and caring - an angel of a woman. But there’s a limit to which one can endure adversity. No wonder Stella was gradually losing her patience. A close friend had been giving her the kind of advice one would get from a dare-devil street girl.
“The next time she comes around and says something nasty, find a cane and drive her out of the house. If she dares to confront you, whip the demon out of her,” her friend had suggested. Stella wouldn’t do such a thing. Sometimes, though, she had wished she could do just that.
Meanwhile, another friend of the couple who knew all that was going on, had also been advising Stella to try a simple treatment very few people would take seriously. Instead of physically using force to drive her annoying mother-in-law away from their house, Stella was to use mental energy.
Stella was advised to close her eyes and picture her mother-in-law in her mind. She was to offer prayers and send kindly thoughts toward her in-law and calmly tell her to stop visiting. She did that every day, and as many times as she could. Two months passed, then several months, and to Stella’s amazement, the frequency of the visits was declining. Eventually Ken’s mother stopped going to the house. Sadly for Stella, when her in-law openly announced she would never enter the house again, rumors started spreading. Stella was said to have secretly planted juju (fetish charm) in the house.
I personally had occasion to use this harmless application of mind force to drive an unusually troublesome elderly cousin of mine from my late father’s house. Prior to that, I had scared her out of the house with a stick one night after she drove a visiting nephew away while I was out. Surprisingly the woman had the guts to return the next day and chose to stay. “Temptation,” I said to myself. It was then that I decided to use mind power instead of brute force. In just a few months, she packed bag and baggage and moved out peacefully. That was decades ago. All of the anger and vengeful feelings within me to want to use force instead were redirected into nonviolent effort. And it paid off.
An old friend of mine said he used this mind energy approach on his former boss. He almost quit a job he loved because of his annoying boss. Together with a fellow worker who was also frustrated with the boss, they both prayed and used the mental technique every day. Few months later, the company decided to promote their boss. He was then relocated to another office out of town. The new boss turned out to be friendly and very nice to work with.
We don’t always have to use physical force to win every fight. Challenges and temptations may come no matter what. Thoughts have wings that we can learn to use sometimes. But to use thoughts in a negative, harmful way will definitely rebound with adverse results. It’s therefore, important to be discreet about the use of prayer and mind power when dealing with annoying in-laws and other notoriously mean people. It should not be a mind exercise to curse or wish evil. Never!