A Marriage Arranged by Heaven
(Clearwisdom.net) My husband and I have been married for 16 years. My feelings toward him changed many times during those years. They went from deep affection to feelings of hurt, followed by complaints and fights, even to the verge of divorce.
As I look back on my marriage I realize I have gained a deeper understanding of how human sentiments are based on selfishness. No matter how moving and beautiful the expressions of affection between lovers are in letters, in the end, the kind of love that makes one give up everything for his/her beloved without expecting anything in return can only be found in novels or fictional stories.
Seventeen years ago on a spring afternoon, I was sitting in a spacious laboratory writing in my dream-like diary, "Just how big is this universe? Big or small, there must be a lord who is absolutely just and fair. I want to follow his will and act according to the laws of the universe." As I was writing, it seemed like my soul was following the lord of the universe, flying in the boundless space. After I finished this pleasant interlude, I went to pick up my mail. I did receive a letter from the outside world -- a letter written in English by a young surgeon hoping to become friends.
At the time I did not know the young man at all. It took some investigation to find out that the surgeon had obtained my contact information from one of his roommates. I had been introduced to the roommate, and we had dated a few times. He had disclosed my information to the surgeon, whom I married two years later. This unusual love story spread among our friends.
Since I felt the marriage was arranged by heaven, I never expected any fighting between us. I thought my marriage was different from other people's, that my husband and I would love each other and stay together forever. Shortly after we got married, however, I started to complain because I did not feel that he loved and cared for me enough. I found that he was very selfish. As time passed, the uncomfortable feelings increased. In particular, I felt I had sacrificed so much for him during a time when he was sick. My resentment grew every day, and I was a container filled with negative feelings. Often, a small incident would trigger all my accumulated resentment, and I would complain to him about all the unpleasant times in the past. I was consumed by these negative feelings. I felt miserable and sad. Sometimes it felt as if my heart was bleeding.
After I started to practice Falun Gong, I came to understand the principle of the cosmos, "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance," and the principle of karmic relationships. I learned that debts owed must be paid. Nevertheless, I still could not hold back my anger when conflicts occurred between us. Once, after listening to my complaints, a fellow practitioner smiled and said, "Although you talk about paying back the debt you owe (him), in your heart you are reluctant to do that." I felt that those words pinpointed my problem exactly. In my heart at that time I refused to admit that I could owe him anything. If one does not believe in previous lives, one cannot accept the fact that everything in this lifetime is merely retributions and rewards from previous lives. In fact, I think that everyone's life has been ingeniously arranged and that the laws of the universe are absolutely just and fair.
After failing many tests, I slowly started to firmly believe in the power of Dafa. I came to understand why Teacher asks us to study the Fa a lot. The Fa is like a bright light in the darkness, shedding light on our path of cultivation and dissolving our confusion. As long as one studies the Fa, all the things that trouble you will disappear quickly.
I was able to look at things in the past with a calm mind after studying the Fa. When I could rise above the situations and look at them as if I were watching a movie, I was surprised to find that I had been so selfish, just like my husband. I suddenly felt that I was very pitiful, begging for sentimental rewards and other human things. If I were my husband, would I like a wife that complained all the time? Maybe I would even say to the wife, "If you want to be good to me, then don't complain so much. Otherwise don't be good to me and see how much trouble you cause yourself!"
I found that when I saw another person's problems, the other person saw me with the same problems. If I cannot look inward when conflicts occur, I am not doing the right thing. If I cannot rise above the situation and become more controlled, the problem will never be solved. It is very difficult to face one's own problems, and this is exactly my biggest shortcoming in cultivation.
I now feel the bliss of cultivation. When my heart truly changed, everything around me also changed. I can view things rationally, with a calm mind. Rationality leads to wisdom.
I feel joy in myself, and I bring others happiness when I truly search for only my own shortcomings. As I continue to eliminate my attachment to sentiment, I reduce the load on others around me. As the capacity of my heart increases, I am able to forgive other people's mistakes. As I continue to require myself to think of others first, other people enjoy being with me, because they feel relaxed and happy around me.
The feelings between my husband and me have transcended from a selfish love into a higher state that is long lasting, since it originates from compassion, forbearance and understanding. Love is selfish and easily leads to jealousy. Compassion is selfless and never results in jealousy.
I don't dream about unreal love any more. Instead, along the path of continuously eliminating selfishness, I have learned how to understand and care about others. I have learned how to tolerate other people's characters, which I felt were unacceptable before. When I gave up my pursuit of a happy married life filled with love, I was blessed with eternal joy and peaceful, everlasting bliss.