How I Finally Harmonized My Relationship with My Family
(Clearwisdom.net) Master said,
"Usually, a great enlightened person does not casually interfere with the principles of everyday people. The higher a great enlightened person's level is, the less he or she would bother to interfere with the principles of everyday people, not even a bit." (Zhuan Falun)
Master told us to cultivate while maximally conforming to the ways of ordinary human society. But as I didn't study the Fa well and didn't strictly follow the requirements of the Fa, I treated things with a human heart, and often went to extremes during my cultivation, which had a negative influence on Dafa.
After a few years of cultivation, I truly felt a big difference between ordinary people and me. There is a difference in the way we think, our behavior, level and attitude when dealing with things. I felt uncomfortable listening to family members who are non-practitioners. I felt that the things they did and were attached to were ludicrous and meaningless. I was reluctant to listen to my brothers and sisters about their worries in life.. So I rarely got in touch with my brother and sisters, and talked to them less and less. When I ran into them by coincidence I would immediately bring up Dafa issues and always tried to avoid ordinary people's things. As a result, my family members complained, "You've cultivated to a degree that you no longer have any human interests," and, "You always bring up your things as soon as we meet. How we are doing seems to have nothing to do with you." This situation became so serious that the more I wanted them to know about the truth and about the beauty of Dafa, the more reluctant they were to listen to me. Despite this I still thought, "We are doing the most righteous things and it is only for your own good. How could you be so stubborn? You truly are deeply lost." I even felt angry sometimes.
My older sister, my mom, and I practice Dafa. My older sister had been detained by the authorities twice because of practicing Dafa. But both times she was able to get out quickly with righteous thoughts. I was illegally sentenced to three years of forced labor in 2002. Though my husband and I did well financially and we had a much-admired family, I was forced into a divorce during the persecution. My dad suffered a lot due to my detention and divorce, and had a cerebral thrombosis. He couldn't even take care of himself.
I wanted to go to Beijing to appeal for Dafa in November 2000, and Mom wanted to go with me. My (younger) brother heard about this, and threatened Mom with a knife. I said to him, "Mom wants to go, out of her own free will. We are doing a good thing. How dare you to interfere?" At that time I completely used human ways in order to deal with this problem. Neither I nor my brother was willing to give in. Later, he burned Mom's Dafa books and produced much karma for himself.
My brother was a driver. But because he was very picky about jobs, he hadn't worked for two years. Our family of three, including my brother and my parents, lived on a limited income. We operated a grocery store, and were in a critical financial situation. Because I was busy working at the store, I hardly had any free time. My dad couldn't help due to his illness, and my brother was unwilling to help Mom with the sales. Sometimes, when fellow practitioners came to the store my brother immediately made an angry, fierce face, and rarely talked to them. I enlightened so slowly that my body showed signs of being unwell. Master
talked about how when one person practices, the whole family benefits.
I worried and wondered how my brother could interfere so much with three people in the family who are practicing cultivation?
By studying the Fa and looking inward I finally understood that it was because we didn't do things according to Fa's requirements. For example, I was always mad at my brother when I saw him because he did not live up to my expectations. I always measured things with the principles of human beings and thereby emphasized his bad side. Wasn't it a manifestation of the old cosmos' beings - unwilling to change themselves and only wanting to change others? I also saw my competitive mentality and bad tendencies. Master said,
"People within your field may unintentionally have their illnesses healed since this field can rectify all abnormal conditions." (Zhuan Falun)
Wasn't Master letting me see my own attachments through my brother's behavior?
The past few years of the persecution caused me to have financial problems. Though I only had a monthly income of three to four hundred yuan (equivalent to about 50 US dollars) from which I had to pay rent and other living expenses, I still bought some fruits and vegetables when I visited my parents one day. For one thing, I wanted to visit my dad. For another thing, I wanted to clarify the truth to my brother in a different way. At dinner that evening, I said to my brother, "I wasn't able to understand you from your perspective due to my bad temper and my strong competitive mentality. Actually you have been a good person when you didn't have a bad temper. It's just that this persecution has made all the other family members suffer with us." I also acknowledged positively a few good things that he had done, and admitted to him my shortcomings. My brother was very moved. He regretted what he had done, and said, "I often had a bad temper towards Mom and Dad. Why couldn't I control myself?" Through this communication I shortened the distance between my brother and me. From then on I always bought some fruit and meat when I visited them. Gradually the gap between us disappeared. Once, I stayed overnight at my parents' home. The next morning I suddenly realized that it was my brother's birthday. I had only ten yuan (equivalent to 1.2 U.S. dollars) with me. But I immediately went to the market, and bought the vegetables that he liked most. I said to him, "Today is your birthday. I bought the vegetables that you like. But I can't be here with you because I have to go to work. I'm leaving now." My brother looked at me and said in a low tone of voice, "Sis, you are leaving?" I felt his sadness, as this was one of the few times that I remembered his birthday.
Through a cultivation process of Fa study and looking within I felt my competitive mentality diminishing and my compassion growing. Recently, every time I went to my parents' home, I took some truth clarification materials for my brother. He said he would definitely read them. I felt that his attitude gradually became more peaceful. When I casually brought up issues about the truth of Dafa and Dafa principles, he gradually accepted them as well. One day, I wrote an "Awakening Announcement" for him. After he finished reading it, I told him about the seriousness of destroying Dafa books and the necessity of making an awakening announcement. He then signed his name on the announcement.
Soon after I arrived at my parents' home one night, my brother came up to me anxiously and asked, "Sis, do you have more amulets?" [In China, practitioners sometimes clarify the truth by giving people something small to wear or cherish, bearing a few words reminding them of the goodness of Dafa.] I replied, "Why?" My brother answered, "Recently, my friend saw a ghost with a body and no head twice in one day. A few days afterwards he got into a fight senselessly, and cut the other party on the eyebrow with a knife. He now does not dare to go home and is hiding in my place. Please give him an amulet as soon as you can." I took an amulet with me, and went to see his friend. I clarified the truth to him first. Then, I advised him to quit the three Communist Party (CCP) organizations. Then, I put the amulet on him. I told him that by often reciting, "Falun Dafa is good," rotten ghosts would never dare to get close to him again. My brother's friend agreed. The next time I visited my parents I asked my brother about his friend. He said, "He's had the amulet on him all along, and also recites 'Dafa is good.' He caused big trouble, but solved the problem by giving 150 yuan to the other person." I was glad that this person realized that Dafa is good and that he was able to benefit from Dafa at a critical moment in his life.
Recently my older sister enlightened to the fact that the reason why our brother didn't get a job was because the evil used our attachments. This included Mom's mentality of complaining about our brother, which was used as an excuse to interfere with Mom's ability to do the three things from the aspect of family finance and relationship. In other words, the evil targeted Master's Fa-rectification by using sentient beings - in this case, my brother - to compromise Fa-rectification, and then destroying them. So I sent forth righteous thoughts together with my older sister in order to disintegrate all the evil, dark minions and rotten ghosts and to eliminate their plots. A week later, my brother found a job as a driver delivering popsicles and ice cream and his monthly salary is 800 yuan (equivalent to 100 U.S. dollars). My parents' situation has changed.
"...Of course, in practicing cultivation in ordinary human society, we should respect parents and educate our children. Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence." (Zhuan Falun)
Having practiced for a few years and with many Fa-validation things to do, I felt that many other things were no longer important. I didn't care about regular festivals, nor would I do anything to celebrate them. These things seemed trivial from my perspective. But ordinary people did not understand me and I appeared to be inconsiderate in their eyes.
Since this April, I have studied and recited the Fa with a light heart because I now have a stable residence and a stable job. To fulfill what I had enlightened to, I went to my parents' home once a week in order to wash my dad's head, feet and arms, and brought back their clothes to wash. Days ago when I was about to leave work I heard that it was Mother's Day that day. So I bought some fruit and took them to my parents' home after work. Although Mom is a practitioner and doesn't care much about these things, I still needed to harmonize a family which also has members who are not practitioners. My mom said, "Your younger sister wanted to come this morning, but she has something going on at her home. She was very anxious about this, and called me this afternoon." I immediately called my younger sister and told her, "Don't worry. I'm at Mom's. I bought gifts for them for both of us. Just go ahead with what you need to do if you are busy."
Although my younger sister's family is doing well financially, they are not a happy family. My younger sister has a compassionate heart. But her husband is narrow-minded, and is always unnecessarily suspicious and fearful. Therefore, my younger sister has been depressed for over ten years, and was once ill due to family conflicts. In addition, it was always my younger sister who used her connections in order to visit me when I was detained during the past few years of persecution. She also had to take care of my parents' family and carried a heavy burden. But it was not until now that I started to understand my younger sister's suffering and loneliness.
No matter the persecution we suffer, we practice the Great Fa of the cosmos. We have our great Master who suffers and gives us all the great things so we can return to our true homes. Our future is bright. But ordinary people struggle in this human world with bitter and sweet experiences only to enjoy the limited feelings of gaining and losing. Ever since I enlightened to this, I have often communicated with my younger sister. She told me about things in her life. I listened quietly without feeling uncomfortable or reluctant to listen. I can now understand her difficulties better than before. I explained to her the Dafa principles and that all this had been a result of a predestined relationship. That good and bad predestined relationships were all due to retribution of karma from past lives. I told her to learn to be tolerant and look on the bright side. My younger sister's facial expression seemed as though she felt that her older sister had returned again. She is in a much better mood now than before. Ordinary people truly suffer a lot! They do need care and comfort.
Before this incident, when I talked to my younger sister about "the Three Withdrawals," [from the Chinese Communist Party, the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers] she never wanted to accept it. Even though she finally and reluctantly agreed to withdraw from the CCP organizations, she never cooperated with me when I advised others about "the Three Withdrawals," and even showed repugnance towards the withdrawals. Now she has changed a lot. I accompanied her when she visited a seriously ill person the other day. When I advised this person to quit the CCP my younger sister supported me and said, "Quit. Please hurry up and agree." I felt very gratified.
Since I started to practice Dafa, I have felt that I can take a lot of things lightly, and that I have little in common with ordinary people. So, gradually I got into touch less and less with relatives and friends, and even felt a barrier between us. How could ordinary people understand the deep meaning of cultivation? Do we want ordinary people to understand us? These thoughts actually reflect a misunderstanding of the Fa due to insufficient Fa study. Though the ordinary society is not good, it is the lowest level of the cosmos made by Dafa. It is a mandatory level made by Dafa from top to bottom. By doing everything well, we are harmonizing the standard of the Fa at this level. Though we don't have much time to spend with ordinary people, isn't it our path to approach them, listen to them, inspire their good thoughts, and guide them to rectify their own behavioral standard as human beings? We cultivate selflessness and altruism. Only by using Dafa to rectify ourselves can we treat sentient beings with compassion, better validate the Fa and save sentient beings.