Sister Ying and I--Overcoming My Fear of Being Alone
(Clearwisdom.net) Sister Ying treated me like her genuine younger sister. No matter what difficulties or hardships I encountered, I knew I could always talk to her. We shared our opinions with one another and measured ourselves against Teacher's words, and although I sometimes had a different understanding, I followed her suggestions as long as they didn't deviate from the Fa. Because of her patience and the way she looked after me, I easily passed most of the difficulties and hardships I came across. That's how our relationship was, and it stayed that way for years. I became used to it and took it for granted that things would be this way.
Then, not long ago, our relationship began to sour. I began having conflicts with Sister Ying and felt I didn't agree with how she did things. I began disagreeing with her opinions. If she praised me I began to doubt, and if she said my understanding was not correct, I wasn't convinced. I became very jealous when she praised certain practitioners for their diligence, and thought her behavior was often wrong. At first I kept it to myself, expressing my agreement with her in our conversations, based on how well she had treated me before. But in my heart I doubted her opinions, and one day it all came out. In a biting tone I told her all of the shortcomings I saw in her. She tried to explain, but I wouldn't listen. I felt she was no longer the Sister Ying who had cared about me before. I was trapped in ordinary human sentiment, brokenhearted, and full of self-resentment and anguish. During that time I was often absent-minded when I studied the Fa or did the exercises. Whenever a situation came up that required me to deal with Sister Ying, I hesitated and questioned whether I should do it. But I also knew that I had to face everything as long as I practiced cultivation.
I told myself to study the Fa diligently. But while I studied, I kept seeing Sister Ying's faults. Teacher said,
"In true cultivation you have to cultivate your mind, you have to cultivate inward, to look inward--you can't look outward." (Zhuan Falun)
If I keep looking outward, I am following the path arranged by the old forces. Not listening to Teacher's words, how could I continue my cultivation? I set about constantly sending forth righteous thoughts, studying the Fa, and clarifying the truth.
On one occasion while I was explaining the truth about Falun Gong on the phone, I noticed I would feel happy if the person on the other end listened to me. If he withdrew from the CCP, I wished him good luck. If not, I told him that it was his choice. Sometimes the person on the other end would ask a few probing questions and I would feel unhappy. Sometimes while the other person was still talking I would doggedly continue to talk and refuse to listen. As I clarified the truth, I came to clearly see that my mood was affected by what the other person said. It was then that I realized how dependent I had been on Sister Ying, to the point of cultivating for her and relying on her as my role model. I always wanted her approval and to leave her with a good impression of me. When I dug even deeper, I realized that I was afraid she would stop caring about me.
Sister Ying had always patiently accompanied me whenever I encountered tests or difficulties, and I was afraid of losing her. I didn't want to follow my path by myself, and I was afraid being alone. When I looked deeper still, I realized that I had been afraid of being alone from a very young age. Being the youngest child in the family, other family members were busy with their own things and had no time to pay attention to me. After I got married I sought safety and reassurance from my husband out of my fear of loneliness, but I didn't get that from him. Later I wanted to rely on my children, but as they grew up they made their own friends. Finally I started cultivation and longed for a way out of the loneliness I had long felt. In Sister Ying I found warmth and tender care. I was only shifting my longing onto a new target and had not realized I had to eliminate my fear of loneliness, which is an attachment. The old forces glared menacingly at my loophole. They dared not move against me when I was in a good state and diligently doing the three things. But the moment I slacked off they took advantage of me. Looking at the great divide that had opened up between Sister Ying and me, wasn't that an old force arrangement?
Suddenly I awakened, and realized that she was not my Sister Ying. Instead, she was my fellow practitioner, who like me, promised to come to the human world to help Teacher rectify the Fa.
In the "Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference," Teacher said,
"So, when you meet with ordeals, it is the perfect opportunity for you to improve. If you are able to look inside, that trying situation will become instead an opportunity, something to overcome and a chance to enter a new state."
I want to express my appreciation to our Teacher, who has stopped at no effort to help us eliminate our attachments. Through examining my own shortcomings and attachments I came to realize the obstacle that has interfered with my cultivation for the past few years. Although I have found my attachment, I still need to eliminate it layer by layer. I need to follow the Fa with whatever I am doing and should not slack off.
October 4, 2008