Harmonizing My Family Relationships
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I began the cultivation in 1995. During the past 13 years, Dafa has saved me from suffering in the human world and changed me into a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006,"
"Dafa has been established in human society, and your form of cultivation has you conform to ordinary society to the maximum extent. Many people think it's about being lenient with and making things convenient for our cultivation, but diligent students don't see it that way. It is, rather, the path that Dafa disciples must take as they cultivate. So everything that you do, be it your balancing well your family relationships while you live among ordinary people, balancing well your relationships in society, how you perform at your workplace, how you conduct yourself in society, etc., none of these are things you can just go through the motions on. All of these are part of your cultivation format, and are serious matters."
Cultivation allowed met to arrive at a deeper understanding of the need to properly balance interpersonal relations in my family. The following are my experiences.
In "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006," Master also said,
"When you have made it to the end, [a question would be]: How did you travel the path that Master arranged for you? When all is said and done, these things have to be taken into account. And in the course of your cultivation these things have to be looked at, too. So you shouldn't neglect anything. As far as convenience goes, [in Dafa] a person can cultivate without having to enter a monastery, go to a secluded mountain, or leave the secular world. But from another perspective, all of this adds a layer of difficulty: If you are to make it through, you have to do well with things such as all of the above, and do well in every aspect of your life."
I was initially drawn to cultivation for the purpose of escaping family conflicts. I always longed for romantic love, but my marriage brought me cruel reality. I was very frustrated and felt I was so miserable to have married such a man.
In 1995, a friend recommened I read "Zhuan Falun", which I did. Finishing the book, I suddenly came to understand the meaning of life and knew this was what I had been looking for. My excitement was beyond words, and tears streamed down my face. Looking at Master's picture I was certain this was the sage I tried to find. I didn't need to say anything, but Master knew everything about me.
Master told us, "Due to karma resulting from past wrongdoing, one has illnesses or tribulations; suffering is repaying a karmic debt, and thus nobody can casually change this." (Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)
I felt light-hearted and joyful as I realized that my suffering and tribulations were all due to my karma.
1. Settling the Karmic Debt between My husband and Me
My mind and body went through tremendous changes and my family became harmonious following the practice. I adhered to the principle of Truthfuless-Compassion-Forbearance at all times and tried to be considerate of others.
I often encountered things that tempered my character and I sometimes failed to maintain my xinxing, but I could calm down as soon as I remembered Master's words,
"When one runs into a conflict, it may manifest in a xinxing tribulation between one another. If you can endure it, your karma will be eliminated, your xinxing will improve, and your gong will increase as well. All of these will come together." (Zhuan Falun)
Every time I improved my xinxing my husband was also fine, as if nothing had happened.
I also began to learn how to care for my husband. Once, a car accident had him remain bedridden for over a month. I took tender care of him, which deeply moved him. Finally, he also picked up Dafa books. One day he held my hands with tears in his eyes and said, "I didn't know how bad I am until reading Dafa books. How can I be so selfish? I had taken advantage of my company many times in the past. I have a bad temper that caused you so much pain. I seldom care about you and our son. I am only concerned about my own parents and sister, yet none of them say good things about me."
I comforted him, assuring him that everything was a result of karmic retribution, and whoever owed from the past had to pay back today. Dafa books enabled him to see his own shortcomings, which suggested he was already improving himself. That was really something worth celebrating! I told him: "Without Dafa we had no idea how we would settle the karmic debts between us. Master has saved us and compassionately straightened things out for us."
My husband's job required him to traveled extensively. Wherever there was a business opportunity for his company, he had to go. Some clients were closer, and he could return home every two weeks. If a client was in a far away place, he couldn't return home for several months, or even half a year later. When I found out that my husband had a mistress, I was calm. I felt as a cultivator I could not treat this the same way non-practitioner wives would. I decided to deal compassionately with this issue.
"...everyday people just live for it. Then, as a practitioner and one who rises above and beyond, one should not use this approach to judge things, and one should break away from them. Therefore, as to the many attachments that come from sentimentality, we should take them lightly and eventually abandon them." (Zhuan Falun)
I spoke with my husband in a peaceful state of mind for close to six hours. I told him how people should behave and I also mentioned some Fa principles in a way he could understand. During the whole conversation I didn't complain even a bit from my heart, nor did I force him to admit his mistakes. My husband didn't expect I could be so calm and was very moved.
This woman's aunt was also a practitioner. After the persecution began her aunt was arrested and imprisoned. This woman would go visit her aunt in prison each month. Learning from my husband that I was also a practitioner she happily called me saying her aunt would soon be released, but she wasn't sure if the local police would allow her aunt to return home. I immediately wrote a letter to her, offering suggestions as to what she and her aunt ought to do. I also transcribed one of Master's articles for her to pass to her aunt. She followed my suggestion and got her aunt home smoothly.
2. Settling the Karmic Debt between My Mother-in-law and Me
I did not get along well with my mother-in-law. After I practiced cultivation, I treated her nicely from the bottom of my heart. I felt the joy of being considerate of others.
Once my mother-in-law needed to go to the county for a check up, and she wanted me to take her. I had not yet eaten and was having my menstrual period, but I didn't say anything. I simply hopped on my bike with my mother-in-law in the back seat. Even though the bike ride was very tiring, I felt happy deep in my heart. For the first time in my life I realized that a person who lives for the good of other people is a truly happy person. This experience really broadened my mindset.
It never again bothered me when my husband gave money or things to my in-laws. I told him I didn't care whom he wanted to give his salary to.
Prior to my mother-in-law's death I invited her to stay with us many times. In the past, I thought she was really stingy, but now I could understand her. She often said, "My daughter does not treat me this well, but my daughter-in-law does. Master Li's Fa is really good!"
My father-in-law was bedridden before he passed away, and I helped my sister-in-law take care of him every day. A daughter-in-law who could be so nice to her father-in-law really amazed the neighbors who all came to realize that Dafa disciples are good people. Thus, my own actions demonstrated the wonders of Dafa.
3. Improving Together as a Family
"Many students understand only that doing the exercises and studying the Fa are cultivation. Yes, with those you directly engage the Fa. But as you go about truly cultivating yourself in your day-to-day life, the society that you come into contact with is your cultivation environment. The work and family environments that you spend time in are both settings in which you are to cultivate yourselves, are part of the path you must walk, are what you must handle, and handle correctly at that. None of these should be glossed over." ("Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006")
While cultivating in my family environment, faced with a quick-tempered husband and picky sister-in-law, I followed Master's requirements and treated them with compassion. I no longer fixed my eyes on their shortcomings. No matter how busy I was I made sure to keep the house in order, as this was part of the path I must walk, and I could not gloss over it. In addition to cultivating myself, I have also intentionally guided my husband to behave in accordance with Dafa principles.
I lost my job once the persecution began, and my son was expelled from school. Both of us were arrested numerous times. My son was sent to the labor camp three times and almost lost his life. Twice my husband had to carry our son on his back out of the labor camp. I was also sent to the labor camp twice. During those years we could live at home only for a few days. My husband's manager often stopped him from going to work, but asked him to go to Beijing to find me and our son. My husband faced tremendous pressure at that time. He had never cooked before and lived on instant noodles for every meal when I wasn't around.
Once his blood pressure suddenly spiked and he slurred his speech. He could barely move, but he managed to call his manager who became afraid of his condition and never pressured him again. Another time my husband wanted to commit suicide, but fortunately a fellow practitioner happened to visit our home and was able to stop him. His manager once urged him to divorce me, and his colleagues promised to find him another woman. I told him he could divorce me if he felt the pressure was too much. He disagreed. As a matter of fact, he was able to pull through these years all because of Master's tender care. Of course, if I hadn't done well with family life, he probably wouldn't have been able to do so.
In October 1999 his manager sent him to Tiananmen Square, to look for me and our son. Witnessing how practitioners validated Dafa there, he was completely in awe and even wanted to shout "Falun Dafa is good." Returning home he said, "I now know what my wife, my son and other practitioners are doing. They're too great! I feel so proud of my wife and son. I will support them!"
Every time I was released, the police attempted to incite my husband to hate me. But, instead my husband questioned the police, "What law has my wife violated? Since she started cultivation she became healthy and filial to my parents. What grounds do you have to arrest her?"
After my younger brother died as a result of persecution in a labor camp, my husband was the one who stepped forward to deal with police. He sternly questioned the police about my brother's cause of death. The police were hesitatant to give a clear answer. Under the watchful eyes of police, he insisted on examining and taking pictures of my brother's body.
Once the Divine Performing Arts show CD was made available, my husband stopped watching Chinese Communist Party programs. He would cry each time he watched "Awakening" and "The Risen Lotus Flower." As a family member of Dafa practitioners, he had personally experienced that unforgettable period depicted in those two shows.
Even though my husband hasn't formally begun his cultivation, he uses every opportunity to read Dafa books and the "Minghui Weekly".
I share my experience here because I notice many fellow practitioners are not able to harmonize their family relationships and are still being interfered with by their family members. These practitioners are still very self-centered, and they harbor the mentality that everyone in their families should unconditionally support them in their Fa study, exercises, sending forth righteous thoughts and saving sentient beings. Yet they fail to harmonize their family and create a good and stable cultivation environment in the first place. If we can't cultivate ourselves well, we will only bring interference to ourselves.
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