An Experience to Share with Practitioners Who Are Still Trapped In Family Tribulations
(Clearwisdom.net) After several years of family tribulations I finally realized that I had a misunderstanding of compassion.
Like other practitioners living overseas during the early days, after the persecution started, I realized that safeguarding the Fa was very important. I was able to let go of everything and often join protests, and even thought about going back to China. Working on things to validate the Fa was always my highest priority. I never delayed work to the next day if it could be done that same day. I did poorly however, with family tribulations due to insufficient Fa study.
Reminders from other practitioners helped me gradually realize that I had to do well within my family environment, by fulfilling the responsibility of a wife and mother in addition to my everyday work. It was true that I was already doing all household chores, but I often did them while complaining and didn't show much compassion. After I decided to do well at home however, situations and troubles became endless. Every day I was busy with work, shopping, cooking meals, laundry, caring for our child, and helping my husband. I did all this without complaint. By each evening I was usually very tired and had to put aside Dafa work. All this effort however, didn't satisfy my husband. He often blamed me for a variety of things. I was very sad about this. Why were my efforts not appreciated at all? Did I do something wrong?
I then met a practitioner with whom I had previously practiced, and I told her my problems. She replied, "You are now walking on the wrong path. Although you sometimes failed xinxing tests in the past, you were nonetheless headed in the right direction, doing well what a Dafa disciple is supposed to do. You were steadfast then. But now you are merely a good wife and mother. Why is this? Do you want to earn a good reputation? Of course, we should be good to family members, but we shouldn't be attached to it either, since we have more important things to do." Her words awakened me. Yes, she was right. How could I be confused on this for several years?
I have wrestled with several emotional struggles for the past few years. Numerous Dafa projects could have been handled quickly, with high quality, but were instead delayed, and ultimately I even lost self-confidence. I felt hopeless and wasted several years - making the old forces slowly, quietly and insidiously almost exhaust my perseverance. The old forces explored my lack of understanding of the Fa, and made me believe that my endless hard work and efforts put into my everyday life was being compassionate. This turned into a way to persecute me.
Master is compassionate. He is giving me an opportunity to be temporarily separated from my family. Meanwhile, I have been able to participate in more group Fa-study with practitioners. This has allowed me to think this over.
I began to think what true compassion is. Master said in Lecture One of Zhuan Falun,
"It is because there is such a principle in the universe: Ordinary human affairs, according to the Buddha School, all have predestined relationships. Birth, old age, illness, and death exist as such for ordinary people. 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. Changing it means that one would not have to repay the debt after being in debt, and this cannot be done at will. Doing otherwise is the same as committing a bad deed."
Even though I have read this Fa so many times, I didn't understand it until now. Since family members don't practice cultivation, they follow the path of everyday people. They choose which way to go and are responsible for their own actions. We practitioners should fulfill our family responsibilities, but on the other hand, we came here with a great mission and are responsible for additional sentient beings, not merely our families.
Of course we can tell our family about Dafa and the persecution, and tell them that cultivation is the only way to change's one life. If they don't listen, there is no need to be disturbed in our hearts, but practitioners must continue doing things well and not be attached to everyday people's comments, as Master teaches us. The more we are attached to it, the more our families may demand from us, and the worse the situation will become. If things continue like this, aren't we stuck in personal cultivation? If we expend all our efforts on our families, how can we have righteous thoughts or have a mind to be considerate of more sentient beings? These problems arose for me because I lacked a clear understanding of the Fa.
After I came to understand this level of the Fa and became determined, my husband was "like a kite without string." He begged me to support him and needed my support on various things. I then realized that my attitude toward him in the past lacked compassion. I had taken on all the responsibilities, and not given him opportunities to be strong and independent. In other words, I deprived him of his opportunity to experience hardship to pay for karmic debts, or strengthen righteous thoughts. Is this true compassion?