Letting Go of the Attachment to Sentimentality and Managing Family with Compassion
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Master! Greetings all fellow practitioners!
I've been a Dafa disciple for over ten years. Looking back at my cultivation journey, there were many occasions where I didn't adhere to the standards of the Fa. Therefore when I was initially asked to submit an experience-sharing paper, I felt I had nothing worth mentioning. Yet, with fellow practitioners' encouragement, I collected my thoughts and decided to share my personal experience of cultivating away the attachment to sentimentality and of harmonizing the environment in my own family. I hope fellow practitioners who have similar attachments can learn from my experience so that we can all transform our families into harmonious cultivation environments.
Like any other girl, I too dreamed of having a wonderful family since I was little. The wish came true when I met my soul mate, got married, and became a mother.
After the persecution started in 1999, I was illegally arrested and sent to forced labor camps multiple times due to my distributing truth-clarification materials and going to Beijing to appeal. The main reason was that I couldn't let go of the attachment to sentimentality. That strong attachment made me fail to act by the standards of the Fa. It was then used by the old forces as a loophole to persecute me and my family.
After I was released from the labor camp, I found that my husband had completely changed into a maniac. He was indulging in alcohol, and he was beating and cursing at people. Even his own child gave him looks of disgust. My husband was no longer that caring person, and I interpreted it as his way of venting--I could imagine what he had to go through for the family while I was gone. However, the changes in him were beyond my wildest dreams. Not only did he have a mistress somewhere, but he formed habits of whoring, gambling, and smoking as well. In addition, he did not allow me to practice Dafa.
Although my husband didn't practice Dafa as diligently as I did before, he knew Dafa was good, and he had benefited from learning Falun Dafa. It was inconceivable for me to understand how he changed so much. He used to be this kind and honest person, whom I always took pride in. How could he trash himself to such a horrible stage? Thinking about the old, happy days and looking at the present man and the home around me, I could not accept the reality. Despair took over. I was buried in tears, and I completely stopped studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and clarifying the truth. I regretted marrying him and being cheated on for so many years. I wanted to divorce him and to stop the humiliation.
One day after I drank a whole bottle of alcohol, I started crying. My heart screamed at the top of my lungs: "Please help me Master. It is so painful. I can't stand it any more." When I woke up, I felt all my internal organs were churning. Yet getting drunk didn't solve my problem. It made me feel even worse. I calmed down and asked myself "What are you doing? Are you still a cultivator? What is the purpose of your life? Is the happiness pursued by sentient beings true happiness? What would happen after I obtain it? Doesn't the fact that I feel so sad show that I haven't let go of the attachment to sentimentality? As a cultivator, shouldn't I let go of the attachment? I was still pursuing it while I asked Master for help! My tears started streaming down again. Only this time I was ashamed of myself facing Master. I was determined to let go the attachment to sentimentality and to my husband.
The thought totally changed my attitude towards my husband. I no longer cared about what he did or where he went. I acted as if he didn't exist. If he came home, I cooked for him. But if not, I wouldn't bother to ask. Instead, I studied the Fa and did exercises whenever I had time. Although it was depressing, it felt a lot quieter at home. There was no cursing, shouting, or crying.
As I continued to study the Fa and advanced myself within the Fa, I began to reflect. Master wanted us to let go of the attachment of sentimentality, and to completely negate the old forces' arrangement, whereas I had such a strong attachment. When I encountered problems, I only viewed them as xinxing tests instead of digging deeply to locate the root cause. Studying the Fa made me realize that the old forces seized my attachment of sentimentality and magnified it in order to entrap me further. As a result I failed to cultivate as a true practitioner, failed to act by the standards of the Fa to a point that I almost wanted to give up my cultivation. Furthermore, while the old forces were using my husband to persecute and destroy me, they were also using me to persecute and destroy him. Was this just a small problem? I suddenly realized how serious the situation was, and how horribly I acted. Had it not been compassionate Master who gave me hints over and over and protected me like to a child, I would have destroyed not only myself, but also countless sentient beings who had a predestined relationship with me. Dafa re-equipped my lost heart with righteous thoughts. With that, I knew what to do. I must let go of the attachment and get rid of the interference imposed on me by the evil forces. I should be compassionate toward my husband and harmonize my family environment.
From then on, instead of saying things that hurt his feelings or doing things that embarrassed him, I put heart into taking care of my husband. Due to his alcoholism, his own child became less respectful to him. I pointed out to our child that his dad used to be a kind man. He wasn't born like this. It was the pressure from the social environment that changed him. He must understand that his dad's life wasn't easy. To my husband, I made him realize that his drunken behavior pushed his own child away. He didn't listen initially. Despite what I told him, he came home drunk and watched me with his eyes half-shut. If I did anything that wasn't to his satisfaction, he'd act as if to blow up. I reminded myself that Master required us to not fight back when punched or insulted. I must maintain my xinxing and be kind to him with compassion. Despite what he did or said, I remained unaffected and took care of his day-to-day life. He stopped verbally attacking me as he used to.
My husband was the eldest son in the family. Since his dad passed away many years ago, his mom lived with us. The fact that I didn't get along with her affected my relationship with my husband in a negative way. Thinking about what I had done for this family and the humiliation I got in return (my husband often punched and kicked me in front of his mother), I allowed hatred to grow in my heart. If I hadn't practiced Dafa, I would have fought back fiercely. They took advantage of me so much! I didn't believe I had any predestined relationship with them. I knew I shouldn't treat them the same way they treated me, yet I couldn't let go of my hatred.
When I made my determination to harmonize my family environment, I realized, through studying the Fa, that in the past I didn't endure, let alone keep my compassion in the face of my husband and his mother's unfair treatment. Whenever the opportunity came to improve my xinxing, instead of searching inwardly as Master taught in the Fa, I held anger in my heart. My mind was filled with human thinking. Although I didn't blow up, hatred was deeply planted in my heart. Like a shining beacon, the Fa lit up the cultivation journey that lay ahead of me. I no longer hated them. I could face my mother-in-law with an open heart. I could take good care of her day-to-day life and not be affected by her comments or reactions. Sometimes the hatred surfaced when a memory of how she used to treat me flashed back, but I instantly got rid of it with righteous thoughts. I knew it belonged to the evil forces, not me. Little by little, I was able to keep a smile on my face when I was with her. I was able to let the selfishness go and put my sister and brother-in-laws' needs first. If there was still something I couldn't get over, I studied the Fa.
Little by little, Dafa changed me. It also gradually affected my husband. The times he came home drunk were less. Our child stopped giving him disgusted looks. His mother told everybody that I was like her own daughter. More excitingly, my husband started studying and reciting the Fa. Seeing such a change in him, I wept again. I felt Master's great compassionate power. I was sincerely glad that my husband was back on track.
One day I dreamed of my husband and I going to college hand-in-hand. I told him seriously after I woke up, "Dafa is our real predestined relationship. Perhaps we both made pledges to come down to practice Dafa and to return upon consummation. Therefore we must cherish this predestined relationship with Dafa." He agreed, "Master's immensely compassionate. My previous wrong deeds were inhuman, yet Master didn't give up on me. From now on I must act according to the Fa so that I wouldn't feel regretful to Master and to the Fa." Hearing his words, I burst into tears again. I was so grateful to Master and to the Fa.
Now my husband can clarify the truth to sentient beings and assist them in withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party. As for the rest of the family, my mother-in-law reads Dafa books daily and my child has become a Dafa practitioner. None of the relatives hold anything against Dafa. Our family once again became peaceful and harmonious. All these were attributed to Master's immense compassion and mercy, and to Master's perseverance in not giving up on his disciples. I did nothing but cultivate diligently and did the three things well so as to return Master's kindness of his merciful salvation, to be worthy of what Master had done for us, and to fulfill the holy mission bestowed upon us. Lastly, let us borrow Master's words in "The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos" from Hong Yin II (Translation Version B) to encourage each other:
"Mercy can melt heaven and earth into spring
Righteous thought can save people of the world"
Please kindly point out anything that is incorrect in my understanding.