Overcoming Family Tribulations Under Teacher's Benevolent Care
(Clearwisdom.net) “A week had passed. My husband acknowledged that he had had an affair with that lady, but he was not sorry or repentant. It appeared that he expected to be caught and was rather smug about it. He often watched TV, clapped his legs, and laughed out loud. His relatives changed their attitude towards him, claiming, 'Even if his father were still alive, he couldn't control him now.' His cousin told me that my parents-in-law were spreading rumors about me among their relatives to protect their son. My husband also threatened me for studying Falun Dafa and producing truth-clarification materials about the practice, saying, 'You want to go back to a forced labor camp again!'"
- by the author
Greetings, esteemed Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
When the Chinese language Minghui website, the sister website of Clearwisdom.net, called for cultivation experience sharing articles last year, I was in the middle of a devastating family situation. We were faced with a tragedy, which in everyday people's eyes would inevitably lead to the collapse of the family. Through continuous Fa study and under Teacher's benevolent care and fellow practitioners' unselfish help, my firm belief in Teacher and Dafa helped me maintain righteous thoughts. I kept looking within and managed to slowly overcome this tribulation, re-establishing a happy family life because of practicing Falun Dafa.
Signs of a Family Break-up
In August 2011, I ran into two colleagues over a weekend. They told me that our company had deposited money into our bank accounts. They had already withdrawn the money and asked me to go home, get my bankcard, and withdraw the money.
After arriving at home, I couldn’t open the door. I knew that my son was out playing with his classmates. Only my husband was at home, so I knocked on the door. After a long while, I heard him running to the door and asking from the inside, “Who is it?” I answered, but he refused to open the door. I kept knocking for a long while and eventually he opened the door. There was a nervous looking lady in a tight dress with heavy makeup on the sofa. She looked at me out of the corners of her eyes. My husband was wearing only boxer shorts. He didn't even have time to put on a shirt.
I only planned to take my bankcard and leave. But then I thought that it would be a tragedy if I left instead of dealing with the situation. I asked the lady, “What are you doing here? Do you have a husband and child? You are in my house. A man and a woman in a room with the door closed. What were you doing here?” She mumbled, “I didn't do anything. I don't know anything. He called me to come. And he locked the door.” My husband asked the lady to leave. Then he started cursing in a low voice, as our door was still open.
I refused to listen and went downstairs. I went to his cousin's home in the building next door. I asked her to be my witness. The next day, I found our storage room half empty. My husband had moved all the wines and teas that he had stolen elsewhere. He took down the “Falun Dafa is Good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good” poster and calendar at the door and wall and put them on the top of the kitchen cabinets. It seemed that he planned to go on the attack.
Handling the Situation as a Practitioner
After returning to work, I was very upset. I had cultivated for 14 years. Dafa was deeply rooted in my heart. I knew that I should look within when faced with any problem, but I couldn't find my loophole, nor did I know how to handle this situation. Though I didn't think it to be such a big deal, it was the first time I had run into this situation. How should I face my husband? On my way home, I saw Practitioner A. I told her what had happened and that I didn't know what to do. She said, “The evil is afraid of being exposed. You should take action promptly. It just depends on how you go about it.” “Then I will visit his relatives and our neighbors,” I said. “I will also use this opportunity to tell people the truth of Falun Dafa and help them quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations.”
I calmly, peacefully, and politely told his relatives and the neighbors about this incident and about Falun Dafa. The conversations ended peacefully. My mother-in-law said, “I chant 'Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good' every day.” Her sister agreed to quit the Youth League and the Young Pioneers. My husband's cousin, her husband, and the neighbor of my mother-in-law said that they would say, “Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” The wife of my husband's other cousin agreed to write her real name on a yuan note to announce quitting the Youth League and the Young Pioneers, and then spend it. All the relatives said that they supported me and that they would talk to my husband. That evening, I felt very calm in my heart and burned three incenses in front of Teacher's picture to show my respect and to thank Teacher for his benevolent help. The smoke curled up and the incense burned up. I took it as Teacher’s encouragement.
A week passed. My husband acknowledged that he had had an affair with that lady, but he was not sorry or repentant. It appeared that he expected to be caught and was rather smug about it. He often watched TV, clapped his legs, and laughed out loud. His relatives changed their attitude towards him, claiming, “Even if his father were still alive, he couldn't control him now.” His cousin told me that my parents-in-law were spreading rumors about me among their relatives to protect their son. My husband also threatened me for studying Dafa and producing truth-clarification materials about the practice, saying, “You want to go back to a forced labor camp again!”
The conflict kept escalating. It was just like the eruption of a volcano caused by a trivial thing. My attachment to doing things forced me to be at a standstill. Gradually, the situation turned into a cold war. I wouldn't eat what he cooked and he wouldn't touch what I cooked. He started to come home very late. When I left my home, I always locked my room to prevent him from searching through my things.
I studied the Fa in the morning, went out to clarify the truth about Falun Gong in the afternoon, and read Minghui articles in the evening. I did the exercises daily and didn't miss any of the times for sending forth the righteous. I didn't treat the situation as a big deal. I kept my firm faith and held the thought, “Teacher has never said that Dafa disciples can divorce. Thus, no matter what happens, even if the sky falls, I won't ask for a divorce. No matter what mistake I made in history, what agreement I signed with the old forces, or what loophole I had in my personal cultivation, I reject all the interference that the old forces are forcing on me! I will only take the path that Teacher arranged for me. Teacher wants Dafa disciples to live a normal life in the human world, and I must do it unconditionally. This is also to validate Dafa and save sentient beings. I must leave a positive image of Dafa disciples for the people of the future.”
Rectifying My Position
I was once invited to Practitioner B's home. Though I had thought that I didn't do very well in passing this tribulation, I still felt that I had passed it. I normally wouldn't mention it to others any longer, but that day, I told them about it. Practitioner B suggested some of my actions that were not to the Fa's standards, and my loopholes:
1. Non-practitioner's things are non-practitioner's things. Dafa's things are Dafa's things. We should not mix them together; otherwise there might be interference or problems. You used this incident to clarify the truth of Dafa. To protect themselves in this incident, everyday people may agree to quit the CCP and repeat 'Falun Dafa is good,' but they don't really understand it.
2. Your husband or his relatives will eventually say that his actions are because you practiced Falun Gong. This will not only discredit Dafa, but also let them commit crimes against Dafa.
3. Your husband or his family have not apologized to you. Not saying that they are regretful and will change means they don't think they are wrong. You have not resolved this. That means that there are bad things that you have not let go, and they have blocked you. You don't have a way out. You completely failed concerning this issue.
Practitioner B's words were straight and simple. That's the reality. Comparing with the Fa, I understood that he was right with what he said. But I still didn't know how to handle it. He then suggested:
1. You must pay more attention to your xinxing and see what kind of human attachments you haven't given up.
2. You still have qing towards your husband and your son.
3. Are you afraid to being sent to a forced labor camp again?
4. For everyday people's affairs, you should just use everyday people's methods to resolve them.
Practitioner B also told me that he had a very good understanding about this issue in light of the Fa principles. He happened to be on vacation at that time and was at home. I could share with him as things progressed, and he offered to provide me with help unconditionally at any time. I knew that this was Teacher arranging a fellow practitioner to help me out after seeing that I couldn’t extradite myself from this tribulation.
“When your mind cannot get over something, isn’t it caused by your attachment?” ("Further Elimination of Attachments," from Essentials for Further Advancement)
“Did you know that in order to save you the Buddha once begged for food among everyday people? Today, I once again make the door wide open, and teach this Dafa to save you. I have never felt bitter for the numerous hardships I have suffered. Then what do you have that still can’t be abandoned? Can you bring to heaven the things deep down inside that you cannot let go of?” ("True Cultivation," from Essentials for Further Advancement)
“At levels higher up, all troubles are to pave the way for ascending to Heaven.” (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)
After millions of years of waiting and thousands of incarnations, I was fortunate to be chosen by Teacher to be a Dafa disciple. All divine beings want to fill the role but many can't. What should I let go? In the human world, isn’t all the unhappiness the result of my not willing to let go of my attachments? Don't I feel helpless because I deviated from the Fa? Isn't this arranged by Teacher so I can raise my level?
The persons we interact with are often a mirror for us. Didn't my husband's behavior bring out the attachments that were deeply hidden inside my heart? My first thought was that he was wrong and I was not at fault. This violated the cultivation principle that Teacher taught us; that is, to look within for everything. I was feeling treated unfairly and pushed my husband in the opposite direction. Being afraid, suspicion, hatred, envy, and all kinds of human attachments kept popping up, but I hadn’t recognized them. Fortunately I didn't forget that I was a Dafa disciple. So I just bore them under great pain.
But if I looked at it from a different angle, I had been held in a forced labor camp twice and my home had been ransacked several times since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started persecuting Falun Gong. My husband bore great pressure from society, his family, his company, and others. Had I looked at this from his point of view? Wasn't it because of me that he had endured those things that he should not have had to endure? Not only didn't I rectify my thoughts, but I also appeared to be “always right.” What would he think of me?
This incident happened to help me improve through cultivation. But I didn't distinguish between insiders and outsiders. I complained to everyday people to seek sympathy. I also used the excuse of “clarifying the truth and help people quit the CCP” to cover up my gaps and attachments. Could everyday people solve things for cultivators? How would people see the wonderfulness of cultivating Dafa? All they saw were the bad things, like being sentenced to forced labor camp, being deprived of salary, being forced to leave home to hide, or divorcing. Wasn't that damaging the Fa and pushing them away from Dafa? I realized that only when I cultivated myself well could I truly save people.
I learned from the Fa that it is also benevolence and saving people to keep family members from committing crimes against Dafa disciples so that they won't be destroyed. I also understood that I should not let the evil succeed. Why had I acted as I did? Because I was afraid! I was afraid of losing fame, money, qing, and many other things.
When my husband later threatened me again, saying “You want to go back (to the forced labor camp),” I told him, “Don't do this. It's bad for you. Don't try to do anything to further your goal. And don't risk your life. The Party secretary of my former company died from retribution for persecuting Dafa practitioners. He was your classmate. You knew him. Forced labor camp? I have been there twice, but you haven't seen it yet. You hired a prostitute and brought her home. You violated the law. You stole goods from the company and violated the law. You got your title by bribing. You again violated the law. This time I could send you to the forced labor camp. Moreover, damaging a Dafa disciple's family is an unforgivable crime. What goes around comes around. If you continue to do bad things, you will receive retribution. Please put yourself in my shoes. If this happened to me, how would you want to handle it? Also, no one is perfect. Every person makes mistakes. This mistake is not a big deal. As a human, you will keep making mistakes. I can't say that I have never made a mistake. As long as you can fix your mistake, you will be fine. If you stop seeing that lady, I can forgive you. We can turn over that page and start anew.”
My son didn't want us to divorce, so he warned him, “If someone makes me feel bad, then no one will have any peace.”
My husband was shocked and speechless. After that, he was much more careful with his words.
The Sun Shines Again
I told my son, “Cultivators can't kill lives, especially human lives. As my son, you should not say such things to your father. You should not even think them. Such a sin will ruin your cultivation. It also requires you to pay it back. What I said was just to help him change and stop him from committing crimes. We still need to lead a normal life and not punish him. Dafa disciples can't get divorced. Don't worry.”
My son kept saying, “I am blessed by Dafa. I am blessed by Dafa.”
A month later, my mother-in-law had cataract surgery, a minor procedure. I told my husband, “That's the retribution for her not being able to tell right from wrong. It's the divine force that warns people.” My husband wouldn't listen.
Two months later, my husband had a cervical bone hyperplasia. He was in great pain. He had to sit up for the entire night and wasn’t able to sleep. If he lay down, he couldn't get up. If he was up, he couldn't lay down. His cries of pain were very scary. Later he couldn't go to the restroom. I cut open a plastic bottle to collect his urine. He couldn't stand staying in a hospital for treatment. I accompanied him to the hospital and stayed with him. He was moved and started feeling regretful. The ice was melting and he was growing closer to me.
My husband wanted me to massage him. I remembered Teacher's word that a practitioner should not be moved by sentiment toward family members. I told him, “You can ask the doctor to do that for you. I am not a doctor and don't know acupuncture points. If I changed the problem from one tendon and you then had pain in two tendons, won't it be worse? The elderly say, 'illness devil, illness devil.' Actually the illness is a devil. How can my human body conquer it? You should listen to Teacher's Fa. What Teacher said is Fa. Only Fa can eliminate this devil.”
I knew that this was an opportunity that Teacher gave me to save him. I told him, “You can only cure this illness on the surface and not the root cause. This is punishment by the divine forces for your wrongdoing. If you don't fix it, your situation will get even worse. Only Dafa can save you. You must repeat, 'Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good' with your whole heart.” To survive, my husband started repeating these life-saving words. He also spent two nights listening to Teacher's Fa lectures with me. He also asked to watch the Shen Yun performance.
I used every opportunity to play Minghui Radio for him, and Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, Disintegrating the Party Culture, “Divine Culture,” “Heavenly Music,” “Cultivation,” and “The Days Together with Master.” I also let him read Life and Hope Renewed - The Healing Power of Falun Dafa and the Minghui Pictorial. His pain was decreasing and his body was recovering. Thus he completely changed his negative view of Dafa.
On May 13, 2011, my family sent a sincere birthday card to Teacher through the Minghui website. The night before Teacher's birthday, my husband looked at the greeting cards for Teacher's birthday from around the world and the congratulatory letters for World Falun Dafa day. He studied them for two hours. They really shook him. He then asked to read Teacher's Hong Yin.
The next day was World Falun Dafa Day and Teacher's birthday. My husband bought fresh fruits and washed them. He picked the best fruits with green leaves and put them on a plate in front of Teacher's picture.
In the following days, I was very caring toward him. I often thought about issues from his angle. When he cooked, my son and I said a few words of praise and encouraged him. If he came home late, I saved dinner for him. He often ate dinner out due to work, and I showed my understanding. Also I didn't restrict his freedom. I never followed or acted suspicious of him. Gradually he became better and better. Occasionally I went shopping or mountain climbing with him, and even arranged a getaway trip for the whole family (including my son). When I dialed the voice truth-clarification phone calls during the trip, he cooperated by taking the battery out of his phone. When I felt tired, he told me, “Please take a rest. I will watch the time. When it's the time to send forth the righteous thoughts, I will wake you up.”
This summer, my mother-in-law had a stroke and was taken to the hospital. This changed her attitude completely within half a day. She no longer appeared to be snobbish. I told her that repeating “Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” needed to be from the heart. Copying my husband, she said it for an entire night. The next morning when the doctor checked her, he told her that she had recovered. After that, her confidence in Dafa increased. She would say it anytime. Now she looks very healthy and her skin is soft. She even went out of town on a sightseeing trip with her sister's family a few days ago.
At my husband's relative's gatherings and birthday parties, all of my family tried to attend. We always arrived on time. We presented them the wonderfulness that Falun Dafa had given to us. At the family dinner on Chinese New Year's Eve, my mother-in-law held up a wineglass full of juice. Her first sentence was, “Our family should thank your eldest brother's wife (meaning me). She set a good example for us.” On New Year's day, my husband and his two younger brothers each took their wives and sons to visit relatives. Three sons, three grandsons, and three daughters-in-law, all with happy families, made my mother-in-law very proud.
What Have I Learned?
Only after rain and wind can we see the beautiful rainbow. Only when we brush off the dust can we sense the joy of improvement in our cultivation.
I was filled with many feelings when writing this article. I deeply understand that holding a Fa conference and writing articles doesn't involve simply writing an article, but also requires reviewing the cultivation experiences over the past year, gathering lessons learned, finding gaps, and eliminating human attachments. Teacher helped me to open each iron gate in my cultivation, so I could have all my energy channels open. I deeply understand that every tribulation and test was an exam in my Fa study and cultivation, and an opportunity that Teacher used to help disciples to establish their mighty virtue and apply the divine power of the Buddha Fa. Many times after understanding the Fa, eliminating the tribulations, and thus clearing the sky in other dimensions, I said from the bottom of my heart, "Cultivation is truly good! Cultivation is truly good!"
Thank you, Teacher!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!