Mother and Daughter-in-Law Relationship Dramatically Improves
(Clearwisdom.net) Xiuzheng failed to become pregnant for six years after her marriage, and she and her husband moved away from his hometown for a while to get away from the stress that her mother-in-law put on her. After Xiuzheng became pregnant after about seven months, she learned Falun Gong and they decided to move back so that they could take care of her mother-in-law, who was at the time suffering from severe depression. She remembered tothink of others first, and tried her best to take care of mother-in-law as her own mother.
Under the influence of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Xiuzheng's mother-in-law completely changed her attitude. She used to complain bitterly to her relatives, “You say my daughter-in-law is good. What is good about her? Tell me, exactly what is good about her?” But she gradually changed as Xiuzheng changed. Two years ago, she said with tears in her eyes to her daughter-in-law, “You know, no one is truly good to me. You are the only person who is so good to me wholeheartedly.” The mother and daughter-in-law relationship changed from being civil to truly listening to each other and sharing their feelings with each other. Xiuzheng said, “If it was not for Falun Gong, I could never accomplish this and perhaps my depression would be worse than my mother-in-law’s.”
A Difficult Childhood
A couple from an aboriginal Amei Tribe near Qingshui Park in Guanshan Township, Taidong County in Taiwan gave birth to twin sisters in 1970. The twins were named Xiuzheng and Xiuying. Prior to this, they already had two boys and five girls. The father was a technician for the Taiwan Electric Company. His job every day was to walk along the railway track to check the power lines. It did not pay much, but it was enough to feed the family. Tragically, about three to four months after the twins' birth, the children did not see their father come home for dinner one night. People later found him dead near the railway track. An investigation indicated that he might have been accidentally electrocuted when examining the power lines.
Soon after the father died, the grandmother, who had never liked the mother, was unwilling to bear the burden of her children and threw them out of the house. Fortunately, a kind person helped them by building a straw hut on a vacant lot and provided shelter for the mother and her nine children. The elder sons and daughters moved to the northern cities to work. The whole family barely survived on the support provided by Xiuzheng's mother and sisters. Xiuzheng's deepest childhood impression was the hardship of living and the pain of being at the mercy of others.
Because of the scarce work opportunities in remote villages, the mother decided to move her children to Taipei after about seven years. Xiuzheng and her younger sister worked hard to survive. From elementary school on, they always worked during school breaks to earn money and finished high school this way. But Xiuzheng felt very tired after so many years, and yearned for a home of her own.
Liao Xiuzheng (right) and her twin sister Liao Xiuying (left) had a difficult childhood
Yearning for a Home
When she was 25, Xiuzheng met her husband through work. It was a wonderful feeling to have a warm shoulder to lean on. In less than two months, she accepted her boyfriend’s proposal. They loved each other, and the grandparents were nice people too. It appeared that they were going to live happily ever after. But unexpectedly, her mother-in-law gradually increased her demands of Xiuzheng. Being used to hardship, she did not complain to her husband. But deep down, she was developing a deep resentment towards her mother-in-law.
Her husband’s parents came from Dacheng Isle in Zhejiang Province. They came in a group to Taiwan in 1955 when the Nationalists retreated from mainland China, and lived in Dacheng Village in Yonhe District of Xinbeshi City, with many neighbors being relatives. Xiuzheng’s father-in-law worked on a business liner, and spent at least half a year at sea every year. Sometimes he would be away for more than ten months before going home. Her mother-in-law has been living such a life since soon after she got married. She had to take care of her three children almost all by herself, including educating them. Luckily, with her education and care, the three sons all did very well.
Although economically she had no worries, her mental stress and loneliness were tremendous, and perhaps that was why she had a bad temper and always insisted on getting her way. She sunk into depression and it got worse and worse. By the time Xiuzheng’s husband went to high school, his mother on was on regular medication to control the depression.
Pressure from Mother-in-Law
After they got married, Xiuzheng and her husband lived in an apartment in the same building as her mother-in-law. They lived on the fifth floor, while the mother-in-law lived on the fourth. Although they lived in separate apartments, it felt as if they lived in the same house. The mother-in-law and Xiuzheng often went for groceries together. Seeing the mother-in-law holding her hand, the neighbors said, “They looked like mother and daughter rather than mother-in-law and the daughter.” But beneath the surface her mother-in-law was indeed unhappy. The mother-in-law complained to her, “I have done a lot for you guys, but none of you care about me.” Xiuzheng and her husband both worked. No matter how much money they gave to her mother-in-law every month, she complained about not having enough.
Once, Xiuzheng accidentally heard her mother-in-law complaining to her husband, “Why did you marry her, knowing that she was so much trouble?” Xiuzheng felt very bad. It turned out that when she worked in a relative’s company at age 20, her identification was used to borrow money by someone without her knowledge. After the company was dissolved, she went into debt without even knowing about it. Although her relative took responsibility and settled the debt, the process was excruciating and troublesome. Her mother-in-law was displeased with her, and vice versa.
On the surface, they did not have any conflict or fights between them, but there was a lot of friction in their daily lives. When her mother-in-law’s depression was bad, she would threaten to jump off the building to kill herself. Xiuzheng was scared and the pressure placed on her got worse and worse. Six years had passed, but she was unable to get pregnant. Her mother-in-law would ask her, “Why are you not pregnant yet?” Xiuzheng answered helplessly, “Mother, we are not on pills or anything, but the baby just doesn’t come. If someone asks you again, please just tell them that I cannot get pregnant.”
Xiuzheng's husband had always enjoyed Taiwan's east coast, and Taidong County in particular. His friend from the military invited him to live and do business in Xingang, Taidong. When her husband told her about it, Xiuzheng was delighted and eager to escape the pressure that she was under. About seven months after they moved to Xingang, she became pregnant. When their first child was one and a half years old, she was pregnant with a second daughter. Xiuzheng said, “The best thing was that I learned Dafa during that time. I became the luckiest person in the world.”
In 2003, Xiuying, Xiuzheng’s younger sister, saw a television report about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The words “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” impressed her greatly, although she was confused. “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance cannot be wrong. Why is the CCP suppressing it?” Xiuying searched curiously on the web and found a Dafa website. After she read Zhuan Falun, she called Xiuzheng, “Sister, I found what I wanted for my life.” She found a practice site and began to cultivate Dafa. A month later, she downloaded Zhuan Falun and mailed it to Xiuzheng. It was the end of 2003.
Xiuzheng was elated to receive Zhuan Falun, and finished reading it in two days. She continued to study it diligently. Her husband joked, “Had you studied so hard before, you would have been a PhD by now.” A month later, Xiuzheng learned the five Falun Gong exercises.
The work in Taidong did not go as well as they expected. They heard from her aunt-in-law that her mother-in-law’s depression had gotten worse after they left, so she and her husband moved back to Xinbeishi in January 2004 during her second pregnancy and with their daughter by their side.
Postpartum Hemorrhaging Heals Quickly
Although it had not been long since she learned Dafa, Xiuzheng had a completely new life. She was out of the hospital very soon after she gave birth to her second daughter. After she had lunch at home, she suddenly felt excruciating pain in her lower body. She struggled to walk to the bathroom, and felt something coming out as soon as she sat down on the toilet. She was shocked to find that she was hemorrhaging.
A postpartum hemorrhage is life-threatening. Her non-practitioner husband and elder sister were both very nervous and wanted to take her to the hospital. Xiuzheng told them that it was going to be all right. Her younger sister helped her to bed. Both of them decided to study Dafa, but Xiuzheng was still resting in bed. Her sister asked, “Is it proper to study Dafa lying in bed?” “True, it is not proper.” “If you are a practitioner, you should sit up to study the Fa.” “True, I should.” The two began to study Zhuan Falun, and Xiuzheng’s situation improved. They consoled the people standing outside of the door, “We are studying the Fa. It is going to be okay. Don’t worry.” Soon she was able to get out of bed on her own and returned to good health.
Her Mindset and Conduct Were No Longer the Same as Before
Xiuzheng and her husband moved back to their original house in Xinbeshi with their daughters. The three generations lived together. The pressure from her mother-in-law did not lessen, and in fact it got worse. But for Xiuzheng, her mindset and conduct were no longer the same. She used the Fa to examine herself and maintain her xinxing. She took the friction and pressure as a reminder and test to see if she had lived up to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in her daily actions.
Xiuzheng's brother-in-law lived away from them after he got married. His daughter and Xiuzheng’s daughter are of similar age. Xiuzheng’s mother-in-law loved her little granddaughter very much, and on the other hand did not hide her dislike of Xiuzheng’s two daughters. Xiuzheng often felt so bad that she cried secretly. Once when her relatives came to visit them, her mother-in-law only hugged the brother-in-law's daughter and completely ignored Xiuzheng’s daughters, who were eagerly waiting for their grandma's hug. Seeing her disappointed daughters about to cry, Xiuzheng was so upset. Deep in her mind, she felt a deep resentment. A voice came from inside, “I can never forgive her.” She tried hard to suppress the thought in her mind, but she was unable to, no matter how hard she tried.
She asked her husband privately, “Why does mother not like my daughters?” Her husband said, “Because they are your daughters. She just doesn’t like them. What can you do?” The words hit her hard and she realized, “It is because I did not do well. I have the attachment to human emotion. Why can't I let go of this attachment?” She also found that she had the attachment to jealousy. After she let go of those attachments, she was not as bothered by similar situations, and the occurrences of such situations lessened.
Studying Fa and Looking Inward
One day, Xiuzheng's brother-in-law came to visit her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law gave him some freshly squeezed juice to take home. Xiuzheng ran into them at the doorway, and the mother-in-law blew up for no apparent reason, “Look at her face. I did not give her the juice, so she is showing me the ugly face.” Both Xiuzheng and her brother-in-law were stunned and did not know what to do. But Xiuzheng was a practitioner after all. She looked inward to see if she still had jealousy and resentment toward her mother-in-law remaining. She struggled very hard inside, honestly trying to get rid of her attachments.
One day, for unknown reasons, the mother-in-law yelled at Xiuzheng from the apartment building's balcony. Xiuzheng’s husband went to her side to try to calm her down, but she would not stop. The aunt-in-law living across the building was disturbed. She came to her balcony and said to the mother-in-law, “You have such a good daughter-in-law. Why do you keep yelling at her? What exactly do you want?” Xiuzheng and her husband did everything they could to calm her down. After they helped her back to the room and sat down, she said to her, “Mom, don’t be angry. Please tell me what I did wrong to upset you and I will change.” Her mother-in-law pushed her away, pointed at her nose and yelled, “Actually you want me to die! It is true. That's what's on your mind.” Her husband tried to calm her down, but she was even more upset, “You only care about your wife, and not about your mother.”
Xiuzheng looked inward to examine her own thoughts. Although she never wished anything bad upon her mother-in-law, her longing to get away was by all means true. Ostensibly, she did all a daughter-in-law should do, but she did not truly want to be nice to her. She indeed had shortcomings, and her mother-in-law’s behavior reflected those very issues. She continued to study the Fa and share experiences and thoughts with fellow practitioners, and earnestly hoped to root out the hatred in herself and change her negativity toward her mother-in-law.
Her mother-in-law went on a vacation with relatives, and Xiuzheng’s husband asked her to buy some necessities for her before she came home. While on the streets, she kept asking Teacher for help. She would begin to weep whenever she came to a quiet place. She recalled, “I can never forget hearing Teacher saying next to my ear, ‘As long as you can think of one thing, I will help you see things differently.’ I kept thinking while I walked. Suddenly one thought occurred to me, ‘At least she is my husband’s mother. She gave birth to my husband.’ I said silently to Teacher while crying, ‘That is all I could think of.'”
When Xiuzheng arrived at their building, the relatives were helping the mother-in-law into the building. One relative said, “The tour bus went through the mountains. Your mother didn’t feel well. She has been throwing up and is very weak now.” With the help of two relatives, her mother-in-law managed to get off the bus and walk to the gate of the building. Without hesitation, Xiuzheng took over, “No problem. I’ll help her upstairs.” “Can you do it yourself?” “Yes. I can.” She half-carried and half-lifted her mother-in-law to the fourth floor.
After everything was settled, she realized, “This is my true self, without a single trace of hatred and displeasure. All I thought of was to help my mother-in-law rest well. My resentment toward her before came from bad notions that I had accumulated. Those notions were by no means the ‘true self.’ How could I be controlled by them?” Xiuzheng said, “At that time, I truly saw myself in my mind. I had no hatred whatsoever, and could get along well with my mother-in-law very peacefully. I truly want to thank Teacher for helping me see a different self. I think it was from that moment on that I have become a true practitioner on the path of cultivation.”
Xiuzheng said, “From then on I truly learned how to look inward. I felt that in the past my looking inward was all very superficial.” She began truly to care about her mother-in-law. Whenever something happened, she would think, “My husband’s mother is also my mother. Just on this point, I should not differentiate between the two. Mother-in-law is also my mother. She is no different from the mother who gave birth to me.” She chatted with her mother-in-law, played the recording of Zhuan Falun for her, and shared her own understanding of the Fa with her. She treated her mother-in-law as her own mother, and looked after her each day.
For the past ten years, Xiuzheng's mother-in-law has lived a lonely life. Her husband worked away most of the time right after they got married, all the way until he retired at past sixty years old. Her mother-in-law yearned for her husband’s love and affection. However, he is a very reserved and old fashioned person. He felt that he had taken good care of his wife and did everything necessary for her, and that meant he loved her very much. His view of showing love and affection was totally different from what she was expecting.
Xiuzheng often consoled her mother-in-law when chatting with her, “Actually, father is very nice to you. He loves you. You see, he gladly takes over whatever chores that you don’t want to do. He takes very good care of you. Look around, no one among our neighbors or relatives can do as well.” Her mother-in-law could not deny that fact, but still kept crying. Xiuzheng told her, “Mother, if you feel bad, please recite ‘Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.’ It will help you a lot.” Her mother-in-law agreed.
In the past two years, although her mother-in-law’s depression lessened a lot, it has not gone away completely. Her mood has been much more stable and she has not taken as much medication. She still has ups and downs, but Xiuzheng's efforts are a big help. Once during their talk, she held Xiuzheng’s hands and said with tears in her eyes, “You know, no one except you is truly good to me.”
Recently, her mother-in-law was hospitalized. She insisted on having Xiuzheng accompany her and said some things that were hard to understand. Xiuzheng thought of the sentence in “Wealth with Virtue” in Essentials for Further Advancement, “An elderly person goes after it to take care of himself in his old age,” and realized that what her mother-in-law intended to say was, “I hope someone could take care of me when I am old and immobile.” She held her hand and said, “Mother, I am your daughter. Don’t you worry about having no one to take care of you. I surely will take of you. Please be assured.”
Whole Family Benefits
With Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in her life, Xiuzheng's mother-in-law's depression has gotten much better. In the past, when Xiuzheng and her husband went out or visited her maternal family, her mother-in-law would always be unhappy and felt that they were wasting money. She felt that Xiuzheng and her husband did not give her enough money, and would ask for more. Over these past two years, she encouraged them to go out and have fun. When Xiuzheng gave her money, she would say, “You don’t make much money, and you have children to take care of. You truly don’t need to give me money. I am all right.” Xiuzheng said, “Mother, don’t worry about us. We have enough money. Please take it.”
Although they had a very rough start, the mother-in-law and Xiuzheng’s relationship became better and better. Xiuzheng used a cultivator’s xinxing to be truly good to her mother-in-law. They were truly like a mother and daughter. Xiuzheng said, “If it weren't for Dafa, I would not have been much better than my mother-in-law. Perhaps my depression would be worse than hers. Teacher gave me the key of looking inward. Dafa directed me to examine myself, and helped me understand that the key for everything is inside me. If it were not for the fact that I cultivated in Dafa, I could never get along with my mother-in-law so well.”