My Husband's Cancer Diagnosis Was A Wake-Up Call in My Cultivation
(Minghui.org) From an everyday people's perspective, my marriage was a mistake, and fate hadn't been very “fair” to me. I was born into a military officer's family, but both my husband's parents were factory workers. I became employed at a large state enterprise, while my husband worked in a small collective enterprise, and later became unemployed. I liked literature, music, art, reading, and cleanliness, whereas he enjoyed drinking, smoking, chewing betel-nuts, and couldn't care less about cleanliness. He was sloppy and even spit anywhere he liked.
I was steadfast in everything I did, and was trustworthy, whereas he liked boasting, lying, often broke his word, and seldom carried things through to the end. I took care of the family and educated our child, while he was selfish, gluttonous, lazy, and often stayed out all night. I was open-minded and ready to take on responsibilities, whereas he was stubborn, narrow-minded, timid, and indecisive. I cherished marriage and family ties and their feelings, while he had no sense of responsibility, and had a few extra-marital affairs. I married him against my parents' will, and as a result of an odd coincidence.
A year after we married, our child was born, and my husband's true nature was revealed. As our financial situation worsened I began to regret marrying him. He quit his job and tried to get into business, but he failed in everything he did, and I had to help pay off his debts. I cried every day and was extremely miserable. He didn't seem to notice this big change in me and just carried on with whatever interested him. I started to argue with him and felt so angry that I was on the verge of mental collapse. I told him I wanted a divorce. Each time I raised this issue, he allowed me to get into a fit of rage, then left the house. A few days later, he would come back as if nothing had happened. He would not agree to divorce no matter what. In order to give my child a complete family, I endured the pain and suffering, and struggled along, feeling dispirited and at a loss, day after day, year after year.
In 1996 I started cultivating in Falun Dafa. Master taught us to conduct ourselves according to “Zhen-Shan-Ren” (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance) and to always consider others first and be unselfish. People become husband and wife because of predestined ties, and we all need to repay our karmic debts. I understood that as a cultivator I shouldn't try to solve the problems by divorcing my husband. However, due to my attachments to fame and personal interests, plus influence and interference from the morally degenerate society as a whole, I was unwilling to take responsibility for my “unfair” reality. As a result, I stumbled along on my cultivation path in dealing with the relationship with my husband.
I must say however, that during the 17 years of my cultivation, especially when Dafa was persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), no matter what happened--when I was arrested for going to Beijing to appeal for Dafa, when I was illegally sent to forced labor and my term was extended by another year because I refused to be “transformed,” when I was monitored and harassed by those from the neighborhood committee who didn't know the truth, when homeless fellow practitioners came to my house for help, when practitioners came to my place to study the Fa and share experiences, or when I clarified the facts with truth materials, I couldn't help noticing my husband's attitude. He always acknowledged Dafa! He also promoted Dafa to his friends. He endured the persecution and always supported me, and he even helped me post truth-clarifying letters. He warmly welcomed every fellow practitioner who came to our house. I thought, “He's able to do all this at the final stages of the Dharma-Ending Period. What an extraordinary being he is!”
By following Master's teachings and through Fa-study, I tempered my heart while encountering numerous tests. I let go of attachments and looked within. I gradually understood, “How can I judge and treat a person with selfish and low-level notions based on my own attachments to fame, personal interest, and sentiments--a being that I might have harmed deeply in my previous life? Master wants to save everyone.
Once I gained a clearer understanding of the Fa principles, I tried to put them into practice. But my heart encountered new turbulence when I was recently told that my husband had been diagnosed with rectal cancer, and it had already spread to his liver. He needed surgery, followed by chemotherapy, and it would cost a lot of money. Even with the treatment, he might only have two years to live.
My first thought was that he never cared about our daughter or me. When he was healthy he indulged in eating, drinking, gambling, and whoring. When he was doing business, I was constantly worried about him. I also had to pay off his debts numerous times. When I was detained in forced labor camps and suffering, he indulged in sensual pleasures and had extra-marital affairs. He had never given me a cent during my detention, and even my toilet paper had to be paid for by fellow practitioners. After I came out, I had work at three jobs to keep the family going. At one job I sold pork and was ordered about. I washed chickens and ducks in cold water during the winter. I worked hard to provide for the family and support my daughter's university education.
Right now my husband has no job, no source of income, no health insurance, and no social security, and I only have a 1700 yuan per month retirement pension. For his self esteem, I give him 200 yuan per month as pocket money. When I give him money for groceries, he buys extravagant ingredients such as turtles, bullfrogs, and eels, and cooks himself a nice meal. He refuses to quit smoking and drinking and won't do any exercises. I thought, "It's his own fault that he now has cancer!"
In China today, what people dread most is being sick. It costs over 1000 yuan if a child catches a cold! As a husband, he's never taken the responsibility to provide for the family. He now has cancer and I have to spend money for his treatment and take care of his daily needs, but I only have 50,000 yuan that was left to me by my mother when she passed away. This is all we have for emergency use. Furthermore, it's far from enough for his treatments, and I may have to borrow money for him. I'm nearly 60 now. Do I still have to do odd jobs to pay the debts? I couldn't keep a calm mind to study the Fa or clarify the facts to people.
When my daughter heard the news, she held me and cried, “Mom, I feel so sorry for you! You've never had a happy day with him and you've spent all your life for this family, and for him, but he's never cared about us! We now still need to borrow money and pay for him.” When his relatives heard about his illness, they also said, “We feel so bad for you! He got this illness and it's his own fault!” They knew about our dire financial situation and persuaded me to give up paying for his treatment. They even suggested that I ask the doctors to use medicine to “reduce his suffering.”
The first few days after his surgery, I was by his side around the clock, without eating or sleeping. I didn't tell him how critical his illness was, for fear that he wouldn't be able to bear it. I cleaned his feces from the colostomy five or six times a day, and removed bags of urine from the bladder catheter, while worrying how to deal with the huge medical bills. I later realized that this was also an attachment to personal interests, and I failed to have complete faith in Master and the Fa.
My husband was in a lot of pain, and frequently yelled at me. He never cared whether I had anything to eat or whether I slept during those days, nor did he care anything about our financial situation. When I took the opportunity to clarify the facts about Falun Gong to other patients in the ward, he would lose his tempter and try to stop me by bashing the bed. I couldn't study the Fa or do the exercises, and couldn't join fellow practitioners in Fa-study and sharing. I felt really miserable, and for a second, I almost lost control of myself!
I've been a Dafa disciple for 17 years. My heart is filled with Master's teachings, and I can't forget my mission and responsibility. With hints from Master through my daughter's mouth, I quickly calmed down and became diligent again. While I took good care of my husband, I made time to study the Fa and do the exercises in the ward, and sent righteous thoughts to eliminate interference to my husband in other dimensions and those dark minions and rotten demons that were preventing me from clarifying the facts. I played “Pu Du” for the other patients and told them to remember “Falun Dafa is good. Zhen-Shan-Ren is good,” and gave them amulets.
One day, my husband fell asleep. After reading one chapter in Zhuan Falun I opened the book “Falun Gong” and it happened to be the part about eliminating karma.
“The laws in this world are the same as those in heaven: Eventually you have to pay what you owe others. Even everyday people have to pay what they owe others. All the hardships and problems you encounter in your life result from karma. You have to pay. The path of life for our true cultivators will be altered. A new path that suits your cultivation will be arranged. Your shifu will reduce some of your karma, and what remains will be used to improve your character. You exchange and pay for your karma through performing the exercises and through cultivating your character. From now on the problems you confront won’t happen by chance. So please be mentally prepared. By enduring some hardships, you will come to let go of all the things an everyday person can’t. You will run into many troubles. Problems will arise in the family, socially, and from other sources, or you might suddenly meet with disaster, and it could even be that you will get blamed for what is actually someone else’s fault, to name just a few. Practitioners aren’t supposed to get sick, yet you might suddenly come down with a serious sickness. The sickness could come on with intense force, causing you to suffer to the point where you can no longer bear it. Even hospital exams might yield no diagnosis. Yet for an unknown reason the sickness may disappear later without any treatment. In fact, it’s that your debts are paid in this manner. Perhaps one day your spouse will lose his or her temper and start a fight with you for no reason at all; even trivial things might set off big arguments. Afterwards your spouse will be confused over his or her loss of temper. As you are a practitioner, you should be clear as to why that kind of incident takes place: It’s because that thing came—you are being asked to pay for your karma. To resolve such incidents, you have to keep yourself under control during those moments and mind your character. Be appreciative and thankful that your spouse has helped you pay for your karma.” (“Eliminating Karma”)
I felt as if I had never read this paragraph before, and I read it again and again, feeling very warm and bright in my heart, with tears welling up in my eyes. I felt that Master was right by my side, protecting me in my cultivation all the time. I thought, "I'm a Dafa disciple. Master has told us that nothing is accidental on our cultivation path. At this critical moment, have I required of myself with the standard for a Dafa disciple? Do I have complete faith in Master and Dafa? Why does my husband treat me this way? I must have committed huge karma in my previous life or lives that had harmed him so badly that I have to suffer the consequence today. Have I let go of the attachment to self-interest? Have I done well in repaying injury with kindness? Aren't we here to save sentient beings? Do I have the compassion I should have? Have I let go of self and considered my actions for the sake of saving a life with complete compassion?" It's been 17 years since I started cultivation. I felt so ashamed for the exposed attachments of fame, self-interest, sentiment, selfishness, and evil thoughts. I haven't cultivated well in this respect.
I thought, "I must repay the debts I owed in the past. I must use this opportunity to let go of selfish attachments to fame, self-interest, and sentiment, and save this man who has a predestined tie with Dafa. I must treat him with care and kindness. In an elevated realm I have cultivated according to “Zhen-Shan-Ren” as a Dafa disciple. I won't be attached to money or be confused by the false appearances in this dimension. I won't leave any regret in Dafa cultivation due to my pitiful and laughable selfish notions." Everything concerning us was arranged by Master and Master decides everything.
I calmed down, pushed away my initial anxieties, and started to hum Dafa songs. I told our relatives who came to see my husband, "I married him in this life time and he is my husband. I just can't stand by when he needs emergency treatment. This is a life we are talking about. I will do whatever it takes to help save him. If I don't have enough money, I'll sell the house."
I also talked to my husband about the miracles Dafa brought people and Master's boundless mercy and grace. I didn't try to lecture him or complain about anything. I just showed him deep caring love, and was optimistic for him. At the same time, fellow practitioners also came to encourage and help him, validating the healing power of Dafa with their own personal experiences.
“Of course, cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while transforming gong is done by one’s master.” (Zhuan Falun)
When my heart was righteous, compassion and wisdom also emerged, and a seemingly hopeless situation made a complete turn around. My husband, who never believed in Dafa's miraculous power, said he would like to cultivate in Dafa, and gave up his early insistence on chemotherapy. When he was discharged from the hospital, the cost was just under 50,000 yuan, which we were able to pay. After the stitches were taken out, my husband asked to listen to Master's Fa teachings as soon as we got home. After each lecture, he asked me to sit next to him and share his understanding of the Fa principles. He also said that as soon as his wound healed he would start doing the exercises and join me in doing things to save sentient beings. Master mentioned in his teaching,
"Having heard the Dao in the morning, one can die in the evening." (“Melt Into the Fa” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
This is the wakening of a being, a being's new life in eternity!
I observed all this with a joyful and peaceful mind. I was deeply inspired by the great compassion and wonders of Dafa, and experienced Master's boundless grace and painstaking salvation. I realized that my affinity with my husband was in fact predestined, and that we both would cultivate in Dafa. I didn't realize this earlier when I was confused. Only by purifying and cultivating ourselves well can we fulfill our pledge!
Two miracles happened to me the day before. The first one took place when I was trying out our electric bike. A taxi driving at high speed hit me hard from behind. I was thrown into the air and then fell onto the ground. The back of my head hit the ground hard, the electric bike underneath me slid forward, and the mirror, protection boards on the sides, and the bucket at the back were all smashed into pieces.
People gathered around me and I heard them yelling out in shock, “She's finished! She's dead!” I was lying there quietly, not feeling any pain at all. I touched the back of my head and slowly got up from the ground. I saw that I was barefoot, as both my shoes had come off from the impact. I saw my left foot bleeding a bit, but there was no pain. A man in his thirties or forties came to my side and said, “You're so lucky!”
He then turned to the taxi driver who was staring at me in shock, “Pay her money! You've hit her so badly. Quickly, pay her money!” The onlookers also said he needed to pay me. Someone also asked me to go to hospital for a checkup. I said to the man, “I practice Falun Gong. I'm protected by my Master. I'll be fine.” The man still kept saying, “What does this have to do with Falun Gong? Just let him pay you!” But the taxi driver started to complain about me, saying I was in the wrong and had gotten into his way.
I was aware that everyone was watching me. So I turned to the taxi driver and said loudly, “I won't give you any trouble. Don't worry. Because I practice Falun Gong I'm protected by my Master. We are cultivating the Great Law of the Buddha School and are blessed by gods. I'll be fine. However, you were driving too fast which is very dangerous. I hope you won't drive this fast again. You need to pay attention to safety. You must remember 'Falun Dafa is good. Zhen-Shan-Ren is good', so when disasters strike, you will be spared.” I heard people telling me, “Don't let him go. The police have arrived. He hit you. Let him pay!”
I didn't want to waste more time with the police, so when I saw the taxi driver reluctantly taking out 100 yuan to give me, I said to him with a smile, “I won't give you any trouble. I practice Falun Gong and I'm protected by my Master. You must remember 'Falun Dafa is good. Zhen-Shan-Ren is good'. You'll be blessed for doing so.” With these words, I got back on the electric bike and rode away, as the onlookers exclaimed in surprise. With such a big tribulation, if I were an everyday person, I would have been crippled, if not killed. Master endured all the suffering for me!
The second incident happened that evening. After I finished all the chores and sat in front of the computer to browse the Minghui website, suddenly I saw the article I submitted to the Ninth China Fahui on Minghui the year before (in which I also shared how I passed tests in dealing with my husband). It was not selected then. I realized that was because I was still far behind in comparison with fellow practitioners, and still held many attachments. I must hurry up and cultivate myself well. Today, a year later, just as I was beginning to “balance well” in dealing with the sentimental conflicts with my husband, Minghui published my article. What did this indicate? I realized it was encouragement from compassionate Master. I had been rather slow in enlightening to the Fa principles.
Master, I, a confused being with so much karma, have given you so much trouble on my bumpy cultivation path, yet you've always given me the best, the most! I cannot put into words my thanks for your great boundless grace! I can only kneel down in front of your portrait and say to you in my heart, "I will cultivate myself well! I will help Master in saving more people who have predestined ties with Dafa!"