Falun Gong Improved My Relationship with My Mother-in-Law
(Minghui.org) It has been 17 years since I started practicing Falun Gong in 1994. It has made me a kinder, more thoughtful person. More importantly, it has completely improved my relationship with my mother-in-law.
My mother-in-law was divorced when my husband was only three. She moved from a rural area to a city with her baby boy. She worked as a nanny and raised her son alone. Loneliness and hardship has hardened her and made her stubborn and bossy. After my husband and I had a baby boy, I thought the four of us would be happy and free of drama, but life with my mother-in-law was a misery.
The stress of living with my mother-in-Law
I'll give an example of the kind of thing she would do. My husband and I both work during the day. One day my mother-in-law made fresh steamed buns for dinner. The next morning when my husband and I wanted to take the leftover buns with us to work for lunch, they had disappeared. We spent a lot of time looking for the buns while she watched. When we came home for dinner that night, the leftover buns reappeared. She had hidden them in her bedroom. I was furious. She could have just told us she wanted to have them for dinner the next day and saved us the trouble of looking for them.
My husband and I rarely fight. We get along very well. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, was spiteful. I ignored her at first, but she would not stop until she got an emotional response from me. I could practically write a book about the strange things my mother-in-law did.
My health suffered
I was diagnosed with thyroid, pharyngitis, and tachycardia after I got married. I got tired easily and had to go to the hospital frequently. I was convinced I wouldn't have gotten sick if it wasn't for the daily stress of living with my mother-in-law. I made my colleagues at work listen daily to my complaints about her. One of them commented, “You are always upset with her.” Indeed, I had focused too much energy on my mother-in-law.
Learning Falun Gong
A colleague invited me to go to Teacher's Falun Gong class in early 1994. I did not go because I didn't know enough about Falun Gong. It was not until the end of 1994 that I decided to give it a try. A colleague taught me the exercises and brought me a copy of Zhuan Falun , Falun Gong's main study text. I read the book over and over again. I had finally found the meaning of life – returning to one's true innocent self through cultivation.
Our relationship improves
I also realized why my mother-in-law was spiteful to me. I must have done something bad to her in a previous life. When my mother-in-law was unkind again, I would remind myself of Teacher said,
“[...] as a practitioner one should not fight back when being punched or insulted, but should conduct oneself with a high standard.” (Zhuan Falun)
I treated her nicely, as though she had never said anything nasty to me. I no longer got emotional or talked back. Our relationship improved a lot. I found myself becoming completely healthy again. It was just as Teacher said,
“In the past, you would be tired if you walked a few steps, but now it is very easy no matter how far you walk. You feel as if being pushed while riding a bike, and you are not tired when going upstairs—no matter how many floors there are. It is guaranteed to be this way.” (Zhuan Falun)
Party propaganda poisons my mother-in-law against Falun Gong
As soon as the Chinese Communist regime announced its policy to suppress Falun Gong in July 1999, the state-run media in China started running propaganda around the clock to turn people against Falun Gong and to justify the regime's policy.
As someone who had benefited from the practice of Falun Gong, I was compelled to tell the Chinese government that those news reports were completely false. I exercised my constitutional right to appeal to the city committee, but I ended up being arrested. After that, the local police harassed me frequently. My mother-in-law was the chair of the neighborhood committee. She refused to listen to anything I told her about Falun Gong. She even assisted the police in the suppression of Falun Gong.
I really resented her for that. I talked to her many times and tried to stop her from siding with the police. Sometimes I got so frustrated that I warned her that heaven would punish her for what she had done, but that didn't stop her.
Despite their tactics, they failed to stop me from practicing Falun Gong. I kept Teacher's words in mind and persevered.
“Steadfastly cultivate Dafa, the will unflinching The raising of levels is what’s fundamental In the face of tests one’s true nature is revealed Achieve Consummation, becoming a Buddha, Dao, or God” (“True Nature Revealed” in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Truly letting go of past slights
Later on my mother-in-law had a stroke. I took care of her in the hospital, but I kept thinking about all the things she had said and done to me all those years. But when she checked into the hospital because of a second stroke, I felt very sorry for her. I couldn't seem to remember her past wrongs. Teacher must have eliminated some of my attachments for me.
My husband and I took turns taking care of her. She had had two strokes and could not even recognize the need to relieve herself. She needed help to eat, bathe, groom herself, dress, and use the bathroom. Patients and doctors in the hospital commented that I treated her like my own mother and took better care of her than her own son did. I took the opportunity to tell them that I practiced Falun Gong and told them about the practice. Some of the other patients even read Zhuan Falun .
"Falun Gong is good"
I have finally gotten through to my stubborn mother-in-law with kindness and devotion. She completely changed her mind about Falun Gong. She repeated with me when I taught her to say “Falun Gong is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” She felt much better once she started saying these phrases every day.
She joined the Communist Party in 1945 and was deeply poisoned by the Party propaganda. She repeatedly refused to agree when other practitioners and I tried to persuade her to quit the Communist Party. We wanted her to avoid the same fate that awaits the Party and those who assist in its crimes. She was very stubborn, but she finally agreed. She even chose to use her real name in her statement to quit the Party. I was very happy for her.
My husband was moved to tears by what I did for his mother. He sings the praises of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong has made me a much better person. I am convinced that we will touch people's hearts if we truly follow Teacher's teachings, eliminate our attachments, and selflessly think of others.