Resolving Misunderstandings by Looking Inward
(Minghui.org) I provide technical help on Dafa-related projects and interact with a lot of fellow practitioners. One of them, an elderly practitioner who I call Auntie, held a grievance against me for a long time, which severely strained our working relationship.
I have learned from this recent experience that if we can remove more of our attachments, expand our capacities, and handle issues rationally, we can enable more efficient utilization of Dafa resources on projects for helping people.
I would like to share how I gradually learned to look within, found my own problem and how I eventually resolved the problem with Auntie and me. I hope that my sharing will be helpful to practitioners who have encountered similar issues, as well as to practitioners who provide technical support like I do.
Auntie doesn't have a regular income but lives on savings from several businesses she ran years ago. She lives alone. Her situation is ideal for producing truth-clarification materials.
During the first several months that we worked together, I often went to her place. I taught her many common techniques used by truth-clarification materials production sites. Later, as her technical skills matured and the need for my help at other sites increased, I reduced the frequency of my visits. Unexpected problems followed.
Auntie expected me to keep visiting her. Once, I went to other practitioners' places to deal with some difficult issues. It was late after I resolved the issues. As I hadn't actually made an appointment with Auntie, I didn't go to her house that day.
When I finally did get back to her place, late one day, Auntie no longer smiled as she opened the door. She said coldly, “You're not willing to come to my place, right? If that's the case, you can tell me directly. Don't keep me guessing!”
Very unhappy with me, she went on, “If you are not willing to come, don't come anymore! You have come so late. Are you going to leave in a hurry? Just say so if you're not willing to come here. If I can't fix the technical problem, I'll quit!” No practitioner had ever spoken to me in such a way before.
I was quite calm on the surface and talked to her for nearly two hours that day. Auntie's dissatisfaction gradually went away. However, I felt burdened and upset. I used to think that I wasn't easily affected by others, but when a test came, I found that I wasn't that solid. I felt a little less upset when I listened to Master's audio lectures on my way home.
Auntie continued complaining via emails. She questioned, “Why do you dislike going to my place?” “Was it that you couldn't be bothered about what's happening at my place?” “You're always going to other places but never mine,” “What are you wasting time on every day,” etc.
After reading her emails, I tried to explain away her accusations sentence by sentence. When I asked her the basis for all her complaints, she just answered that she believed her judgment was correct.
The situation continued for a few months. I felt helpless and didn't want to go to her place anymore. I was unwilling to listen to her repeated accusations, didn't want to constantly explain things to her, remind her to look at problems from the perspective of the Fa, and then finally start solving the technical problems after one or two hours.
Subsequently, I no longer jumped on solving the problems that she emailed me about. As long as her production of truth-clarification materials wasn't interrupted, I patronized her with short email replies.
Other practitioners were very appreciative and understanding when I went to their places. They always said, “You are so busy. The job is almost done here now. I'll take care of the rest with righteous thoughts. Please go home.”
I was quite perplexed as to why Auntie and other practitioners differed so greatly. How could I stop Auntie from complaining? How could I help her look at things from the Fa's perspective? For a period of time, I thought that the problem was the result of Auntie's poor cultivation state and I tried to think about ways to help her change.
Through reading revered Master's lectures and practitioners' in-depth sharing articles, I gradually realized that the problem was a test that I needed to overcome. I finally realized what my problem was: I couldn't tolerate being misunderstood and feeling wronged.
Whenever Auntie misunderstood me, my heart went up and down. My patience was also greatly reduced. It was not easy to maintain a stable state, rational thoughts and patience whenever this happened. I was always too concerned about her thoughts about me and could not break free from it. In short, as a Dafa cultivator, my heart's capacity was too small. It was time to expand my capacity!
As I dug deeper in my self-examination, I realized that I shouldn't have been affected by Auntie's attitude towards me. My cooperation with Auntie was negatively impacted. In cultivation, human attachments are usually exposed in this way. I'm supposed to expand my capacity. My actual cultivation is reflected in looking within.
I realized that it was time to eliminate these attachments and human notions, let go of my self and expand my capacity. I would then be steady and not easily affected by my environment. I remind myself to treat myself as a Dafa practitioner.
Gradually, I could truly smile regardless of Auntie's mood changes. She also improved her Fa study and cultivation state. Our in-depth sharing helped her materials production site weather several rounds of severe interference. She persevered in producing beautiful materials. We could focus on the project at hand in a few minutes after a few sentences of sharing even if Auntie happened to be feeling unhappy again.
I clearly remembered what Auntie said to me after I identified my problem upon searching within: “You don't have to hurry and come rushing to me now. I know that you are in high demand. Check your emails frequently. As long as I can get in touch with you when I encounter problems, that's fine.”
I have understood that whether it is technical work or cooperating with practitioners in other ways, even if it may seem on the surface that we are helping practitioners on projects, we cannot ignore the many cultivation factors embedded in our work.
The various projects that we are involved in are cultivation environments where we help each other and improve together. When everyone has understood this and can elevate, projects will run smoothly.
I also identified the attachment of feeling superior than others. While I always seem to be humble, “Let's discuss and explore the problem together,” I realized that these words were merely courtesy. Subconsciously, I hoped that practitioners thought that I knew quite a bit yet remained modest.
When practitioners praise my technical skills or thank me now, I respond sincerely, “Actually we are doing the same thing, and I didn't do anything special. You don't really need to thank me. If you want to thank someone, thank our Master instead!”