(Minghui.org) When I was a teenager, I visited the Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California, with my mother and sister. I wanted to climb down the side of the canyon under the bridge to get to the river, but it was a long, steep hike. My sister and I were young and fit, but our mother was weak and fatigued, since she suffered from long-term Type I diabetes and fibromyalgia. We climbed a short ways down the canyon, but our mother said she wouldn’t be able to climb back up if we went any farther, so we turned around. She barely made it back up the hill—she had to link arms with us, and we towed her up.

That summer, we went on a trip to Alaska together. I noticed that something seemed odd. My mother wasn’t tired. She hiked across an enormous glacier, explored a cave, and visited all kinds of tourist sites with us, and she didn’t complain about fatigue. She wasn’t even eating the usual strict diet and nutritional supplements she used to need in order to function. It was as if she had suddenly become young again.

Later, she told me why. Two weeks before our trip, she had learned Falun Dafa, a Chinese meditation discipline for improving the body and mind. In just a few days, Falun Dafa had made her well.

A few months later, she hiked all the way down the Foresthill Bridge canyon and back up with me and my sister. No arm-towing was required.

Needless to say, I wanted to learn more about Falun Dafa. I soon began to practice it myself, joining the tens of millions of people worldwide who have experienced its amazing benefits.

Overcoming Fear

I was born afraid. I cried if anyone besides my parents held me. As a little girl, I was terrified of loud noises, especially the sound of running water. When I was a preteen, I became afraid of a whole list of things: germs, crowds, sleepovers, food, bad smells, the slightest symptoms of illness, and even the future possibility of my stuffed animals getting old and falling apart. (That last one may sound strange, but I lay awake at night worrying myself sick over it.)

The doctor prescribed anxiety medicine, which helped some, but when I was 15 years old, I developed symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Everywhere I went, I was compelled to read every word I saw. If I didn’t, I felt horrible anxiety, as if hot water had been poured into my stomach. It felt like I couldn’t control my own mind, and it was terrifying. It was lucky I was home-schooled at that time. If I had been in public school, I don’t know how I would have gotten through each day. At home, I managed it by keeping my eyes to the floor as much as possible to avoid looking at words.

I had to take twice as much anxiety medicine to control the OCD, but the medicine didn’t completely cure it. I knew that the chemicals in the medicine weren’t good for my body, and I had heard that this drug was addictive and hard to quit, and I might have to take more and more as the years went by. I didn’t want that to happen, but I was afraid to stop taking it.

I was 19 years old when my mother told me about Falun Dafa. When I was 20, I started reading the English version of Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, translated from Chinese. The book taught me how to improve my xinxing, or moral character, by following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

Just from reading the book, and before I even learned the Falun Dafa exercises, my OCD was cured.

A few months later, I learned the five sets of exercises. I gradually stopped taking anxiety medicine, and the OCD didn’t come back. Before practicing Falun Dafa, I once became irritable and (if I remember correctly) shoved one of my little sisters when I forgot to take the medicine for two days in a row. This time I didn’t become irritable. I endured a few brief withdrawal symptoms, and soon those were gone, too. I no longer needed the medicine.

Improving Xinxing

I used to complain a lot about doing my chores, even though I didn’t have very many. After I read Zhuan Falun and learned about Forbearance, I washed dishes and cleaned the bathroom with a cheerful heart.

Once, soon after I began learning Falun Dafa, my dad and stepmom became unhappy because I kept forgetting to lock the door at night. They said I would have to start going to bed early to prevent this problem. I realized this wouldn’t leave me any time at night for writing, my favorite hobby. I got so angry that I couldn’t speak. Later I talked to my dad disrespectfully and told him I refused to obey the bedtime rule.

Afterward, though, I remembered Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. From reading Zhuan Falun, I had learned that we should regard this kind of situation as a test of our character. I had failed the test, and I was ashamed of myself. The next day I apologized to my dad and said I had been rude and stupid. He smiled and hugged me. Just like that, the conflict was over. I put a note near my bed reminding me to lock the door, and the problem was solved.

From then on, I always tried to follow the principles of Falun Dafa whenever I encountered conflicts. The results have been great. My step mom and I used to fight and didn’t get along very well, but ever since that day, we have gotten along wonderfully.

Peaceful Mind

When I was 22 years old, my younger sister and I moved into our own apartment. My sister was delighted to move out, but I was frightened and missed home. In fact, I had already been very anxious for several months, since I had just become an adult and had a lot more responsibility, my first boyfriend, and worries about the future.

However, leaving home meant I could plan my own schedule, so I had a lot more time to study Zhuan Falun and do the exercises. I started reading the book and doing the exercises more diligently. A couple of weeks later, I stopped feeling afraid. I knew it was Falun Dafa that helped me.

I am 25 years old now. The child who used to lie in bed worrying about stuffed animals is gone. If I find myself lying awake in bed feeling scared, I get up and do the exercises, and then I feel calm again.

I used to receive Social Security disability income, since I had some symptoms of autism and my step mom wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep a job. After learning Falun Dafa, I wrote to the Social Security staff and explained that I was no longer disabled because I practiced Falun Dafa. They stopped sending me money.

Today I work for an electronics company and sometimes go on business trips. I went on a business trip to Florida by myself, and when I felt afraid to be so far from home, I recited the introduction of Zhuan Falun and felt better. If I had not been a Falun Dafa practitioner at that time, I’m sure I would have panicked.

The boyfriend I mentioned earlier is now my husband. He also practices Falun Dafa. Since we both adhere to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, we get along very well and almost never fight. It is thanks to Falun Dafa that I am able to have a normal life, a happy marriage, and a peaceful mind.

Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa and author of Zhuan Falun, made Falun Dafa public in 1992. Before that, the practice was taught only in private. I am deeply grateful to live during the time when Falun Dafa is widespread in the world.

In 1999, the head of the Chinese communist regime felt threatened by and envious of Falun Dafa’s enormous popularity. The regime launched a violent persecution, harassing, torturing, and killing those who practice Falun Dafa in China. Since Falun Dafa has done so much for me and millions of others, I do volunteer work to help raise awareness of the persecution.

I hope that this article will help more people learn about the beauty of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.