Being a Good Daughter to My Quick-Tempered Mother-In-Law
(Minghui.org) My mother-in-law, who lives with us, is very hot tempered. Most people who know her well are well aware of it.
My mother-in-law now sings my praises everywhere she goes. I know in my heart that I could not have become who I am now without Master's guidance and my cultivation in Dafa.
She would say very hurtful things when she lost her temper, never considering others' feelings. Before I practiced Falun Dafa, I argued with her every time she mistreated or scolded me. If that didn't work, I held a silent grudge and felt sorry for myself. As a result, a dark cloud hung over our family.
After I started practicing Dafa, I knew I had to endure it and not retaliate against her. Master told us:
“you did not fight back when hit or talk back when cursed at.” (Fa-Teaching Given at the Conference in Sydney)
“Forbearance is the key to improving one’s xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator.” (What is Forbearance (Ren)?, Essentials For Further Advancement)
Although I was aware of these teachings, every time my mother-in-law scolded me, I immediately felt I was wronged and only recalled what Master said afterward.
I was tormented and kept asking myself, “How can I endure like a practitioner?” Through studying the teachings, I understood that, as a practitioner, I ought to search within myself when I was faced with a conflict.
The next time we had a disagreement, I held my tongue and asked myself what I did wrong. After rounds of such struggle and Fa study, I gradually came to the enlightenment that there must be some predestined relationship and karma between my mother-in-law and myself.
It was quite likely that I treated her this way in our past lives, so I was paying it back in this life. It was also possible that Master was using the karma between us to arrange tribulations and tests for me to improve my cultivation level. If it was the first case, I should not hold a grudge for paying off my debt because Master has told us, “If a debt is owed, it must be paid.” (Zhuan Falun)
If it was the second case, I should thank Master and my mother-in-law. Why should I hold a grudge? After my understanding became clear, my heart and mind suddenly became more open and accommodating. No matter how hurtful her words were, they were not able to touch me. She soon sensed that I'd changed and started to give me credit when telling others about our relationship.
Last year we had a birthday party for my mother-in-law. I drove several of her friends home after it was over. One of them said to me on the way, “She spoke ill of you in front of everyone, but you didn't get angry. Instead, you continued to help with the party in every way you could.”
It turned out I was not even aware of the episode she was referring to. She then went on to say, “If I ever treated my daughter-in-law that way, she would refuse to speak to me for at least a month. No wonder your mother-in-law sings your praises all the time.”
I realized that my mother-in-law had likely insulted her friends in their interactions. They were not practitioners and must have been offended by her words. So I started to chat with them, thinking it might be helpful in promoting mutual understanding. I said, “What you may not know is that she actually has a kind heart despite her quick temper and unthinking hurtful things she sometimes says. Soon after she vents her displeasure, she will treat you as if nothing happened. I say that from my own personal experience. So I wouldn't pay much attention to what she says and just do what needs to be done the way she wants it done. When she is angry and treats you or someone badly, please don't be offended and help hold her back and explain her temper to those who are hurt. Also, it would be great if you could reason with her when she cools down. Since you are her friends, she may listen to you.”
They agreed and said, “You are so nice. Now we know. We will help reason with her whenever we can.”
Before long, my mother-in-law's temper began to change and her attitude and tone of voice got better as well. One day she started to scold me: “How stupid you are! How stupid you are!” At that point, she stopped and looked at my calm face. I asked her as if everything was fine, “How should I do this?” She suddenly lightened up and seemed to have come to her senses, and said quietly, “Never mind. Let me do it.”
Something that used to separate my mother-in-law and me seemed to break into pieces at that exact moment. I knew the karma between us was resolved. Master must have done it for me when he saw that I truly no longer harbored any grudge or anger toward her. It is indeed as Master taught us:
“Countless are the chaotic things in this human worldGratitude and resentment now heaped atop one another,No hope had the wicked of heart, their karma massive‘Tis Dafa that resolves everything at the source”(Undoing the Disaster, Hong Yin II)