The Various Ways My Jealousy Manifests
(Minghui.org) Having being born and raised in China where traditional values were nearly wiped out by the Communist Party, jealousy has become so integrated into my way of thinking that it constantly creeps up on me. Especially when it comes to working with other practitioners, jealousy has held me back from helping and supporting in a constructive way and has even prolonged my own tribulations.
I am very involved in a truth-clarification project where practitioners from around the globe make phone calls to mainland China to tell people about Dafa and the persecution. Through this project, I have had many opportunities to interact and work with fellow practitioners. I've discovered that jealousy manifests in many different ways and interferes with our ability to cooperate with each other.
Jealous of Others Who I Feel Are Better
Once during an online group discussion, I signaled that I had something to share, but the practitioner who was hosting ignored me and called on several others.
When the host called on one practitioner and said, “June (alias), you were on mute earlier. Do you have something you'd like to share?” My first thought was, “Why is she getting all the attention? Why wasn't I called?” I was very irritated.
The following day, I mentioned how I was ignored and how it made me feel. The hosting practitioner then kindly invited me to talk. I immediately realized that I was jealous and felt embarrassed.
But why was I so jealous of June? She is good at talking to people about the persecution and gets really good feedback. If we learned from her, we would all benefit. Wasn't asking her to talk a good thing? It's also a great opportunity to learn from each other.
If we all became better at clarifying the truth, then the people we call would have a greater chance to be saved. I should be happy that June was invited to talk. I saw that my feeling jealous was caused by my attachment to validating myself and my show off mentality. I placed more importance on my own personal feelings than in helping to save people.
Jealous of Other Practitioners
Jealousy also manifests in many other ways. For example, I always like to check how many practitioners are online in the other teams. If I see that other teams have more practitioners making phone calls, I feel jealous that they are working on a bigger case than us.
When I looked inward, I saw my reaction was caused by my attachment to reputation and wanting to validate myself. When more practitioners make phone calls, it means that more people are being contacted which actually strengthens our truth-clarification effort as a whole. It's a great thing. I should be happy for them instead of feeling jealous.
Attachments and Feelings
Sometimes when I talk to another practitioner, if I feel that she's not as engaged in the conversation as I am, I immediately become unhappy and feel jealous. I'd think, “She seems to enjoy chatting with so-and-so more.” When I examined myself, I saw that this was caused by my feelings of sentimentality and attachment to practitioners. I also realized that I only want to hear nice things about myself.
Focusing on Others' Shortcomings
I'm not very good at expressing myself. It bothers me that another practitioner on my team communicates well with others, and that she's always willing to help. Jealousy makes me focus on her shortcomings and analyze what she doesn't do well.
One time, our team was asked to phone a certain number. I was in the middle of something, so this practitioner made the call. During the conversation, the person she called became very upset and started to curse. She called back a few times but with the same results. I thought this practitioner was being a little pushy and lacked compassion. It didn't occur to me to tell her to stop calling and try again later.
Later that day, I thought about this incident. The person she called was already upset, yet the practitioner just kept phoning her. Doing this could easily push people away. I immediately started thinking about the other areas where this practitioner fell short. As soon as I realized what I was doing, I knew I was being jealous.
I messaged her privately the next day and briefly told her what I noticed and said that I hoped she could be more compassionate. She replied, “Thanks!” She didn’t insist that she was right, as I thought she would. A practitioner from Taiwan also brought up this incident and said that later another practitioner phoned this number, and the person was calm and listened for a long time. The other practitioner became silent—and I knew that she must have been looking inward.
I honestly shared my thoughts with her later that day and said, “When making phone calls, I try to let people feel the compassion of a practitioner even when they are cursing at me. However, when I have a disagreement with a fellow practitioner, I'm not compassionate. Sometimes, I'm not even very respectful or considerate of their feelings.” She thanked me.
Jealousy Makes Me Competitive
Whenever someone points out my shortcomings, my first reaction is usually to deny it in my mind instead of looking within and seeing what caused them to say this. This has made me become competitive.
One day, a practitioner asked me to suggest that another practitioner on my team handle a specific situation differently. All I needed to do was to relay the message. However, my first reaction was to explain that I hadn't done anything wrong. I felt unsettled, thinking I only made that mistake one time, why did she have to bring it up again? I realized that my jealousy was surfacing again, so I tried to stay calm.
That afternoon, my feelings of being unfairly judged surfaced again, and I wanted to talk to the practitioner that made the suggestion. But I knew if I tried to explain it, I would probably upset everyone. Since we're all cultivating away our attachments, it's sometimes not easy to work with other practitioners. If I react in an emotional way, we may have misunderstandings. I quickly calmed down and solemnly told myself not to fall for the trap by creating conflicts between practitioners.
Completely Eliminating Jealousy
Why is it that my first reaction is usually not to look within, but instead to look outward and want to explain myself? The Communist Party's mentality of “fighting and struggling” has trained me to automatically look at others' mistakes instead of examining myself.
I don't like being criticized and like to hear nice things about myself. I lack tolerance and forbearance and always want to prove that I am right. When there's a conflict between myself and another practitioner, I always focus on that practitioner's shortcomings and forget her strong points and how she's helped me.
I finally understood what Master Li Hongzhi said,
“This also occurs among true cultivators, for mutual disrespect and not eliminating the attachment to competitiveness can both easily lead to jealousy.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
Master Li also said,
“That’s how things will be for you, starting now. Whether you are right or not is, for a cultivator, not important whatsoever. Don’t argue left and right, and don’t emphasize who’s right and who’s wrong. Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others. As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
Jealousy is rooted deeply in my thinking and is closely related to my selfishness, resentment, competitiveness, the mentality of showing off, and trying to validate myself. I truly feel that jealousy is a characteristic of the old cosmos and because of it, many tribulations were arranged to interfere with our cooperating with one another.
We are Falun Dafa practitioners, and we are one family. We have come a long way. We should, therefore, not be critical of others or point fingers, but instead, we should have tolerance and compassion for each other. I know that I haven't done well in this area, but I will do my best to improve from now on.