[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] My Daughter-in-Law and Me
(Minghui.org) I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1995. Both my mind and body have become purer in my 20-plus years of cultivation. I became more compassionate, and my family is filled with peace and harmony. My relationship with my daughter-in-law also improved when I started living by the principles of Falun Dafa.
From Closeness to Cold War
After my son married, the young couple lived with us. We got along very well for five years, and our family was happy together.
When our granddaughter was born, I quit my job and became a stay-at-home grandparent. I thought that with my years of experience in early childhood education and management skills, as well as my practicing Dafa, it would be an easy job to care for the whole family. I had never expected that this would cause a difficult relationship with my daughter-in-law, one that lasted for years.
I was busy looking after the baby and doing housework all day long. Instead of appreciation from my daughter-in-law, I felt a gap growing between us.
With insufficient study of Dafa, I couldn't discipline myself according to the requirements of a practitioner. I began to develop negative thoughts about her. I was especially upset about the way she spoke to me. We often disagreed with each other. Although I knew I shouldn't argue with her, I never thought I did anything wrong and always blamed her for causing me trouble. Instead of solving the problem like a practitioner, my negative thoughts towards her intensified. Our conflicts continued and sometimes involved the entire family.
She once said to me, “It has been two years, yet you still care so much about the way I talk to you. You haven’t improved at all.” That was a heavy blow for me. It finally occurred to me that I was a practitioner and had to improve myself amid conflicts.
Although I stopped bringing up my discontent about her attitude after that, I didn't let go of this attachment in my heart. To prevent more conflicts, I avoided talking to her and thought that I was practicing “tolerance” and “cultivation of speech.” As she didn't want to talk to me either, we entered a multi-year “cold war.”
Hint from Master
Although I tried to be tolerant on the surface, I couldn't stop complaining in my heart and felt aggrieved for not being appreciated after doing so much for the family. No matter how much I did for my daughter-in-law, she still said that I didn't care about her.
After my husband passed away, I felt even more depressed about my family. Everyone was cold to me. My son rarely talked to me, and even my granddaughter talked to me in a disrespectful tone.
Seeing that I had a hard time passing the test, Master revealed to me the following scene during meditation one day: I saw a goddess in a beautiful white dress. She was surrounded by flowers, very holy and solemn. I had a clear feeling that it was my daughter-in-law.
I enlightened that she was a divine being who had come for Dafa and also to help me improve in cultivation. Everything she did or said that irritated me was meant to create opportunities for me to improve and eliminate my attachments and human notions.
Letting Go of Complaints
I calmed down and began to review my cultivation over the previous few years. I had been so attached to doing things, including producing truth-clarification materials and doing housework. I was so busy that I slacked off in Fa study and my cultivation of xinxing.
I made up my mind to change.
After systemically studying all the lectures taught by Master twice, I finally had a clear understanding of the situation.
“Indeed, the conflicts and tensions that you encounter or whatever it may be are all meant to test your mind, and to see: Can you handle it in a manner befitting a cultivator? Is how you handle it worthy of a Dafa disciple? That’s what cultivation is, isn’t it?” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)
“You should all be thinking this way, with your first thought being to scrutinize yourself to try to find the problem. Whoever is not like this is not in fact a true cultivator of Dafa. It is a magical tool in our cultivation. This is a distinguishing feature of our Dafa disciples’ cultivation. Whatever it is that you encounter, the first thought should be to scrutinize yourself, and it’s called ‘looking within.’” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)
I learned how to look within. The next time I felt upset, I tried to look within but still couldn't find my problem. I sought help from Master. Then, the word “compassion” appeared in my mind, which I took as a hint that I didn't have compassion toward my daughter-in-law.
With Master's help, I learned how to look within and found many of my problems. I found a competitive mentality, the desire to show off, complaining, fear, and the attachment to fame. After I found and eliminated my attachments one by one, I felt my heart become much lighter.
Among all the attachments, the mentality of complaining was the hardest to change.
Master taught us:
“You will be made to abandon all those attachments that cannot be given up among everyday people. As long as you have them, all of those attachments must be removed in different environments.” (Zhuan Falun)
“If you can commit your mind, no difficulties can stop you. I would say that there is not a problem.” (Zhuan Falun)
I made up my mind that I had to stop complaining.
Master said: “let me tell everyone that matter and mind are one thing.” (Zhuan Falun)
I understood that because the substance of “complaining” existed in my field in another dimension, it controlled me and made me complain in this dimension of ours. Only after I completely eliminated the substance would I stop complaining.
I also enlightened that the mentality of complaining didn't exist in isolation. It was connected to many other attachments, such as selfishness, hatred, and an attachment to self. As a practitioner of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” I could not allow these attachments to continue interfering with me.
I began to send righteous thoughts to eliminate these attachments. Whenever I began to complain in my mind, I sent righteous thoughts toward it. I also constantly reminded myself to stay calm and not become angry, no matter what others said to me.
“…you should always maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness.” (Zhuan Falun)
Gradually, I complained less and less. Master arranged many opportunities for me to improve my xinxing, and I made my way through.
I once heard my daughter-in-law arguing with her daughter, complaining about their attitudes toward each other. Instead of trying to stop them, I looked within and realized that I had the same attachment. As if they could see my heart, as soon as I thought this way, they stopped arguing with each other. I knew it was the bad substance in my field that had affected them.
Finding My Shortcomings
After Master removed the bad substance from me, I felt my mind was broader and I was more tolerant. Looking back at things that had happened in the prior few years, I sincerely felt they were all my fault. No matter how I disliked things done by my daughter-in-law, the fundamental reason for our conflicts was within me.
Master talked about the principle that “the appearance stems from the mind.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
When I felt unhappy, my face was cold and I was impatient to others. When I heard her grumbling about others, wasn't I doing the same thing to her?
I finally agreed with her that “I didn't care about her.” The difference between “caring about her” and “doing things for her” was whether I put my heart into what I was doing.
Everything in my life is arranged by Master. With help from my daughter-in-law, I had improved my xinxing based on Dafa. I'm sincerely grateful for my daughter-in-law.
A Sweet Turnaround
I used to think I was the one who worked the hardest in the family to take care of others. I never thought from my daughter-in-law's perspective how much she had to take on. From taking care of the child and her elderly parents to balancing her work and many other things, her life isn't easy.
After I became more understanding of her, I suddenly realized that the bad substance that was creating gaps between us was gone. That bad substance was actually all my human notions that I didn't want to let go of in past years.
With changes in my heart, I smiled more. The way I talked was more gentle, calm and understanding. I truly cared about my daughter-in-law and was happy to help her from the bottom of my heart.
The coldness between us gradually melted away, and our relationship improved. She began to care about me. Both she and my son also helped me with housework. It was a great time when the three of us worked together to prepare meals for the family.
My granddaughter also became more polite and sweet. She now thanked me for everything I did for her. After I changed, my whole family and the environment around me also changed. Our family was filled with harmony and happiness again.
I feel so fortunate to practice Dafa. Master has given me everything. No words can describe my gratitude toward Master.
(Submission to “Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day” 2018 on the Minghui website)