Improving After a Long Tribulation
(Minghui.org) Two years ago, my husband suddenly began treating me badly. He often spoke to me in an angry, loud tone. Instead of being tolerant, I fought back. When his voice became loud, mine was louder. I thought he was being unreasonable.
For example, when he asked whether a customer had paid and I replied that they had not yet paid, he started to shout at me. My response was to fight back, “You are being unreasonable. When you are angry, I become angry. I sometimes miscalculate, but as long as I correct it, it's fine. Why are you overreacting? You may be angry, but I'm angrier than you!”
Although I looked inward after the encounter, I quietly wept because I felt wronged.
My son treated me the same way. He often lost his temper and got angry with me over trivial matters. One time he asked where the border between our yard and the neighbors' yard was. I did not know since there was no marker and told him, “It doesn't matter. We have a good relationship, and I often help them pull the weeds.”
As soon as I said this, he suddenly became angry and started to curse at me. He then threw my favorite bowl to the floor and shattered it. I did not say a word, and went upstairs. I was shocked. When I went upstairs, I saw that he had scattered about 5 kg of buckwheat on the floor. My heart sank. I quickly cleaned it up so that my husband would not see it.
Because I remembered Master Li's teaching, I did not have any resentment towards my son:
“In cultivation, there may be two scenarios when dealing with specific conflicts or when others treat you badly. One is that you might have treated this person badly in your previous life. You feel in your heart that it is unfair, ‘How can this person treat me like this?’ Then why did you treat this person that way in the past? You might claim that you actually did not know it at that time, and this life has nothing to do with another lifetime, but that won't do.” (Zhuan Falun)
These conflicts between my husband, our son, and myself dragged on for two years. I felt that life was really hard and unfair, and that nothing in this world was worth being attached to. I was determined to cultivate well and follow Master home.
“Cultivation must take place through tribulations so as to test whether you can part with and care less about different kinds of human qing and desires. If you are attached to these things, you will not succeed in cultivation. Everything has its karmic relationship. Why can human beings be human? It is because human beings have qing. They live just for this qing. Affection among family members, love between a man and a woman, love for parents, feelings, friendship, doing things for the sake of friendship, and everything else all relate to this qing. Whether a person likes to do something or not, is happy or unhappy, loves or hates something, and everything in the entire human society comes from this qing. If this qing is not relinquished, you will be unable to cultivate. If you break free from this qing, nobody can affect you. An everyday person’s mind will be unable to sway you. What comes and replaces it is benevolence, which is a nobler thing.” (Zhuan Falun)
Experiencing a Breakthrough
After such a long conflict, I was able to completely let go of my sentimentality for my husband and son; I learned what compassion is. However, I still had many attachments to eliminate, so the conflicts kept happening.
Maybe Master saw that my xinxing had not improved so he arranged a test to help me.
One morning, just before I made a truth clarifying phone call to China, my husband severely scolded me. Even though I was very upset, I knew that as a cultivator, I should not argue with him. However, I was so furious that I did not speak to anyone for an entire day.
That evening, I told the practitioners in my area about my tribulation. Even though I had looked inward, I could not identify any attachments. One practitioner said that whenever she felt she needed a breakthrough, she recited Zhuan Falun. I said that I wished I could memorize the Fa.
After returning home, I went to Master's portrait and asked for help. Usually, as soon as I looked inward, the tribulation would quickly end. However, this time it went on for two years, and was impacting my calling people in China to tell them about the persecution.
I continued to talk about my situation with practitioners online, and my mind eventually became clear. I calmed down, carefully examined myself, and found many attachments. I realized that I was looking down on my husband. Wasn't that jealousy? I also still had a competitive mentality, resentment, and the attachment to personal interests (My husband doesn't know how to manage money, and we spend all we earn).
I also failed to cultivate speech and often talked about my husband's shortcomings in front of our children. I then found one more fundamental attachment... Longing for a happy family and a happy life.
After I found these attachments, my husband changed. He now speaks to me nicely. My son no longer loses his temper, and our family is harmonious.
I have also started to memorize the Fa. I tried ten years ago but stopped. It's different this time and somehow seems easier. I now understand many Fa principles and I can focus when I study the Fa. I plan to continue this time. I will also do well with what is expected of practitioners and hope to keep improving.
I would like to close with Master's teaching:
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)