On Jealousy and Holding Grudges
(Minghui.org) A practitioner once told me that jealousy was the source of holding grudges, and I very much agreed. I had to eliminate my jealousy before I let go of my grudges, and I would like to share this part of my cultivation experience.
Letting Go of My Grudge Against My Ex-Husband
It’s been over ten years since I divorced my ex-husband, and I had since held a strong grudge against him. I had believed that he’d hurt me tremendously. Though after becoming a practitioner I knew that this had all happened for a reason, I still felt quite upset at times.
Last year, after I was released from a detention center, my son and I lived with my parents. When I studied the Fa teaching regarding jealousy, I wondered, “I must also have jealousy since it manifests strongly in Chinese people. But I don’t recall having been jealous of anyone.”
The next day at lunch, my son told me that my ex-husband had taken him to get a haircut and that the barber was a friend of his. Without thinking, I scoffed at what he said and made a comment, “When he spends enough money there, of course he'd be friends with the barber. They wouldn’t be friends if he didn't pay him!”
I touched my son’s hair and told him, “He only did a good job with your hair so that you would go back to him soon and give him more money.”
From my son’s displeased facial expression, I quickly realized that I was jealous. I immediately apologized and said that I was being condescending. I didn’t say that I was being jealous, even though I clearly knew that I was because I had considered it the worst kind of attachment. Through this, Master exposed my attachment to jealousy.
I felt ashamed knowing that I was jealous of how my ex had a lot of friends and how the barber made a lot of money. Being a practitioner, I also realized that I had attachments to fame and monetary gain. I wasn’t happy about my ex doing well because we had a bitter divorce. I never wanted to pick up his phone calls, and even when I did, I was always resentful. During those times, it was my attachments acting out.
I talked to a practitioner the next day and got reassurance that I needed to eliminate the attachments of jealousy and holding grudges. A few days later, my ex called and I picked up–something that I didn't normally do. The moment I picked up, I promised myself that I would let go of my grudge. To my surprise, his tone was the most gentle I had heard since our divorce. He remained that way over the next few calls, and I knew that Master had helped me remove my grudge.
One time, the grudge against him emerged again while I was doing the exercises, and the hurtful thing he’d done to me occupied my mind. I told myself that according to high-level principles, getting hurt was a good thing and that I should thank my ex. This was the exact moment that my grudge disappeared for good.
My Grudge Against My Parents
My mother had a bad temper and would often throw tantrums when things didn’t go her way. My father, as quiet as he was, would never defend me or comfort me when I was in trouble with my mother.
For me, the home wasn’t a warm place at all, and I once told my mother that I wouldn’t take care of her when she got old. I meant every word of it. I wanted to end my life every time my mother would ridicule me; it was as if she completely despised my existence. I also hated my parents for their negative effects on my marriage and career.
After I became a practitioner, I learned that everything happens for a reason. Though I tried to let go of my feelings and treat my parents nicely without complaining, there was always an invisible barrier between us.
Through studying the Fa, I came to realize that looking down on others is a strong manifestation of jealousy. I didn’t like the fact that they just wanted to live an easy and boring life and that they didn’t want to practice Dafa even after reading the books. When I dug deeper into my thoughts, I saw that I was attached to sentimentality and wanting them to become practitioners. Master says,
“Even praying to get rid of bad fortune and sickness for your family is an attachment of affection for your family. You want to control other people’s fates, but everybody has his own fate!” (The Fifth Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 translation)
My parents are educated and have a certain social status. They both have a strong sense of responsibility for the family. Without their living a routine, “boring” life, I wouldn’t have been able to grow up in a stable environment.
Even at their age, they would still think about how to give me and my child the best food for every meal. They barely said anything harsh to me after I was released from the detention center and had to live with them. I cried for a long time knowing that I was even worse than an ordinary person for blaming them after what they did for me. The grudge I had slowly melted away, and I got along with my parents better. My mother also became less irritable.
My stories have shown that grudges stem from jealousy. In fact, many attachments are all interconnected as they are all based on fame, gain, and emotions, which are in turn rooted in selfishness. All these attachments blend together and become complicated and implicit. Only when we look within ourselves according to the Fa principles and examine our every thought can we find and eliminate these attachments.
Looking Within More
When I come across the following situations, I look within: 1) when there is a conflict; 2) when I see other people’s attachments; 3) when I get emotional; 4) when random thoughts emerge while I study the Fa, exercise, and send righteous thoughts; 5) when I can’t focus on the things I do; 6) when I enlighten to something in my dreams, which normally involve multiple attachments.
I record the attachments I find in my cell phone and try to eliminate them in the first five minutes of sending forth righteous thoughts. When I notice the attachments I find in my daily activities, I suppress them. Normally, they go away in a couple of days.
Some attachments are more stubborn than others and keep coming back, and often it takes longer to eliminate them. When this happens, I stay clearheaded and try to keep my righteous thoughts strong. No matter how the attachment manifests itself and stirs up my mind, I suppress it, believing that it will eventually go away because I am a practitioner and Master is with me. Of course, I make sure to study the Fa well because that is the most essential part of our cultivation.
One time, a practitioner told me that when she sent righteous thoughts, her mind was occupied by the things her husband would do. I asked if she was upset, and she said, “absolutely.” I told her that Master says,
“Then you’ve failed to live up to Endurance. We strive to be True, Good, and Endure. And what’s more, your Goodness is nowhere to be found.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 translation).
I started lecturing her on how she wasn’t looking within and improving her xinxing after all these years and that she still had many attachments. I said a lot within a short time, wanting her to understand my points. She didn’t say anything. When we parted, she complained about her husband again. It was at that moment that I knew that what I had just said didn’t register in her mind.
At home, I looked within and found that I had a strong attachment to wanting to change others. It was precisely my strong attachment that prevented her from improving. Why was I so attached to this when I knew in fact that Master is on top of everyone’s cultivation? Did I believe that I was better than Master? Did I think what I understood was absolutely right when Dafa’s teaching is so profound? And again, I looked down on her because of her attachments.
Some attachments cannot be found unless I examine myself carefully. At times, I would wonder how I could do chores more effectively, carry myself more properly, clarify the truth better with cell phones, respond better when clarifying the truth, and write more sharing articles. These thoughts would severely interfere with me when I studied the Fa, exercised, and sent righteous thoughts. For a long time, I couldn’t find where these thoughts came from. Recently I came to realize that I was attached to doing things well, along with showing off, seeking fame, and last but not least, myself. Master says,
“The cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 translation)
“It’s wishful thinking when you try to achieve certain goals just because you want to.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 translation)
After I found my attachment and eliminated it, I was able to calm down and stay focused when I meditated.
“At the same time, when you’re shouldering it you might take it lightly and not take it to heart.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 translation)
My understanding is that I should study the Fa and improve my xinxing on a regular basis to be able to reach this state. When I am able to rectify my every thought, conflicts will lessen since they exist because of my notions. Even if conflicts do occur, I would able to handle them well as a practitioner should.