Cultivating Myself and Resolving Family Conflicts by Looking Inward
(Minghui.org) I recently read an article written by a fellow practitioner about a practitioner named Mei who had complained about her family conflicts to another practitioner.
The second practitioner not only did not help Mei look within, but blamed Mei's husband, expressed sympathy with her, and thus made Mei more resentful towards her husband. This resulted in great loss and trouble in her cultivation.
I encountered a similar situation. Thus, I would like to share my experience of resolving family conflicts through cultivation, with the hope that I can help fellow practitioners who are still in the midst of family troubles.
I have been struggling with family tribulations for a long time. When I complained to a classmate of mine who was also a practitioner, about this, she sympathized with me.
I am a mother of three children, and I run a store with my husband. I work in the store while taking care of the children.
Sometimes I was not able to pay attention to all the children, and the older ones would wander away from the store. I have even had to call the police to help me find my children.
My responsibilities include caring for the children and other household chores, which makes me both physically and mentally exhausted.
People who live in China know that men have a lot of social activities and often come home late at night. After returning home, my husband would yell at me and sometimes even physically abuse me. In China, the life of a married woman with children is not easy.
The resentment I felt due to the hardship I had to bear was like an insurmountable mountain in front of me. Whenever I met a person who was nice to me, I would talk to them about my misfortune.
Negative thoughts occupied my entire mind and made me miserable. I knew that this was not right, but I couldn't overcome it.
Looking Within, Changing My Mindset
One day, my husband fell off a ladder while doing construction work, and at the same time my daughter, who was in high school, entered into a state of depression. This turn of events alerted me to my own cultivation state and I asked myself, “What was I doing? Aren't I here to save sentient beings? But what have I done?”
I realized that my long-term negative state had allowed the old forces to take advantage of my loopholes, and as a result, they persecuted my family and caused me even greater hardship.
I started to look within, trying to think about things from my husband's point of view. As I did this, I began to understand him. In China, neither men nor women have an easy life, and the pressure on my husband is quite large.
In fact, we are a good traditional family; he goes out to work, and I look after the family.
But I have not cultivated myself well. I longed for a better life, hoped that my work would be recognized by my husband, and hoped that he would be nice to me.
Aren't these attachments to fame and personal interests? Doesn't this mean that I haven't cultivated out of selfishness?
“A wicked person is born of jealousy.Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.”(“Realms” in Essentials for Further Advancement)
In contrast to the standards of the Fa, my jealousy had made me intolerant and uncompassionate. I was thinking about how hard my life was, not seeing other people's difficulties, and was only thinking about how good I am, not how good others are.
Master requires us to cultivate into an enlightened person who is selfless and considers other first—I am far from that.
I enlightened to why Master said someone who, “Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself” is a wicked person because such a person is selfish, and only sees others' problems and not their own problems. A practitioner shouldn't be like that. How can we otherwise show sentient beings our tolerance and compassion, and save them?
Resentment is a real thing in another dimension, and it brings a lot of unnecessary trouble to both myself and those around me.
How can I save others and the layers upon layers of sentient beings behind them? I have made so many beings unable to be saved, so aren't I a bad person?
I began to look within. I realized how good my husband is, and how difficult his life is.
For so many years he has worked hard for our family. In China where the prices of merchandise keep rising, a family with three children needs a base income of 100,000 yuan a year.
Our family does not have to worry about food and clothing, which is mostly due to my husband's hard work. He tries his best to make enough money.
I began to feel sorry for my husband, as he faces much more stress than me.
I didn't know how to understand, tolerate and care for him, but instead had been asking him to understand, tolerate and care for me. I wasn't looking at myself, and thus strengthened my attachments to jealousy, vanity, and the need to show off.
In reality, how fortunate I am! My husband goes out to work, and I don't need to worry about anything.
Our business has always been taken care of by him, as he has paved the way. I just finish off the details.
He has a bad temper, but isn't that because I didn't do well? He is so exhausted every day, and has to face his angry wife when he comes home.
Why wouldn't he be like that? Doesn't he want an understanding and tolerant wife?
If he saw his wife smile every day, he would definitely feel better. I realized that the problem is my fault, not his.
My husband also has very little vanity and doesn't mind driving an old car every day.
I had always thought that becauseI had learned Dafa, I was the tolerant one. When in reality, I always focused on his bad qualities and only saw my own good qualities. In fact, he has been tolerating and taking care of me!
The more I looked inward, the more good qualities I found in my husband. I also saw more of my own shortcomings.
As my attachments are eliminated, I become more grateful to my husband and feel more sorry for him.
I used to resent my mother-in-law and sister-in-law as well. But lately I realize that they are really good people. They are both very traditional people, hard-working and thrifty. They are also very good to me.
However, whenever things didn't go my way, I tended to blame others. I held strongly to my own point of view, and didn't cultivate my heart.
There is a saying: “A rotten interior beneath a fine exterior” that very aptly describes me. In order to be beautiful both inside and out, I need to truly cultivate myself well.
Using the example of the sharing where Mei complained to another practitioner, saying that her family member was not good, the things that Mei said may have been true, but it put her family member in a very bad light.
However, when taken in context, the things that the family member said and did may not have been unreasonable. Therefore, it is important for practitioners to look inward and improve their own cultivation instead of using human sentiment to try and help fellow practitioners experiencing various challenges in cultivation.
“'He’s right,And I’m wrong,'What’s to dispute? ”(“Who's Right, Who's Wrong”, Hong Yin III)
When a practitioner complains, we should first realize that their cultivation state in that moment is incorrect. A true practitioner should be peaceful, compassionate, and friendly, filled with gratitude, always seeing the good side of others; free of negative thoughts.
We should help fellow practitioners find their problems while being careful to cultivate oneself rather than others.
After reading the articles about celebrating Falun Dafa Day, I saw my shortcomings more clearly. The pure, compassionate attitudes of those practitioners really touched me.
I had taken a lengthy detour, but I hope that my experience can help practitioners in a similar situation take less of a detour.
Only by looking inward, cultivating ourselves, and improving xinxing can we develop compassion and truly go beyond the human level.