Letting Go of Fear and Overcoming Negative Thinking
(Minghui.org) Since my childhood, I have often been stuck in negative thinking.
When I was still a baby, I was sent to live with my grandmother in another city, as my younger sister was about to be born. My grandmother worked at the time, so my young aunt took care of me. Like many students during the Cultural Revolution, my aunt was eventually sent to the countryside for re-education, and my grandmother had no choice but to take me to work with her.
But sometimes I was left home, alone. Her one-room house was old, with poor lighting. There were mice, cockroaches, and worms slithering about at night, which frightened me.
When I was old enough to attend elementary school, I went back to live with my parents. After living with grandmother, this felt strange to me.
Once I was hospitalized, and as my parents worked during the day, they could only visit me in the evenings. But their visits were always short, and I felt lonely and unwanted. I even began to wonder whether “my parents” were actually my real parents.
From then on I developed strong negative thoughts that constantly filled my mind. I often cried, wanting to run away and search for my real parents. I had morbid thoughts of death.
When I began practicing Falun Dafa, little by little I was able to rid myself of some negative thoughts, but not completely. Sometimes these thoughts still come up and interfere with my cultivation.
Negative Thoughts and Consequences
Years ago, I had a talk with fellow practitioners. One female practitioner shared how she was able to deny the persecution with strong righteous thoughts. Moreover, her relatives worked in the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee, and supported her cultivation. Because she was very capable and had freer conditions, many practitioners pushed their responsibilities onto her.
Suddenly a thought flashed into my mind: she would be arrested. I was shocked at this, but said nothing, as I was afraid others would say I did not have righteous thoughts.
Two days later, she was arrested and detained in a different city. This time her relatives could not help her. I deeply regretted not sharing my thoughts. A fellow practitioner warned me that if I had said something then, I would have added bad things to her energy field. Instead, I should strengthen my righteous thoughts and deny the interference.
A year later, I was arrested at work. At the police station, an officer told me he had been following me for several days. Hearing this, I suddenly remembered a series of strange events, leading up to my arrest.
Days earlier, I had passed a man in the hallway, and thought, “This person is a police officer.” When a practitioner who worked at the company told me the man had come by before, when I was out, I told him that, in fact, he was the one being followed. But he didn't believe me, telling me I worry too much.
Because of my uncertainty, and lack of strong righteous thoughts, I kept my mouth shut. A few days later, this practitioner was arrested.
One day after work, a company security guard told me that a man was asking about me. I was sure the man was with the police.
Days later, while I was out walking, someone approached me and took a close-up picture of me. They disappeared before I realized what happened. Then a person from our neighborhood committee stopped by my work. This same person showed up at my doorstep. The following day, I was arrested.
Looking back, I see that my actions were not guided by strong righteous thoughts. I had given in to fear, and negative thinking. I should not let negative thoughts control me.
I could have used the abilities Master gave us to look within, correct my mistakes, and send righteous thoughts to disintegrate the persecution. Instead, I was blinded by my own notions, overly concerned about my negative thinking. I missed Master's compassionate hints. Fortunately, I was detained only briefly.
My Attachment to Fear
Not long after, I had a strong feeling that two local practitioners were about to be persecuted. I learned from a practitioner I'll refer to here as “Mr. Chen” that he would be joining them for a couple of days to distribute information about Falun Dafa. In a moment of desperation, I told him that he should be careful, as the other two practitioners might get arrested. Mr. Chen did not believe me and said I had too many negative thoughts. The two practitioners were soon arrested and sent to jail. I felt deep remorse.
However, just as I was struggling with this, I sensed Mr. Chen was facing danger. What should I do? I calmed down and asked myself:
“What are righteous thoughts?” I remembered Master's words: “...they persist in their righteous faith in Dafa” (“Dafa is Indestructible” from Essentials for Further Advancement II).
Then I reflected, “What is negative thinking?” I knew the answer: treating cultivation with human notions. Suddenly I understood. The old forces imposed this strong attachment on me, to interfere with my belief in Master, and Dafa.
“Some of you have supernormal abilities while cultivating; some people can see things, and some people can use certain supernormal abilities. As I just said, everyone is walking on a different path that a Dafa disciple should walk, and the paths you make and complete will have an impact on the future of the cosmos. So there must be a reason for letting a certain Dafa disciple have supernormal abilities while he cultivates; it must be for the purpose of laying the foundation of something for the beings of the future. That's how enormous Dafa disciples' responsibilities are, that is, you have such important tasks on your shoulders! There are many things that I haven't told you about or don't want to tell you about fully, lest you develop all kinds of attachments.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference” from Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
I realized the old forces used many excuses to “test” Dafa disciples, taking advantage of our gaps. My attachment of fear took many forms: I was afraid my righteous thoughts would not be strong; I was afraid of adding harmful substances to the field of fellow practitioners; I was afraid I had too much negative thinking; I was afraid I was following old forces' arrangements unwittingly.
This strong attachment interfered with my cultivation, and faith in Master and Dafa. Because of this, I missed many hints. The root of my negative thinking was a lack of faith.
I shared my understanding with Mr. Chen and my concern that he was in danger. But he did not believe me at all and said my telling him this was accepting the old forces' arrangements. I did not say more and just sent righteous thoughts quietly to clear the bad factors in his field. Soon he was arrested. After being held for thirty days, he was able to overcome the persecution with righteous thoughts and he was released.
Deny the Old Forces' Arrangements
Afterward, Mr. Chen had a talk with me. He said that my supernormal abilities were developed, and I could sense what might happen in the future. But no matter what terrible things I saw, I must completely deny these arrangements.
“Of course, we don't acknowledge any of the things that the old forces arranged--I as your master don't acknowledge them, and Dafa disciples of course don't acknowledge them either.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference” from Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
He suggested to me that it was okay to share these things with fellow practitioners in good faith. Whether they believed it or not was up to them, and I should not be moved by their reactions.
These words helped me a lot. I realized my shortcomings in cultivation: I did not handle these things as a Fa-rectification disciple, denying the old forces’ persecution of fellow practitioners. Instead, I had accepted these arrangements. Seeing this, I felt ashamed and unworthy.
A few months ago, the title of this article appeared in my mind. I realized that it was a hint from Master to write my sharing. But I kept putting it off, until today. Once I committed, as I was preparing to write it, thoughts flowed out of me like a spring. The framework and content of the article unfolded, layer by layer. I clearly felt Master’s blessing.
As Master said: “You put in the effort and your teacher will handle the rest.” (Zhuan Falun)