(Minghui.org) When I recently talked to another practitioner about my understanding of a Fa principle that I enlightened to, my throat felt like it was constricted. The longer I talked, the more I was convinced that what I said was correct. The other practitioner did not seem to appreciate what I said. Afterwards, the choking feeling would not go away.

I identified my issue when I read what Master Li Hongzhi said, 

“If, beyond being responsible to the Fa, you have no human attachments, none of your own things, and none of your personal factors mixed in, then you are sure to do that thing well.” 

“The more you put you first or mix in [factors of] self, the less mighty-virtue you have, and that's why it is less likely that you succeed at things or do them well.” “Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students(Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VI)

The choking feeling began when others did not agree with my opinion. I realized the thing choking me was my attachment to “self.” 

I didn't feel like I was showing off. I felt that I shared my understanding for the benefit of others. When I recalled what I said, however, I realized that I was validating myself: “You are entangled in your present tribulation. I'm pointing out your issue so you'll understand and your problems will be solved. What I said is correct. Why don't you accept it?” Sure enough, I was emphasizing “myself.” 

I recalled that Master Li once mentioned how practitioners may not try to validate themselves with a clear intention. But their behavior did.

I identified my thoughts of, “I'm right. I'm helping you. I'm more capable than you,” hidden behind my words. I felt good when people acknowledged me and felt bad when they didn't. My attachment was hidden behind by the thought of “doing this for the good of others.”

Master Li said, 

“Haven't all of your abilities actually been given to you because you cultivate Dafa? Don't go showing things off to other students, and don't feel smug and think you're so able--what can those little abilities of yours do, anyway?” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V

“Whether it is your supernormal abilities or your Unlocking of Gong, you achieve them through cultivating in Dafa. If you put Dafa in a secondary place and put your supernatural powers in the primary place, or as an enlightened person you believe that what you understand one way or another is correct, or if you even regard yourself as being great and beyond Dafa, I would say that you have already started to stumble. It would be dangerous and you would become ever worse. At that time, you would really be in trouble, and your cultivation would end up in vain. If things are not done right, you will stumble and your cultivation will end up in vain.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

My “self” was rearing its ugly head when I felt bad about not being recognized. It was Dafa that enlightened to this principle. Expecting others to recognize me and my understanding, rather than Dafa, is validating myself. It's also putting myself above Dafa. This is no trivial matter.

Our attachment to “self” is displayed as soon as we try to force our understanding or way of doing things on others. 

Master has bestowed each practitioner with different talents that they can use to save people. Some practitioners are good at installing or maintaining equipment, distributing pamphlets, talking to people, writing articles, painting, dancing, singing, or playing musical instruments. Others are good at organizing. 

Teacher bestowed these capabilities upon each of us. Our “selves” emerge whenever we think, “See how capable I am.” That is the attachment to showing off. We are putting ourselves above Dafa. Doing this is dangerous and may cause all our prior cultivation efforts to be in vain. 

Master told us, 

“But you can't have an attachment to showing off, for you are validating the Fa, not yourselves.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VI)