Letting Go of Resentment
(Minghui.org)When my son was close to graduating from high school, he had a conflict with my wife and didn’t want to go to school anymore. That was in October of 2015. He slept during the day and played games at night until it was time to take the college entrance exam.
The discord started when my wife missed the time to call him to get up and get ready for school, which made him very upset. When my wife called his teacher to explain his absence, she told the teacher that he was in a bad mood after having an argument with her. The teacher criticized him to the class and said that he shouldn’t take a day off at this critical time just because of an argument with his mother. One of his classmates told my son what the teacher said and he felt he had lost face.
I realized the reason behind this problem was my resentment, which I hadn’t let go of for a long time. Master said:
“As I've said, everything that happens today in the ordinary society is the result of Dafa disciples' thoughts. Even though the old forces do exist, if you don't have those thoughts they can't do anything. When your righteous thoughts are strong enough the old forces can't do a thing.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A., Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
My wife's personality is very strong and she doesn’t practice Falun Dafa. If there is any conflict at home, she always wins the argument and never admits she has done anything wrong. She criticizes others whenever she speaks. Her personality is not suited to handling teenage rebellion from our son.
In the past, she was cold toward my family and only wanted to visit her family or invite them to our home. When my father had a cerebral hemorrhage, she complained that I spent too much time taking care of him and neglected her and our son. She didn’t even attend my father’s funeral. She went on vacation instead. However, after her mother had surgery to treat liver cancer, she stayed at our home for almost four months. I tried my best to take care of her mother.
When her brothers’ children were on summer break, they came to our home and I taught them to play basketball and swim. However, my nephews were only allowed to play at my home on days that she was away on a business trip.
Because I follow Falun Dafa, I was persecuted and dismissed from the military. I lost a job that people admired. She always talked about my shortcomings and often exaggerated the details. When we had conflicts, she hit me and sometimes even did worse things. I describe our history because I want to explain why my resentment built up.
Especially when she beat me or verbally abused me, it was easy for me to remember what happened in the past. The more resentment I had, the more trouble developed, and eventually our son quit school.
“In Buddhism they have a belief: a person’s life is karmic retribution. If you’re in debt with someone he’ll go after you for payback, and if he takes too much from you he’ll end up giving it back to you next time. If a son isn’t good to his parents they’ll switch roles next time. This is how the retribution goes round and round.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Master’s words made me think about karmic retribution. If someone doesn’t treat me well, it is because of a debt that I should pay back. As a Dafa disciple, although I didn’t behave poorly, I didn’t let go of my resentment and my xinxing didn't improve.
Over the last few years, Master has helped me let go of most of my resentment. It rarely appears and is under control when it does. Therefore, my home environment has improved dramatically and the relationship between my wife and our son is quite good. Our son spent a year preparing for the college entrance exam and was subsequently admitted to a good school.
I realized that resentment is not isolated. It is usually connected to other attachments. When a person’s resentment is strong, it will cause anger, irritation, and impatience. When resentment develops, a person wants to argue, which is related to the attachments of fighting and being aggressive. When we argue with others, we point out that others are wrong and we are correct. This is an attachment of showing off and a way of validating ourselves.
I realize the most important thing is to be compassionate. Master said,
“Forbearance is the key to improving one’s xinxing.” (What is Forbearance (Ren)?, Essentials for Further Advancement).
When resentment develops, we should be compassionate to the other person and suppress the bitterness. We should calm down and take no action; otherwise, it will easily develop into anger, loss of temper, irritation, and also cause jealousy, fighting, showing off, and trying to validate oneself.
If one always looks within during a conflict, letting go of resentment happens naturally. When resentment develops, a person tends to look at others instead of himself.
“When a person harbors resentment it’s because he has grown fond of hearing pleasant things and having things go well. And then when things don't go that way, he resents it. You can’t be like that, if you think about it. You can’t go about cultivation that way, can you?” (2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C).
We should completely let go of resentment and the accompanying human notions, i.e., enjoying hearing only kind words and good news. We should always consider it a good thing to encounter something unhappy and hear something bad. If we can achieve this, the resentment will no longer exist.
There is a story about a monk who went to a rich person’s home to ask for food. He wasn't given any food. Instead, he was driven away and ended up caught in the rain for the night. When the rich man’s concubine came to the temple to burn incense, she was shocked to see the man’s name on a pillar. The monk explained that if a monk doesn't receive food from a person after begging for it, it is because the monk owes the person a debt from a previous life. He needs to pray to make up for his debt. The rich person was very moved when he was told this story and promised to pay the temple expenses from then on.
When a Dafa disciple encounters anything unpleasant, they shouldn’t feel resentment, instead, one should thank the person who made the trouble.
It is said in How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, “Communism is neither a trend of thought, nor a doctrine, nor a failed attempt at a new way of ordering human affairs. Instead, it should be understood as a devil—an evil specter forged by hate, degeneracy, and other elemental forces in the universe. The goal of the specter is to ruin humanity.”
I realize that “hate” includes jealousy and fighting. We were poisoned by communist doctrine when we were young, so resentment is very strong among people who grew up in mainland China. If we can’t let go of our resentment, it will incur communism's evil, which will easily cause persecution by the old forces.
Falun Dafa adherents completely deny the arrangements of the old forces. However, their arrangements still exist in the dimensions that haven’t been rectified yet and they still watch Dafa disciples. I hope we can completely let go of resentment and other related attachments to better validate the Fa and save sentient beings.