Handling Family Conflicts According to Dafa's Standards Is Also a Part of Fa-Rectification Cultivation (Part 3)
(Clearwisdom.net) Amidst any conflicts, Dafa practitioners should exhibit their compassion. This compassion does not mean being easily taken advantage of. The power of compassion is huge, because it is the reflection of a Dafa practitioner's realm and it is associated with Dafa.
"Shan is the manifestation of the nature of the universe at different levels and in different dimensions. It is also the fundamental nature of Great Enlightened Beings. Therefore, a cultivator must cultivate Shan and assimilate to the nature of the universe, Zhen-Shan-Ren." ("A Brief Explanation of Shan" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
When your non-practitioner family members think that you are a good person and see your compassion from your words and actions, isn't it the same as your validating Dafa to your family members?
Whether the conflicts that a Dafa practitioner faces are from outside or inside the practitioner's family, the words and behavior of the practitioner will influence the people around him. This is because these people are watching him and making their judgments accordingly. If the practitioner does well, it will definitely have an impact on his promoting the Fa (1) and clarifying the truth in a positive way. If the practitioner has not done well, he can only have a negative impact. However, as a Dafa practitioner in the Fa-rectification period, he has the responsibility to do well.
My husband and I started to practice Dafa in 1998. We have two daughters. Before we started to cultivate, I had the final say in our family affairs and my husband did not argue with me in this aspect. I felt that it should naturally be this way, because I handled all the family affairs, big and small. Each month, my husband "reported" his income and expenses to me on time. After my husband and I started our cultivation in Dafa, I still did not realize that there was something wrong with my mentality. So I just relaxed my "requirements" for my husband, and I was no longer as "strict" as before.
My husband's brother and his wife came to the United States to study, and their living was very difficult. Both my husband and I have pretty good jobs and our salaries are not low. My husband mentioned several times to me that he wanted to help his brother and his wife financially. I refused all his requests, as I had enough reasons: we had not paid off the loan for buying our house; we needed money for the education of our two daughters and for expenses when they grew up, etc. Since our house was pretty big and it was close to the college that his brother attended, my husband made a suggestion to let his brother and his brother's wife move in, so as to help them save some expenses. Hearing my husband's words, I instinctively opposed the proposal. I used the excuse of "inconvenience" and refused. Besides, I mentioned to my husband how difficult it had been for us when we were in school, and that we were still able to make it through to the present day. I also told my husband in a persuasive tone that he should let go of his emotion, not be worried about his brother, and let his brother temper himself amidst hardships.
One day when I was going over the expenses from our bank statements, I found that my husband's bank account showed an expense of $400 each month for a period of three months, and I had known nothing about these expenses. Instinctively, I knew that it must be that my husband had secretly helped his brother. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I thus started a big argument with my husband. Because of that incident, I was full of resentment towards his brother.
Before long, I found that two thousand dollars had been withdrawn from our bank accounts as a payment. I asked my husband where the money had gone. He said that he had spent the money buying a used car for his brother. When I heard this, I became so angry that it felt like there was a bomb in my heart. I had a big argument again with my husband. Facing my reprimanding tone, my husband angrily slammed the door and left home, and he did not come back for one week.
During a weekend group Fa study, I tearfully talked about my husband's behavior and my grievances, while my husband said nothing but was clearly angry. I received a lot of "sympathy." One evening, I had a phone conversation with an older lady who had cultivated for a long time. By that time, I was still unable to calm myself, believing that my husband had been irresponsible to me in what he had done. Even Master had said that after a woman married a man, the man should be responsible to her! How could he slam the door and just leave? After listening to my words, the practitioner said to me that all the conflicts were caused by me and that she sympathized with my husband. She mentioned that Master indeed said that a man should be responsible to his wife, but a wife should also be kind and virtuous, and not just superficially good. Being a responsible person not only applied to a husband, but also to a wife. At that moment, I could not say a word. In fact, I knew in my heart that something was wrong with me. But to save face and out of my emotion, I just did not want to acknowledge my faults in front of a fellow practitioner. I even talked about some Dafa principles to try to prove that I was right.
This was how I was one year ago. Nowadays, when I mention what I did in the past, I feel rather embarrassed. But at that time and amidst that conflict, it was really difficult for me to look within myself, especially when I was unaware of my own problems. My searching within myself was a painful process, during which time, I frequently weighed and struggled in choosing between the options of relinquishing my attachment, not letting it go, and even waiting to improve myself the next time. However, I really wanted to be a qualified Dafa practitioner. I should make a strong determination to not use ordinary people's views of losses and gains to weigh whether I should let go of that bit of attachment. At the very least, I should make steady progress towards it.
At home, I monopolized the power of making family decisions and spending money. I had never thought of my husband's feelings, as if I were the boss in the family and my husband were just my "secretary," who should only follow my instructions. I used all kinds of reasons to oppose my husband's proposal of helping his brother, while at the same time I used all possible means to help my mother's side of the family. On preset dates, I sent money to my mother to help her family. Furthermore, I never told my husband that I had sent money to my mother's home. In my mind, the family members on my husband's side had nothing to do with me, and it was nothing to me no matter how difficult the life of his brother and his brother's wife was. After my conflicts with my husband, I never thought of searching within myself, and I just believed that my husband never thought about the family and was not in agreement with me. I even had resentment towards my husband's brother, feeling that they had asked for too much. My "sorrow" and "grievances" had all been brought about when my warped notions were challenged and when the interests of my "painstakingly managed" family were challenged. They were brought about by my attachments, which had existed subconsciously. I did not realize my attachments before I dug them out. The more I dug them out, the more I felt scared. Had I really cultivated myself over the past several years?
In fact, amidst family conflicts, the things that are most difficult for a person to relinquish and that the person is most unwilling to touch are the person's attachments, saving face, the false logic that the person has formed in human society and believed in, and the various ways of seemingly logical thinking that the person has learned in ordinary society. At the microscopic level, aren't they all big mountains? And all the mountains have formed from the same source, that is, "selfishness."
What I had exhibited one year ago is not a big deal in the current human society, where morality is still declining. I may even be able to find many "friends of the same nature." However, if my actions are measured with Dafa's standards, I was really awful. At that moment when I clearly realized my problems and made my determination to eliminate these bad things, I felt that my life was being cleansed by Dafa. Only at that moment did I truly understand the meaning and sacredness of cultivation practice.
I apologized to my husband for what I had done before. At the same time, I required myself to treat my husband's brother and his wife with the attitude that a Dafa practitioner should have, sincerely care about them and help them. I required myself to do well in what I said and did. During the process of truly cultivating myself, I feel that I am not as diffident and uncertain as before when I say or do something. I have become more steady and determined than before.
I feel that I have also become purer. Not only is my home full of harmony now, but my two children have also become more thoughtful and kind. They no longer argue for toys and they have learned to be considerate of each other. My husband has also become more considerate. Only now have I truly understood the meaning of "Buddha's light shines everywhere, propriety and righteousness harmonize everything." (Zhuan Falun)
Our doing well with our words and actions is more convincing than a long talk, since when we say and do something sincerely from the bottom of our hearts, we are clarifying the truth. My husband's brother and his wife have experienced the goodness of Dafa from our words and actions. Gradually, Dafa has taken root in their hearts. Now, they are also members of the body of Dafa practitioners.
August 12, 2004
(1) Fa: Law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa.