Lessons Learned from Being Entangled with Affection for My Family
I have been entangled in over-affection toward my family and have been taken advantage of by the old forces due to this loophole for 4 years. During this time, I did not treat my wife according to the standards of a practitioner. This led to a gradual intensification of our disagreements. Only now when I suddenly realized this did the situation begin to improve.
My wife has always been against my practicing Falun Gong. She never listened to or believed my truth-clarification. She set rules not just preventing my cultivation, but also requiring that I not interfere with her business. Driven by ordinary people's notions she indulged herself. She mostly stayed outside playing during her spare time, and did not pay any attention to our family or child. The more she did that, the more I looked down upon her. I thought she was not savable. Essentially, she and I were living independently.
Two years ago someone told me that she was having an affair. It struck me heavily. I started to look inside myself. Through studying Dafa and sharing with practitioners, I found many attachments. I knew that it was because of my loopholes that the old forces took advantage of me. I started changing myself, giving her more care, exchanging ideas with her more frequently, and acknowledging my shortcomings with regards to many issues. She also realized where she was wrong and expressed that she would like to have a new start. When I passed the test, Teacher gave me a hint in my dream, and gave me a score of 70.
However, after that lesson I did not thoroughly check for my loopholes, which originated from my affection toward my family and the attachment of reputation. I did re-examine myself, but I held on to these two attachments. I did not realize the root: selfishness. The most obvious thing is that I thought since I had forgiven her for having an affair, she should feel grateful, do everything well, and listen to me. At the same time, my attachment to reputation intensified. I was afraid of others saying this or that. My affection to family was not reduced. I was worried that she would cheat on me and betray me again.
With my human notions in such a state, she did not really change fundamentally. She still played outside, she did not care for our family, and she did not listen to my advice. Sometimes I almost yelled at her to threaten her with divorce. But she would still do things her way. I always thought I should be able to manage my wife and that it was shameful not to be able to. Especially since she used to be a very good wife and mother, and she listened to all of my suggestions. Now she had become like this - I felt helpless.
Just a few days ago, several people told me about her behavior outside, and asked me to control the situation. In my dream I was shown an iron frame inside my body, and then it was pulled out, but it was twisted. Finally, I enlightened that this was Teacher's hint telling me to thoroughly find my attachments and loopholes. I did not sleep for two nights. In the end I realized that all of the problems originated from me. Because I did not do well and had loopholes, I was taken advantage of by the old forces. One of the loopholes is my affection to family. I had the obvious "dominant male syndrome." I thought a wife should listen to her husband and treat him well. I thought: "Not only can I not lose her, but she should also be good." The second one is my attachment to reputation. I was always worried, suspecting that she would do something that would damage my reputation, and worrying that others would find out about her actions and look down on me. The third one is selfishness. When facing this, I always thought about myself first, never realizing that it was my mistake that led her to such a state.
I almost broke down in tears. Finally, righteous thoughts came to me. I should face the issue of affection toward my family calmly. I should follow the requirements of being a practitioner. I should do what I should do, and do what I can do, and if she won't listen, I should let her be. I should not have any reluctance to give her up. As for reputation, no matter what ordinary people talk about, I should simply let go of the attachment and let them say whatever they want. With this decision, I talked to my wife thoroughly with a heart of benevolence and the wish to save her. She listened carefully to what I said. It was obvious that her mind awakened. She truly recovered to her normal state. She was determined to change herself. On the same day many red lumps appeared on her body. I enlightened that this was the communist party's evil spirit being eliminated. From then on she was willing to listen to my truth clarification. She also watched the CD, "Traveling Heaven and Earth Through Wind and Rain" and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
In my sleep, I clearly saw a big snake with nine heads, all of which I cut off one by one using a kitchen knife. Now my family is very harmonious. I completely eliminated my human attachments on this issue and my wife completely changed. Our child behaves better than before. After learning from this lesson, I am now more diligent in cultivation.
The lesson this experience gave me is profound. If from the very beginning I was able to set expectations for myself using the standards of a practitioner, if I was able to do that anywhere and anytime, and if I did not lower my guard over my xinxing, I should not have spent 4 years on such a tortuous path. My wife and I should not have suffered that much interference and persecution. More sentient beings should have been saved by me.
In the end, let us review the Teacher's words in Lecture at the Australia Fa Conference,
"As a cultivator, if you can't let go of sentiment, all of your behavior is human behavior. Valuing sentiment is in fact defending sentiment. In that case, you're just an ordinary human being. If you can let go of it, then you're no longer a part of it and are a God. This is the principle."
"Buddha, Bodhisattva, Arhat and deity are not in this sentiment. Gods outside the three realms do not have human's sentiment. But without human's sentiment does not equal to not cherish others. He has something higher, called benevolence, which is nobler, broader, and more magnificent. Sentiment is a factor within the three realms." (Provisional translation, subject to further improvement)
Above is my personal understanding. Please point out anything improper.