(Minghui.org) I always cared a lot about how I looked. Since I was a practitioner I did not overly dress up. But the truth is that I did waste a lot of time trying to look good. I always made excuses to buy more clothing. I thought that it would be an advantage to clarifying the truth if I looked beautiful. However, things did not go as planned. 

I knew this was an attachment to lust but I ignored it for 20 years. I even thought that this attachment did not matter much. In reality, any attachments may hinder one’s cultivation. 

I went to a jewelry store one day and bought a pair of lovely earrings. When I put them on I felt very good and thought I looked beautiful. 

In the past, my ears would swell when I wore inexpensive earrings. Although the earrings I bought were not made of gold or silver, my ears felt fine and did not swell up. I told myself that perhaps my skin was no longer sensitive because of cultivation.

Two days later my earlobes started to swell and itch. I took out the earrings and paid no attention. After I showered, my ears started to feel infected. I ignored it and thought to myself that they would soon heal.

When I got up the next morning my earlobes and face swelled up twice their normal size. I let my hair down and arranged it to cover my face since my appearance looked scary. My colleagues also commented that I did not look good but I managed to get through the day. 

I didn’t want my family members to worry when they saw me. My mother-in-law has bad eyesight so she did not notice and I purposely avoided my husband. I did not need to avoid my daughter since children have a pure mentality. 

I repented to Master, “Master, I am wrong. I know I need to eliminate this attachment to looking beautiful. Please help me get well.”

I was unable to sleep that night. As soon as my head and neck touched the pillow, I was in pain. I knew my attachment had grown quite large. I knew asking Master to eliminate it might be unreasonable.

Only when a problem arises do I know to reflect on myself. Although I read and memorized the Fa every day, I did not act accordingly. I was also unable to practice all five sets of the Falun Dafa exercises, let alone clarify the truth, which I also did very poorly. As soon as someone rejected what I said, I stopped talking. 

I thought, “How can I call myself a Dafa disciple? I’m just drifting along. Am I truly cultivating? What reason do I have to ask for Master’s protection?”

The more I thought about it, the more remorseful I felt. I encountered two xinxing tests in my pursuit of beauty in the past. The first test happened soon after I began practicing. My face started to feel very prickly, almost like thorns grew on my skin. I was not afraid and knew that it was a tribulation to overcome. I was able to quickly pass that tribulation. 

My second xinxing test happened because I liked spicy food. Little bumps erupted on my face. My eyes and eyebrows were swollen. I was confident and told my colleagues that everything would be fine the next day. Miraculously, the bumps on my face vanished and my colleagues were amazed. 

I easily passed the first two tribulations. I was nervous this time because I was not as diligent in cultivation. I was worried that Master had given up on me. What should I do? I am definitely not going to the hospital. How can an ordinary person cure a cultivator? I don’t have any illnesses. Although I was scared that Master gave up on me, deep inside I knew that Master would protect me. Wasn’t I being complacent about Master’s compassion? 

I felt that as long as I focused on practicing the exercises, I would get better. However, I still fell asleep or got drowsy when I meditated. 

The third day, both of my ears were even more swollen than the day before. My ears were red and stiff—my face and eyes were swollen as well. My forehead became black and red. I could not feel my face at all. How could I leave the house looking like this? What should I do? I did not want to take leave from work and worry my family members. I did not want to leave a bad impression on people and create a bad name for Dafa. 

I repented once again to Master, “Master, I am wrong. Please help me.” I put on my face mask and headed to work. This is the first time that I was glad that we had to wear face masks.

My colleagues were shocked upon my arriving at the office. One asked, “What’s happened? How did your face get so swollen? Don’t buy cheap jewelry anymore. You need to buy either silver or gold earrings.” 

I smiled and said softly, “I have been practicing Falun Dafa for many years. I know this happened because I have many shortcomings. Don’t worry about me. I will get better.”

That day was truly hard and long! My face felt hot and all I wanted to do was go home and lay in bed. Some colleagues suggested I take antibiotics but I reassured them that I would get better very soon. I dare not go to the cafeteria since I had to remove my mask to eat. Although I barely ate for those five days, I did not feel hungry. My lips were also swollen and covered with blisters. 

I thought, “This is what you get for being too attached to how you look!” Perhaps I could rid of the attachment largely if at that moment I was able to face my colleagues with a calm heart, however, I did not have the courage to do so. 

The right side of my face started to get better on the fourth day. However, the left side of my face continued to swell and it persisted for three days before it stopped. My face started to slowly recover in a week and a thin layer of skin began shedding from the left side of my face. 

During the time when my face was not completely recovered, my husband finally noticed it. He wasn’t a considerate man and I once held a grudge against him. He said that I looked scary and should go to a hospital. I told him, “My appearance was even worse a couple of days ago. I avoided you so you didn’t have to worry about me.” I felt that my attachment of sentimentality towards him was reduced in this tribulation.

I said to Master in my mind, “I will accept however I look like now. But I will continue my cultivation.” I let out a long sigh and thought I may have passed this tribulation. My colleague remembered that I told her I would get better by the next Monday. 

So when Monday came, my appearance indeed got better. She was amazed at how much endurance I had during this time. I told her, “This had nothing to do with endurance. This happened because I had a loophole in my cultivation. When this happens I need to abide by the principles of Dafa. Falun Dafa never states one can’t go to the hospital. 

I am a cultivator and did not want to go to a hospital since that will be resolving this issue from an ordinary person’s perspective. I won’t be able to improve and this tribulation might occur again. Look at me now. Don’t I look fine to you?” My colleague nodded and agreed with me. 

I told my mother-in-law about what had happened when my appearance fully recovered. I told her I did not do household chores during that time since I didn’t want to scare her. My mother-in-law said, “I didn’t even realize anything was wrong with your face.” I was glad because I looked quite scary.

After overcoming this tribulation, my attachment to looking beautiful lessened. I stopped shopping for clothes. 

I asked myself, “Why do I want to look beautiful? Is it because I want other people to treat me better?” In this big dye vat of ordinary society, people only look at surface appearances. They treat you nicely based on your appearance. However, as a cultivator, I need to treat everyone well. In addition, doesn’t my pursuit of beauty indicate that I’m dissatisfied with the natural appearance that Gods bestowed on me?

There isn’t much time left and I need to use the remaining time to cultivate well. It was truly a “stick warning” to me. Thank you, Master, for not giving up on me!

Master said,

“Clarifying the facts and saving sentient beings are what you need to accomplish. There is nothing else for you to accomplish. There is nothing else in this world that you need to accomplish.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)