(Minghui.org) If one defines happiness as living a carefree life with many material benefits and never having to shoulder responsibilities, then I could have been considered a happy person. I once lived a very comfortable life with few burdens that many envied.
My husband was the typical breadwinner in our household and made a good living. He also did many of the tasks that I used to handle, such as signing our children up for extracurricular activities, tutoring them, planning vacations, buying groceries, tending to our lawn, purchasing our home and car, and arranging for us to emigrate. Both of my in-laws were quite fond of us; they would support us and lend a hand to make our lives easier and more stable.
I lost the ability to be self-sufficient and became physically inept in my daily life. I did not have the courage to take on any responsibilities and relied on others. No one would reprimand me if I did something wrong. My husband did not say a thing when I lost my cellphone that I had just bought; he simply bought me a new one. When I had a car accident, no one in my family blamed me. They patiently settled all the necessary charges.
In my 30s I should have been a useful member of society by being a good housewife, being compassionate, and educating my children. Instead, I shrugged off these responsibilities and let my husband take care of them.
I would often forget our bank account password and my cellphone password. I did not know how to pay the electric bill, call the police if my car broke down, or remember where I put things. My father-in-law once said, “My daughter-in-law is a good girl, she is just quite mindless.”
In regard to educating my children, I was all talk and no action. I had little patience with my children and oftentimes when I got fed up, I’d pass the responsibility on to my husband.
We are well off and live in a big house and have nice cars. My husband and I have an adorable son and daughter. I could almost say that we lived in a perfect world.
Many of my friends envied me my life, but in reality, I was unhappy. When I couldn’t remember things, my self-worth and self-esteem went down the drain. I tried to set goals for myself but never met them. My physical health was failing each day and I would get tired easily from doing daily chores. Women my age like to shop and have fun, but I would often get exhausted and have to go home as soon as I stepped into a store.
I started to doubt myself, “Am I really to live like this for the rest of my life? Is this true happiness?”
It was not until 2019 when I first saw Shen Yun Performing Arts that my soul was elevated to a state of divinity. I realized that I needed to cultivate. From then on, I embarked on my cultivation journey in Falun Dafa.
When I started practicing Dafa and reading Zhuan Falun, I felt that I was living to my fullest and realized that I needed to give back what my family had given me all these years. I needed to change myself for the better by being compassionate to everyone in my life. I needed to be like a giving tree so that I could grow into a towering tree and provide shelter for those in need. But a tree needs to be trimmed regularly—just like my attachments need to be removed.
I also started to feel grateful to my family for providing me with so much care and empathy for so many years. I used to take all these things for granted, but after cultivating Dafa, my notions have changed.
My in-laws have always been very kind to me. Though they never asked me to do anything such as wash the dishes, I still managed to resent them somewhat. After becoming a cultivator, I became grateful for all that they’d done for me. I felt that it was time that I took care of them.
I began to feel that I needed to take responsibility for my children’s education. I should not run away from problems and tribulations but should walk in their shoes when they throw temper tantrums.
At times when I see my house in a mess, I tell myself to remain calm and ask my children what they are playing and listen to them. Then I tell them kindly to clean up their mess.
Master said, “You should educate children with reason so that you can really teach them well.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Educating children is not a day’s work—it is a long process and I need to have more patience.
In the past, I would shy away from wondering how I could communicate with and educate my children. I felt that I was still lacking and wouldn’t do a good job. I knew I would lose my temper if things did not go as planned. After cultivating Dafa, I learned to be more tolerant and realized that I needed to educate my children with wisdom and rationality.
I am grateful to Master for teaching me the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance so that I have the space as a buffer during a confrontation. I’ve truly felt the power of forbearance and believed that I do could better in life.
I started to wonder how I could take better care of my children. I wanted to open up an after-school care program and thought that this would also help our household financially.
But that idea faded the next morning when I felt that I was still lacking. I doubted myself and felt that I did not have enough patience, energy, or passion to take care of those children. Why should I go through the hassle when we were doing well financially anyway?
My husband supported my idea of opening up an after-school program. He was quite tired from working and he said that opening an after-school program would alleviate his stress from work and he wouldn’t be as tired. In addition, he felt that he would have more time to bond with our children.
I started to waver and weighed the pros and cons. I enlightened to the fact that I have been very selfish. When I let go of my ego, I realized that opening up an after-school program would benefit both my children and my husband. Master has taught us to think of others and be selfless and altruistic. In the end, it took about six months before I decided to start the after-school program.
Everything went smoothly after I made that decision to proceed. I was able to find a partner to work with. Most importantly, we purchased a new home, one that is more suitable for us to live in while operating an after-school program. Both my husband and children were very happy. I felt grateful and at ease when I finally made that decision.
I didn’t expect that I could shoulder such a big responsibility after taking up cultivation and that I’d give up my bad temper and be more compassionate and tolerant of others, either. I didn’t expect that I would not get exhausted grocery shopping. I didn’t expect that my physical and mental health would change for the better!
I really like how I’ve changed since I took up cultivation. I also like how I can think of others first and know how precious life is.
Thank you, Master Li Hongzhi, for your guidance and teachings!