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Taking a Step Back in Conflicts

June 23, 2022 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in China

(Minghui.org) I began to practice Falun Dafa in 2012. At that time I owned a franchise store for China Mobile, a Telecommunications company. When customers set up their phone numbers, they always wanted numbers that included the preferred digits, such as 6, 8, or 9. They disliked the digit 4 and didn’t want numbers that included it.

Customers Were Willing to Take Any Phone Numbers

One morning, Mr. Wang from the corporate office came to my store with their new official advertisement. I asked him if he had any new phone numbers for me to sell to my customers. He told me they were already in the system. So around noon, I went to see Mr. Liu, their manager, for the numbers. He told me they didn’t have any new numbers; all they had were numbers that included the digit 4. I knew he was lying, but I didn’t want to challenge him because I remembered that I was a Dafa practitioner. All of the 10 phone numbers he gave me included the digit 4 at least three times.

I wasn’t happy when I left, but as a practitioner, I knew I had to look within when I faced any problem, because nothing is a coincidence. I recalled Master’s lecture in Zhuan Falun about “reworking your karma,” and I immediately stopped feeling angry. I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity to elevate my moral character. Interestingly, it was easier than usual to sell those phone numbers. My customers that day just said to give them any number I had and made no specific requests. I sold them all that afternoon. It typically took three to four days to sell that many phone numbers, even longer if the numbers were not considered “good.”

The next day when I went to ask for more phone numbers to sell, I made no special requests to Mr. Liu. All the phone numbers he gave me were pretty good. If I didn’t cultivate Dafa, I would have complained about him or gotten irritated. Then he might have made the situation even more difficult for me.

Taking a Step Back in What Could Have Been a Conflict

One of my customers lived in the village where my aunt lived. He bought a cell phone from me in the fall of 2012. Several months later, he said the cell phone was turning off automatically and asked if I could fix it for him. But then he changed his mind and decided to wait a little longer to see if the problem would go away.

At the beginning of 2013, he came to my store and said he still had issues with his cell phone. However, he couldn’t leave it with me and said he would be back in a couple of days. I told him that I was moving to a different job in March (of 2013), and he should come before then. That way the repair would be free for him, and I would only have to pay the shipping fee. If he came after that, it would be difficult to get the manufacturer to fix it. He never returned.

Towards the end of the year, I heard from my mother that he’d complained to my aunt about the cellphone I sold him, saying that it was difficult to use. I told my aunt to let him know that I would try to repair it for him, If I couldn’t fix it, I would give him a refund. I thought to myself, “The cellphone I sold him must have been faulty, so I will repair it for him even though he never came back when I was still working for China Mobile.” I later learned from my aunt that someone in his family had been diagnosed with cancer, so he didn’t have time to get his phone fixed, and he was not going to repair the phone since it was out of warranty.

If I did not cultivate Dafa, I would not have handled it the way I did. I wouldn’t have promised to give him a refund when he’d missed the opportunity to get it fixed. However, through cultivation, I learned not to point fingers and blame people for what I perceived they did wrong. Besides, the refund would have been only a couple hundred yuan. Dafa is so good. When one takes a step back, the whole world seems much bigger. It is so beneficial to cultivate compassion.

After I Elevated My Character, My Mother-in-law Stopped Pointing Out My Faults

My mother-in-law liked to shop. She always found issues with the items other family members bought, but if something she bought had a problem, she came up with excuses for it. My husband and sisters-in-law always said there was not a single bad apple in her basket. Everyone in the family knew this about her, so my mother-in-law was put in charge of purchasing things for the whole family. We just paid her afterward.

As I cultivator, I’ve learned to consider others first, so I didn’t bicker with her about things and I gave her money to go shopping. However, she always told my children, “Grandmother buys you things; your mother never buys you things.” When I heard that, I thought, “You don’t even have a job. Those of us who work, including me, give you the money you spend.” I was very upset. I was frustrated because I gave her money to spend so she didn’t lose face by having to ask me for money. I tried to be as considerate of her as much as I could, but she wouldn’t recognize that. I tried not to argue with her about everything, but she kept giving me trouble.

The more I thought she was giving me a hard time, the more she disliked me. She found fault with everything I did and tried to lecture me. She complained about me to my husband, but she never mentioned anything she did wrong. I cultivated Dafa and practiced compassion, so I didn’t talk badly about her. As time went by, my husband thought my mother-in-law was right, and I felt I was being treated unfairly, but I couldn’t say anything about it.

My second child was very young. If the baby fell while Grandma was babysitting, it was the baby’s fault; if I was watching the baby, it was my fault. The more I tried to explain, the worse it got. In summary, my mother-in-law was never wrong, and her son and grandchildren were not at fault. It was always the daughter-in-law’s fault.

I spoke to my sister-in-law about this, and she suggested that I buy another place and move out. I reminded her that my father-in-law had recently passed away, that my mother-in-law had raised my husband, and that if I took the grandchildren and her son away to let her live by herself, I feared she wouldn’t be able to take it. Despite the way she treated me, I cultivated Dafa and I still tried to be considerate of her. Sometimes when she pushed me to the edge, I wasn’t able to tolerate it and argued with her. I would think to myself, “When will I see the end of this? I can barely tolerate it anymore. She always talks behind my back to my husband and my children.”

I wanted to look within and find the root cause of this issue: “I try to be considerate of her and put her interests first. Why won’t she see that?” Then I thought, “If I were to ask her to return the favor of my putting her interests first, was I really putting her before me? How could I treat this as some sort of ‘trade?’ It is our responsibility as sons and daughters to respect our parents and provide for them. How can I compare myself to other young families that live off of their parents’ savings? Why couldn’t I allow others to criticize me? When she says bad things about me, she is giving me virtue, and when I treat her with kindness, I am not losing my virtue. The exchange of virtue happens at that moment. What do I have to lose? I don’t need her to recognize my efforts.”

I am a cultivator. When I feel wronged and upset, am I treating myself as a cultivator? Isn’t this an opportunity to elevate my character? I always thought I was perfect and could not see my own flaws, but now they have been revealed to me. I should thank her instead of complain about her. How many opportunities will I get? Shouldn’t I cherish this? She gave me virtue while presenting me with an opportunity to elevate myself. It is my fault entirely. I almost wasted the opportunity that Master provided to work on my character.

Now I don’t get angry or feel a need to explain whenever my mother-in-law complains or finds fault with me. She is now more pleasant and has stopped finding fault with others after she saw my attitude change. The relationships among our family members are now more harmonious. When I overcame my fundamental problem, my surroundings also became more pleasant. It feels so nice to be a kind person. I feel unburdened and free.