(Minghui.org) I’m 22 years old, and live on a vegetable farm with my parents. My parents started practicing Falun Dafa when I was in elementary school. I also read the Fa and did the exercises, but for some reason I could not truly cultivate myself. It was as if something was blocking me.
I did not have a strong intellect as a child, and was often bullied and looked down upon in junior high school. This made me have very low self-esteem. I also suffered from social anxiety disorder. I did not want to interact with people and relied on virtual reality games to alleviate my pain in life. When I entered my first year of high school, I felt that nothing interested me anymore. I dropped out of school and went home to farm, and hoped to find something else to do.
I liked animation very much. I found a studio a year later where I learned to draw, which alleviated my social anxiety. However, my low self-esteem persisted. At first, the drawing interested me, and I continued to study it. As my ability to enjoy art improved, I started feeling that the type of drawing I was learning did not have a good sense of beauty and was not in line with my artistic goals.
I did not understand why an object was often drawn dark, why the structure of the object was exaggerated, and why women were drawn like men, with a muscular facial structure. I couldn’t figure out these problems and felt devastated. I wanted to express my own thoughts, but didn’t know how to. I bought drawing books and high-end drawing materials, and searched the Internet to learn how foreigners draw, but I achieved little success.
During that period, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecuted my family twice. We suffered heavy losses and were in debt. My health also got worse. I suffered from insomnia, heartburn, poor physical strength, and was easily distracted. I felt more and more miserable. I kept thinking that I spent so much time, energy, and money, but finally ended up like this. At such a young age, my physical condition was like that of 40 or 50-year-old. I felt that fate was unfair, and fell into despair.
When I heard that other parents were buying houses and cars for their children, I became upset. However, I had no desire to get married and had no material desires. I never compared myself with others over material gain. I only liked drawing. I felt sad that I couldn’t even achieve such a simple wish. I didn’t even have the conditions to register for a drawing class online!
I ended up studying drawing in a studio for three years; that is, until the teacher quit. Staying at home, I became more anxious and depressed. I became less and less interested in anything in this world, and even stopped drawing.
I became even more anxious after the pandemic broke out. Whenever I had some symptoms, I worried whether I was infected, and if so, what would happen to my family. One night, I felt that my breath was hotter than normal. I panicked and said to my parents, “If I am still like this tomorrow, I will report it to the authorities!” My father calmed me down. He suggested that I practice the Falun Dafa exercises and stop worrying. I felt that my life was over, that nothing would change for me, and that there was nothing I couldn’t let go of. Fortunately, I started to do the exercises with my parents.
At first, when I was doing the standing exercises, I chose to start with the Falun Standing Stance -- the one I was most afraid to do. I thought, “I must change myself. Not only will I do the exercises today, but I will do them every day!” While doing the stance, I felt so tired that I could not even stand straight. But I persisted until the end of the music.
I did the exercises day after day. My mind became clearer, and I slept much better. I then had the thought, “It would be much better if I could take reading Zhuan Falun as my first priority every day.” However, something seemed to take over my mind, and I suddenly became irritable. Memories of my being bullied kept coming up in my mind, as well as the hatred and resentment I had for those who bullied me. I then poured out to my parents the pain I had for years and had been reluctant to talk about. Afterward, my mind calmed down. Those unhappy memories disappeared, and I stopped hating those who bullied me. Since then, my low self-esteem and social anxiety gradually disappeared, and I started talking to people. Although I still was not used to it, I could talk to people while looking them in the eyes. I also started walking with my head up instead of down.
As my mental state improved, I continued to draw. I felt that my progress had come to an end again however, and I didn’t know how to go further. I then had some realizations after reading Master’s Fa teaching:
“Showing off itself is a very strong attachment and a very bad attachment that a practitioner must relinquish. If you want to make money and a fortune with them, or if you wish to achieve your personal goals among everyday people with them, this is prohibited. That is trying to use high-level things to disturb and undermine ordinary human society. That thought is even worse.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)
I thought about why I was eager to draw well, and realized that I wanted a better life. I wanted to enjoy an escape from feeling bad, and I wanted to be able to raise my head in front of others. But I was pursuing. I came to understand that cultivating Dafa had already brought me to a completely new mental state of well-being. I realized I should stop seeking fame and profit and give up my mentality of pursuit.
I found that the root of my suffering was my pursuit of quick and easy success– a mentality of wanting to achieve without working hard for it. I always wanted my life to go the way I wanted it to go. When it didn’t, I complained about anything that did not go according to my expectations.
I asked myself, “What have I done for others since my childhood?” “Why can’t I do something within my capability? And do it well with solid steps?” I also told myself that I did not have to depend on my drawing skills to make a living; I could treat it as a hobby. My mental pressure then suddenly disappeared, and I felt relaxed. I thought it would be a good idea to do something to help my family.
I began to help out with the farm work. I worked on the farmland from the morning, after I finished doing the Falun Dafa exercises, until the evening. The work was hard, but I was not tired at all after a whole day’s work. I also did housework and cooked for my family when I had time. A villager said to my mother, “I really envy you for your good relationship with your son. My children talk back to me as soon as I say something.” During this time, the vegetables in our farm grew well, and the orders for our crops kept coming in. We paid off our debts in less than two months.
After the Fall harvest, I started drawing again. I noticed that after the long pause my drawing did not regress, but improved instead. I could easily understand the sections in Zhuan Falun that I had difficulty understanding before, and I was able to resolve any problems I encountered. I came to understand that the fundamental reason for my long-term stagnation with drawing was that I did not have a pure heart. I was selfish, and pursuing fame and profit. I had looked outward for ways to improve.
Although my skills improved, I felt that my drawing was still not good enough to gain employment; I could only treat it as a hobby. I lost interest again and felt exasperated.
I then had a dream in which my mother and I entered a room on the second floor of a building. Many people my age were sitting at desks and learning to draw. Master was teaching them. I found a desk and sat down. My mother asked Master a question. Master smiled but did not speak. He was very kind, and I felt very comfortable and relaxed. However, I did not dare to talk to Master. I just sat there and drew. I then felt someone behind me. I looked back... Master was right there. I was surprised and said “Master.” Then I woke up. I knew Master was encouraging me to not give up.
Within a month, someone approached me and asked me to teach her children to draw. This was my first job since I started drawing.
I am grateful to Dafa for helping me out of my desperate situation and giving me a way to return to my origin. Thank you, Master!
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