China Fahui | My Bad Temper Has Completely Changed
(Minghui.org) Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
The saying “a leopard cannot change it spots” is a metaphor for how challenging it is for a person to change their ways. It is indeed very difficult to change postnatally acquired stubborn notions, one's temperament, and one's personality.
I used to be bad tempered, stubborn, and competitive. I wouldn't listen to any criticism from others, even if I was wrong. I had absolute power in my family. My relationship with my parents-in-law was tense, and I felt they preferred my brother-in-law to my husband. I hadn't spoken to my brother-in-law's wife for 10 years.
I always felt I was treated unfairly, so I lived a difficult and exhausting life. I suffered from serious illnesses, and I even became paralyzed while I was still young.
Falun Dafa Changed Me
When I started to practice cultivation in 1999, I realized how I should behave. Thus, I became a better person with a higher realm of mind. I understood from the Fa that all my tribulations were caused by my selfishness. So I strictly followed the principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” in my daily life and eliminated my bad thoughts about others. With the compassion developed through cultivation, many conflicts were resolved and I became healthy again. I really felt the joy of being a good person.
I searched within and felt guilty for hurting or having conflicts with people in the past. I thought of ways to treat them kindly to resolve the conflicts and eliminate their resentment toward me. Whatever the job was, as long as someone asked me, I would try my best to help.
People around me said that cultivation had completely remolded me. I offered to help my brother-in-law's wife, and I no longer competed with her. I was not jealous when my father-in-law gave her good things; I took good care of him just the same. My father-in-law and brother-in-law's wife both thought that Dafa was great. They often told other people that they admired Dafa for changing my temper.
I think everyone has strengths and weaknesses. In this way, we practitioners have to find their shortcomings and work hard to get rid of them so we can assimilate to the Fa. My weakness is my bad temper, so it required a large amount of determination on my part to get rid of it. When someone hurt me a lot, it would sometimes tug at my chest and create a cutting pain.
“Is this painful?” I asked myself. “Yes. But you have hurt others like that and others felt the same way. This is karmic retribution. If you don't want to bear such pain in the future, then stop hurting others. Being kind to others is like treating yourself well.”
No Small Matter in Cultivation
I soon had good relationships with others, but that didn't apply to the relationship with my husband. Although I had changed a lot, I held notions that my husband lacked a decent education and blamed him for his habitual cursing and drinking. Throughout our marriage, for all those years, he had been afraid of me because I suppressed him fiercely. I now thought if I cultivated compassion, he'd take the power and bully me. This self-protecting notion prevented me from completely changing my temper at home.
On the surface I listened to my husband, but I still harbored resentment toward him. I couldn't treat him well from the bottom of my heart.
I often had arguments with a fellow practitioner about this issue. When one pointed out things that I didn't do well, I couldn't accept it as I thought I had already improved a lot. Instead, I placed the blame on my husband. Because of this, I often had conflicts with this practitioner and I refused to change my mindset for a long time.
The accumulation of intensifying conflicts caused tribulations. One night, my husband got drunk and damaged our refrigerator and furniture with a knife. I was very upset. He definitely would not have dared to do that before I started cultivation, but now he was treating me like that. It made me lose face in front of others. I thought of fighting back or even divorcing him.
But then on second thought: I am a practitioner. How can I validate the Fa if I have that kind of behavior? This is an important matter. I didn't understand why such a thing happened at that time. I didn't know how to deal with it. So I tried to calm down and search within for the cause of my husband's behavior.
I knew that for practitioners, nothing is coincidental. I hadn't cultivated according to the Fa when it came to my husband. I had always focused on his problems, and I hadn't let go of my mindset of looking down on him. It seemed to be a little thing, but over time, the tests and tribulations accumulated.
“I can tell you that if a person doesn’t have that much karma, he absolutely won’t have tribulations that severe.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference” from Guiding the Voyage)
Wasn't my husband helping me improve? It was actually the demon remaining in my own dimensional field that manipulated my husband to persecute me.
Although some practitioners may seem diligent in cultivation, my understanding is that all practitioners who encounter severe persecution, including those suffering in the form of sickness karma or those who even lost their lives, may have neglected to cultivate in very small matters. Some may not have not paid attention to their temper, character, or notions that were not in line with the Fa. This can be especially so with conflicts between practitioners or between family members. This then means that the karma and tribulations that should have been eliminated through strictly requiring oneself to pass a test in cultivation accumulated into larger tribulations or even a life and death situation.
It's possible that these practitioners simply didn't pay attention or realize that such big tribulations can develop from the build up of seemingly negligible small things.
On the surface, practitioners are persecuted for validating Dafa, but Master has told us:
“The old forces don't dare to oppose our clarifying the truth or saving sentient beings. What's key is to not let them take advantage of the gaps in your state of mind when you do things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference II)
Master has paved the way for us and endured for us, but the remainder is up to each individual. Our karma is eliminated in one way or another. The best way, the way that Master arranged for us, is for us to cultivate ourselves well and do the three things diligently. When we clarify the facts and save people, our karma is transformed. On the other hand, the more human attachments one has, the less he or she will do the three things; the more trouble he will thus encounter.
With these thoughts, I realized I should pay more attention to my husband in our daily lives and treat him well from the bottom of my heart. I should also not hold a grudge against him for his bad behavior and the damage he did to our furniture. I felt it was excruciatingly painful to let it go of my resentment toward him during this process of cultivation. Yet, I felt I drew from the determination required for letting go of life and death to get through it. Afterward, I felt my human side had died and a new life was born from the Fa.
My father-in-law knew about my temper. He scolded my husband and worried that I would bring my husband endless trouble for what he had done. My father-in-law was relieved to see my reaction. “Fortunately, she practices Falun Gong,” he said. “Otherwise, this family would be finished.”
A New Horizon
After I changed myself, I found that my husband's bad habits that had irritated me were gone. I also treated my father-in-law with kindness. My father-in-law then gave my family 20,000 yuan because he started to believe that I would be able to take good care of him. I told my husband we should not take the money, because it's not easy for an elderly person to accumulate savings. We should give my father-in-law money instead.
My husband has simply changed into a different person. After overcoming this tribulation, I felt something that had blocked my chest for more than two years had disappeared. I have undergone tremendous changes physically and mentally. My husband stopped finding my faults, and he now supports whatever I do to validate Dafa. When I go out to clarify the truth and come back late, he'll still be in a good mood, and even help me cook dinner. He often clarifies the truth about Falun Dafa to other people, and he even agreed to let me file a legal complaint against Jiang Zemin.
Had I known my husband would change as I cultivated my xinxing, I would have eliminated my demon nature as early as possible. I wasted two years competing with him, and it almost negatively affected my Fa validation efforts in the long-term.
As for the practitioner with whom I had many conflicts, our relationship also changed for the better because I started to search within after my family conflict. I now see her merits all the time, and I no longer compete with her.
She has also changed. Seeing that I upheld my xinxing during my family conflict, she said I had really improved. She said she couldn't imagine that a person with such an irritable temper could change so dramatically. She also said she should eliminate her stubborn temper, otherwise she may fall behind me in cultivation.
We all know about the urgency of saving people, so in addition to doing housework, we must make good use of the time to study the Fa more and clarify the truth to save more sentient beings. Sometimes we distribute informational flyers; sometimes we make phone calls to persuade others to quit the communist party and its affiliated organizations. We also frequently go to the countryside to clarify the truth face-to-face and encourage people to renounce their membership in the communist party.
Let us cherish this limited time to save more sentient beings and fulfill our prehistoric vows.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!