Searching Within Myself for the Problem

Shared at the Falun Gong conference in Prague, 2006

It is said in the Bible that it is easier to see a splinter in someone else‘s eye than a log in one’s own eye. I remembered this idea when I read one of our Master’s lectures on the Falun Gong teachings, the Fa, where he had mentioned that some practitioners criticise others very much while they themselves have problems to solve.

Lately I had to quit my job because my boss was not satisfied with me. The reason given by my boss was that I did not have enough tolerance and "human touch" while working with others. I could not understand his reasoning and felt quite sad and upset. At that time, I was not practising Falun Dafa, but I was convinced that I am a very tolerant person with a lot of empathy for others. In the hospital department where I worked I saw a lot of bad things I was eager to reform. I was very upset because of my cold-hearted manner and lack of compassion I observed when my colleagues where treating patients.

When I went to say goodbye to head physician of our department, she was trying to help me. She spoke about humbleness and how we are forced to sacrifice our best to our work while the conditions are never perfect. I was trying hard to 'unpuzzle' the things she told me but I couldn’t. In my mind I still held my strong notions. I was sure the real reason of my dismissal was that my colleagues wanted to get rid of me because I was so good in doing my job.

In the end head physician (who probably could very well see through me) asked me to write a letter on what I dislike about our department and wanted me to list the things I would change if I could. I agreed and started to write. When I read my ideas written on the paper, I realised that the lack of compassion I observed in my colleagues‘ behaviour was actually my own problem and that it was the reason why I was dismissed. By that time I already been studying the Fa for two months and I remembered that our Master tells us to search within our own selves when looking for the cause of trouble. I tried to honestly think about myself and my job and I found out very unpleasant and true facts about myself.

While I was upset when my colleagues were not frank with me and told me lies, I myself was not honest when treating them and said only things pleasant for me to show off and display my supreme qualities. I blamed doctors and nurses for treating patients with a cold heart when they were asking ill people to have strong will and work hard for improvement, which I thought was hard for them. But when my colleagues came and told me about their negative feeling towards patients I was myself very cold and tough and advised them to temper themselves. I failed to see that my colleagues remain (disregarding their education) everyday people who have emotions and whose possibilities are limited. I was arrogant and pretended that I am perfect in doing things while human weaknesses have nothing to do with me. I enjoyed that feeling that I am a better person than my colleagues. In reality I was far from being compassionate and build up my ego at the expense of others.

I was not satisfied when my colleagues didn‘t give me enough space to apply my own ideas, they did not trust me and did not appreciate myself the way I imagined. At the same time I came to a brand new workplace and from the beginning demonstrated to others how I am capable while they are not. I didn’t bother to ask how things should be done, why they are done this way and not the other way and I had no respect for years-long experience of my co-workers. I was afraid my shortcomings could be revealed and it would show up I am not really qualified for doing this job.

My behaviour was terrible. I kept on making excuses and even convinced my relatives that our department is run by completely incapable people. When my colleagues were trying to tell me what they don’t like about me, I was not able to understand them. I was so afraid of losing my own face and appearing stupid that I held my mind completely in the dark. I was sure others are making mistakes and I even convinced myself I am very tolerant. I was proud for handling such a difficult job under such unpleasant circumstances so well.

But when I quit accusing others for my own failures and focused on what concrete problems are there to solve and what specific kinds of behaviour I dislike I searched within my heart and saw the attachments I did not want to drop.

Conflicts with others have always annoyed me, I regarded them as something unpleasant I have to withstand and somehow drowned in emotions which surround the conflict. Now I welcome such situations and try to find out what I dislike about others‘ behaviour. I focus on situations when someone upsets me and find such moments valuable. I believe that things I don’t like about others are such splinters, which relate directly to the log in my own eye that I myself cannot see and cannot realise without help of others. This understanding enables me to keep distance from my emotions, look at the conflict through the eyes of others, make a step towards other people, admit my failure and apologise for it.

I realised that since I am tempering myself amongst people, there will be situations when I hurt others when my actions don’t comply with what is taught in Falun Dafa. This realisation was very painful for me. I dislike hurting others and it is hard for me to bear when they get upset. I think it is the attachment I need to get rid of. Our Master says we should learn from situations when we cannot pass the test and search within ourselves to pass it next time. It is hard to search the dark side of my heart, admit that I was wrong, it is even harder to correct my wrongdoings and improve. Swearing, being sad or blaming my destiny is easy, people do such things when they do not want to change themselves. But that is not my direction anymore.

Thank You, my honourable Master, for putting people in my way who help me to improve.

This is my present view, please help me correct my misunderstandings and also…get rid of any logs in my eyes.

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