Finding The Right Path To Walk On In Life

Article:Yu Lan Xiao / Picture:Zhong Shen Tu  2017-01-20


  I'm turning 70 this year, but my heart feels like it's getting younger and younger, and my body feels lighter than before. To aging elders, this is hard to achieve, because as people age, they face deteriorating health, mood down, and isolation or fight more with your family, this is common. So feeling like this is a blessing to me.
  I grew up in a poor household that valued sons over daughters, so I had a lot of household chores in addition to outside work, starting when I was a child. And I was not offered an opportunity to attend school because I was a girl, resulting in my illiteracy. After I married, I worked hard with my husband to raise four children from scratch. I had no useful skills, so I had to take odd jobs of manual labor to support my family. My children each had their own unique personalities, especially my second child, who had a strange temper. Since she was a child, she was always very clingy; my back served as her bed, and I had to let her ride on my back so that she wouldn't cry. There's a saying among mothers today: Raise the eldest by the books, but raise the second child like a pig (in other words, take it easier because parents are more experienced). But in my decade, raising children was entirely by intuition. Scolding and hitting was a must. Being able to feed the children well and send them to school already counted as lucky. Tensions within the family, the stress of supporting the household, and the issues that came with my children's growth plagued my heart. In my family's eyes, I became the nagging mother. Not only did I have to deal with issues large and small, but I was also still angry about my father favoring his sons over me and not letting me go to school. Although he was deceased, he was still the target of my frustration. Because of lack of care and overwork, my bones and joints hurt.
  My children grew up and gradually left the nest, especially my second child and youngest child, who barely communicated with me anymore. I thought that life was supposed to end up like this, because my mother and father had also lived in this way. Little did I know that my second child, my daughter, would return to care for me after she left. Every time she came home from the city, she would seek me out to chat and even listen to me complain. One time, she asked me if I had any wishes when I got old. I replied that I wanted to find a happy path later in life. She told me that if I wanted to find a good path, I had to first find a wise mentor to teach me to improve myself. That way I would live another day and be happy for another day. My daughter's piety moved me, and with her recommendation, I joined the Tai Ji Men Energy Family. Here, I not only met other silver-haired people, but found that they all practiced qigong happily and nourished themselves. My heart and mood improved, knowing that my daughter's recent change of attitude towards me was because of a mentor's guidance that let her have empathy towards my previous suffering. She wanted to bring me to Tai Ji Men to relish its joy, and indeed, I felt her yearning to compensate for what she put me through back when she was living under my roof. The gap between our hearts closed because we let go of the past and now had a mutual understanding. Nothing was left unsaid; her Shifu was now my Shifu as well. A wise Shifu appearing in the life of a 60 year old is a fresh and good feeling, especially when this Shifu let me start over and reopen doors. Shifu taught me to let things go and treat myself better, because if there was no time for happiness, how would there be time for worrying? This mindset allowed me to let go of my decades-old anger towards my parents. My husband also joined Tai Ji Men, and his health and mood improved; now he even helps me with chores.
  My brothers and sisters are easy to get along with. I treat Tai Ji Men like my own home. Whenever I have time, I come here to chat and share my cooking with them. No matter what I cook, everyone says it tastes delicious. How warm this makes me feel! Every day I feel so joyful and carefree. I practice qigong daily and nightly, and it makes me feel so refreshed and energetic. I leave Shifu to guide my husband and children now, and they have become closer to me. At Tai Ji Men they can interact with a wide age range. Tai Ji Men brothers and sisters stay with me, care about me, and support me, which makes me feel satisfied. This is life's happiest path. I don't have to wait till later, because I've already found it.