A happy male and a real man

Article:Chong Zhe Lu / Picture:Xiu Yu Zhu  2017-02-25


  I grew up in a traditional family that valued men over women, so I always had the mindset that tea would come to my outstretched hand and rice would come to my open mouth. I lived a carefree life. After getting married, I kept this mindset. From my point of view, all the housework was supposed to be done by the wife. I never helped with anything.
  My wife was a working woman. She played the roles of wife, mother, daughter-in-law, daughter, and worker. She was burning the candle at both ends, and her body and mind were exhausted. After a full day of work, she also had to clean the house when she got home. She would complain all the time, and tell me to "do this, do that, and do them quickly!" This often made me lose my temper. We were arguing with each other all the time. Our marriage turned into an incompatible relationship made with fire and ice. We didn't know what to do.
  After four years, the fighting gradually died down. Laughter resonated through all corners of the house. This change happened after my wife and children joined Tai Ji Men. I became curious. What kind of magic had turned my hard-hearted wife and children, who had already entered the temperamental stages of puberty, into such happy people? They had endless topics to talk about, and were always happily chattering. Having witnessed this miracle, and having a desire to change myself as well, I joined Tai Ji Men. Not long after, Shifu reminded me, "Give space for your children to grow. Don't push back on their personal growth. You have to relax and let your children grow freely in Tai Ji Men."
  Before this, I always thought that I was the main boss, and that pushing them was the right thing to do; when they didn't do well on tests, I would yell at them until they cried. As a result, they avoided me.
  After I joined Tai Ji Men, I learned to relax by controlling my breathing. The Tai Ji Men brothers and sisters were like family. Under warm and friendly guidance, my closed heart started to open. My personality used to be unfriendly and stern, and I often didn't know how to communicate my love to my family. However, a smile appeared on my face and my persona became happier and happier. I grew the courage to break through of my own restrictive surface, and didn't criticize my children's homework anymore. I started to talk things through instead of excoriating my children, and so they became less afraid of me.
  The most unique thing at Tai Ji Men is that their ancient menpai, or school, turned into an excellent and profound part of Chinese culture. My children often get opportunities to perform, and it is a rare chance for them to learn about culture and martial arts, which strengthens them and tests their stamina. Because practice is always on the weekends, my children also learned organization strategies for schoolwork. Their grades even improved! When I go to pick them up from practice, they always happily share their day's details with me, drawing us closer together. Attending qigong classes and participating in performance practice has improved the relationships in our family. These past few years, we've been so happy. Because I've changed myself under the influence of the Tai Ji Men Energy Family, I'm like an older brother to my children nowadays. How happy and satisfying chatting has become!
  At Tai Ji Men, Shifu is always reminding us to have a true and happy heart. I have slowly removed the box I built around myself, opened my heart, and let myself improve. As long as I have a conscience, there's nothing for me to be ashamed of. I'm no longer a higher-than-you, lonely old man, and have started helping around the house, letting my wife rest. Our marriage has improved drastically.
  Shifu also reminded me that love must always be expressed, so I mustered up the courage to cast aside the mask that I've worn for 40 years, the mask that made me always aware of my own image and fearful of embarrassment. I signed up for the 2014 annual Filial Feet-Washing Event in the Square of the Presidential Palace, and washed my father-in-law's feet to show my respect. My wife and father were both very happy. Now our house is filled with laughter. From my personal change, I was able to create a win-win situation: respecting my elders and caring for my wife and family, I became a happy male and l.