Ursula lives in southern Germany. She has a wonderful family that anyone would dream of—a caring husband and three healthy children. However, she often tells her friends, “It was not as it seemed to be. I actually had nothing at all.”
A Living Death
Ursula had a strange illness when she was 14. She often felt exhausted, groggy, and she wanted to sleep all the time. Although she slept for many hours, her sleep quality was poor and she kept having random dreams. She found it difficult to stay alert and her memory was failing.
Her poor health only allowed her to take part-time jobs after graduating from college. Even those jobs were short-term.
Then, she got married and soon had her first baby. Caring for her baby became the motivation for her to get up in the morning, even though it was a struggle.
“Out of responsibility, I forced myself to get up to cook and do laundry,” Ursula said. “My husband helped with the housework after he got home from work. But I felt sorry that I wasn’t able to do more.”
“Three years later we had our second child. Then three years later, we had our third one. Without them, I might have just kept sleeping day and night. Every little thing was a big burden to me. I didn’t get any joy out of watching them grow.”
“I didn’t know what’s the point of living. Every day I struggled to get up, struggled to do what I must do, and then went to sleep. I often cried desperately when I was by myself and wondered when the end would come. I was breathing, eating, and drinking, but I had not really ‘lived.’”
Ursula’s last medical visit was at the age of 21. Coming out of the doctor’s office, she felt nothing but despair. No doctor could cure her illness. She wanted to stop taking medicine because she wanted to “maintain a clear head” on her own instead of “letting others and medicine control her.”
She later embarked on many different paths to regaining health, including therapy and spiritual practices. Her husband supported her through all of these. But things eventually turned into a cycle of trying a treatment, giving up, trying another one, and giving up again.
The last try was a therapy class in Switzerland, that cost her 16,000 euros and nearly depleted her family savings.
“I completely gave up after that. I was totally desperate. I thought of ending my life several times,” said Ursula.
The Turning Point
In 2007 a dramatic change happened. Ursula’s younger brother, who lives in South America, visited Germany. During those years, he had rarely interacted with her. But this time, her brother invited her for dinner when he visited Germany.
“I told him about all my sufferings. He patiently listened to me talking about my whole story of miserable life. I vented to him about my pain and despair. Upon hearing me, he stood up and went to his car. He brought in a book and handed it to me. ‘You are in such a bad shape. Try to read this book,’ said my brother.”
“At first, I didn’t want to take the book. I didn’t think any book could solve my problem!” However, her brother quietly told her that after she reads this book, she would come to know why Jesus had said to turn the other cheek when being slapped.
“I turned my head to look at him. We were raised in Christianity; so I was curious what that meant. But my brother didn’t explain any further.” I decided to read this book, Zhuan Falun.”
As soon she opened the book, Ursula could not stop reading it. Every sentence in the book seemed to strike a chord within her. A few hours passed without a sound. In the deep silence of the room, she felt a strong force pulling her forward as if she were flying. She felt a word rise from her heart—Hope. It was an authentically warm, strong, and peaceful sensation.
“I knew then this was what I had been looking for. Cultivating Falun Dafa could make a person complete. I had kept looking for a cultivation method, and I had always appreciated divine stories where a person would rise to another realm upon enduring many hardships. I have never doubted the existence of the divine, but I felt I could not proceed by reading religious teachings. After reading Zhuan Falun, my heart was telling me that I could truly proceed to where I’ve always wanted to be.”
Three months after reading the book, Ursula decided to start the practice, to strive for “where she always wanted to be.” She then realized that she had found the meaning of her life.
Her “True Life”
After reading this book, her motivation to get up changed. Before, she was only motivated to get up to take care of her children and do the housework. But now, what kept her motivated was reading this book.
Whenever her husband came home, he would see her reading this book. She gradually felt that she had more strength, slept better, could handle more housework. She even started smiling again.
Finally, at the age of 44, Ursula started her true life. “I began to really experience my existence and what life encompasses. It’s so wonderful! I can make decisions and choose things freely now. For example, I couldn’t go to the cafe with friends before because I didn’t know if my body’s condition would permit me to go. Now everything is under my control. I live a completely different life.”
Ursula started volunteering at her local kindergarten and library. The crafts that she made were popular at the Christmas market. Her home began to be filled with laughter.
Her children eventually grew up and had their own children.
“I didn’t have any joy as a mother when I raised my kids. But as a grandma, I found out how joyful being a mother is when I held my grandchildren and kissed them. If it weren’t for Falun Dafa, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience all of this and have a real life. Now life is really wonderful!”