Do You Believe Your Thoughts?
Are you familiar with the work of Byron Katie? I’ve been following her for some time, watching her videos, using her “work” to work through some of my issues. She has developed an amazing way of looking at life since an epiphany changed her life; she teaches people now how to see life in this peaceful, accepting and joyful way.
She maintains that all problems in life are caused by our believing our thoughts. She leads people through a gentle yet specific “inquiry” into these thoughts. The transformation that occurs in this process is astounding. Some wonderful examples of this are in this video and this one.
I thought it would be fun, by way of illustration, to put one of Life’s Big Beliefs put to “the Work” of Byron Katie.
Statement: Life should be different so that I can be happy. [Read: he should change, she should make different choices, bad things should not happen, people I love should not die]. Katie suggests we subject this belief to four questions and then do what she calls a “turn-around”.
1) Is it true that Life should be different so I can be happy? Yes!
2) Life should be different so I can be happy; can I absolutely know that is it true? Well, maybe not absolutely...
3) Life should be different so I can be happy; how do I feel when I believe that thought? I feel sad, frustrated, angry, hopeless.
4) How would I be without that thought that Life should be different so I can be happy? I would be free. I wouldn’t have to worry about any one or any thing. I could just be happy.
The turn-around: #1 Life does not have to be different so I can be happy. Life and everyone and everything in it should be what it wants to be without needing my stamp of approval. #2 I should be different so I can be happy. I can choose to see things differently, I am freed from the responsibility of making sure everything and everyone perform as I believe they should – even life itself — so I can feel good. #3 Life is different and I can be happy. I just need to see my thoughts about my life differently and question beliefs which challenge my happiness. Read: life is different when I do “the work” and challenge my thoughts.
This is the message I get from Byron Katie’s work; all is well. It’s a feeling of complete and utter peace with reality.
Are you familiar with “The Work”? What have been your experiences with it?