Everything we know is a memory. This makes memory, imagination, knowledge, and intellect wonderful and good---unless it is unkind, defensive or it is a “no” to reality. Then it hurts us because actual reality unfolds new in each moment and peace is in acceptance. When we unconsciously bring forward a memory and project it as a belief about a current or future situation, we bypass reality: what is unfolding now. We are reliving a past that’s over and gone, no longer true, or imagining a future that’s not yet lived, not true. The non-acceptance of actual reality is a cause of emotional suffering. What is, is.
An example: a child cries out and believes that mother will come quickly as she has in the past. Mother is busy and takes a moment longer to attend to the child. A moment is all that’s needed for the memory to arise from the child’s subconscious mind and for a fearful thought to appear: Mother should be here! The thought is believed true, and just that fast the imagination spirals: she doesn’t love me--there’s something wrong with me--I did it wrong--I need to be careful--something terrible could happen--I don’t know what to do. On and on the fearful projections may go.
Notice that Mother didn’t harm the child. It was what the child believed--Mother should be here--that created the stress.
The child is too young to comprehend the error, but as adults, we can know that the worry we experience today could be the result of an untrue thought brought forward from childhood and projected onto a present or a future situation. The old untrue stories that we tell ourselves will show up like a train ride at various points along life’s way to replicate the stress so that we may see the error, get clear and free, and return to our natural state of trust and peace. It’s a good thing.
The Work of Byron Katie is a way out of stress. It’s a way to discover that the opposite is as true or truer; Mother shouldn’t be here because she isn’t. It is a returning to love Mother, love the world, and love what is. It’s a return to innocence. No mistakes!
We believe what we think until we don’t. Stress is the belief that Mother should be here when she isn’t and the stories we tell when we believe it: she doesn’t love me. A reaction to stress is a withdrawal from the love that we are. The withdrawal from love creates guilt and shame. Then we get angry and resentful with mother or whomever because we aren’t happy--and we created it!
The unhappiness may send us running to others for agreement and approval. It may have us look for love in all the wrong places. We may impose should and shouldn't onto ourselves and others and feel angry when disappointed. We may attempt the impossible: to manipulate circumstances, manage the future, avoid what frightens us, or resist what is happening. When we oppose reality like this we suffer because reality is. It wins. There's little suffering in a "yes" to what is happening now: Mother shouldn't be here because she isn't.
We may take comfort in knowing that unhappiness is not our true nature. Love is. The beliefs that we stress over, defend, justify or try to avoid are not true. There is only the belief appearing now--and it‘s gone! Happiness is accepting what is happening now because it’s happening. Happiness is love loving what is.
Loving what is is not an outward display of kindness while mentally judging and condemning. It is not a yes when we mean no. This is but another way that we hurt ourselves. Life will perpetuate painful situations and hurtful emotions as many times as necessary to give us the opportunity to be free of suffering. No mistakes!
The Work is a way out of hurt. It is a way out of the painful effect of the mind and a way into the peace that exists within the heart and within the space in which thoughts arise. It’s a way to accept what is unfolding and be happy now.
Even these statements are concepts. Don’t believe them. Use only what you will as a way to understand the work of the mind and let it lead you to The Work of Byron Katie, if it does.
I love, love, love The Work. And I’m ever so grateful to the founder, Byron Katie, for giving it so willingly. It has been a valued part of life since September 2000. Now I suffer fewer emotional reactions that would move me from inner calm and moment to moment acceptance. I’m more present with myself and better able to let God manage the world out there.
Here is an example of what The Work will do:
I baked a birthday cake with chocolate
frosting from scratch. In moving it from one
counter to another it slid to the floor! In a
smooth, easy motion, I moved to clean the
floor and then turned to prepare another
cake from scratch. There was opportunity to
curse, complain, cry or quit. I could have
blamed the counter, yelled at the cake, or kicked the floor. Rather, I maintained an inner calm and the action taken was efficient and effective. Peace was undisturbed as I prepared another cake.
Now I can see how the cake falling to the floor was a good thing! I get to present it here as an example of the peace available through The Work. “Everything happens for me, not to me.” No-mistakes!
To learn more about Byron Katie (aka Katie) and The Work, visit www.thework.com
Contact me if you would like to try The Work with me.