“The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, ‘what is’, is what we want.
If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat will look up at you and say, “Meow”. Wanting reality to be different than it is hopeless. You can spend the rest of your life trying to teach a cat to bark.
And yet if you pay attention, you will notice that you think thoughts like this dozens of times a day. “People should be kinder”. “Children should be well-behaved.” “My neighbours should take better care of their lawn.” “The line at the grocery store should move faster.” “My husband (or wife) should agree with me”. “I should be thinner (or prettier or more successful),” These thoughts are ways of wanting reality to be different than it is. If you think that this sounds depressing, you are right. All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is……
…….what you think should not have happened should have happened. It should have happened because it did, and no thinking in world can change it. This doesn’t mean that you condone it or approve of it. It just means that you can see things without resistance and without confusion of your inner struggle. No one wants their children to get sick, no one wants to be in car accident; but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? We know better than to do that, yet we do it, because we don’t know how to stop.
I am a lover of what is, not because I am a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration. We don’t feel natural or balanced. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind and fearless.
…… For me, the word God means “reality”. Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that is out of my control, your control and everyone else’s control – I call that God’s business.
- (Page 1-3) Loving what is by Byron Katie
Byron Katie's Four Questions
Question 1: Is it true?
This question can change your life. Be still and ask yourself if the thought you wrote down is true.
Question 2: Can you absolutely know it's true?
This is another opportunity to open your mind and to go deeper into the unknown, to find the answers that live beneath what we think we know.
Question 3: How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?
With this question, you begin to notice internal cause and effect. You can see that when you believe the thought, there is a disturbance that can range from mild discomfort to fear or panic. What do you feel? How do you treat the person (or the situation) you've written about, how do you treat yourself, when you believe that thought? Make a list, and be specific.
Question 4: Who would you be without the thought?
Imagine yourself in the presence of that person (or in that situation), without believing the thought. How would your life be different if you didn't have the ability to even think the stressful thought? How would you feel? Which do you prefer—life with or without the thought? Which feels kinder, more peaceful?
Turn the thought around:
The "turnaround" gives you an opportunity to experience the opposite of what you believe. Once you have found one or more turnarounds to your original statement, you are invited to find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true in your life.
1. Loving what is by Byron Katie.
2. The Work of Byron Katie.