Remember this one?* – Loving What Is

When I argue with reality, I lose – but only 100% of the time. – Byron Katie

Byron Katie has the coolest name, I think. Cool name aside, she also has some cool ideas. One in particular is called, “The Work” and boy-oh-boy, it is truly amazing!

Loving What Is by Byron Katie is one way to delve into The Work… and … yeah, it goes there. Where’s there? ANYwhere you need to go!

  • Relationship trouble? Goes there.
  • Money trouble? Goes there.
  • Friend trouble. Goes.
  • Kid trouble? There.
  • Belief trouble? Yep, goes there, too.

It begins – and ends with – 4 Questions. I normally wouldn’t share what those questions are because I want you to read the book but heck, this Work is so famous, you probably already know… but I’ll share them, anyway:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can I absolutely know it’s true?
  3. How do I react when I think that thought?
  4. Who would I be without that thought?

… and then…

Turn it around.

It seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

Well. Let me tell you. Not only is it NOT simple (at all!) but it helps to have someone (in person or via a book like this one) to keep you on track.

I first ran across “The Work” through an online friend. Katie’s writing was superb and incredibly engaging. I was hooked. I asked myself the 4 questions off-and-on throughout the years and always found the process enlightening, though not very deep. That is, not until I had someone holding my feet to the fire.

I don’t even remember his name… he was just another anonymous poster on a message board about marriage and self-improvement. He was a self-proclaimed expert on Katie’s Work.

I had a problem with a friend… in truth, I can’t even remember which one and I can’t find the thread anymore, so I’ll never know. He offered to guide me through the process to see if the friendship could be revived or rebuilt. I agreed.

Seriously, it was agony. I mean, not at first. But as it went on. Because he wouldn’t cut me a break. He was kind but firm…

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can I absolutely know it’s true?

Nope, can’t go to question 3 until 2 is answered. Can I absolutely know it’s true?

What I remember is that it took ten flippin’ pages of back and forth to tease apart the friendship, the entanglement and arrive at the other end, where I discovered there was no way to rebuild.

It was… excruciating. Time-consuming. Worth it.

I mean that!

Know that The Work is not about shame and/or blame. However, gonna be honest… it feels a little like it at first. And then, as you begin to function within the framework of this process… you realize that so much you think is (truly) just a projection. Let’s just say there’s more than a few mentions of mirrors in this book!

A week or so ago, I talked about the stories we tell ourselves. This book is also about that subject. After all, before we’ve dared to ask the questions, we’ve fallen back onto our stories. The questions are what pull them apart.

This is an exceptional book by an exceptional woman. Katie is wise, and you’ll feel a little wiser after reading it. Pinky swear.

*Originally written by me for the blog on July 24, 2018

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