All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality, says Byron Katie. It’s just a story we torture ourselves with. She has a simple, completely replicable system for freeing ourselves of the thoughts that make us suffer. “All war begins on paper,” she explains. You write down your stressful thoughts and then ask yourself the following four questions
The process is simple, gentle and enjoyable, and then works effortlessly. As Byron Katie says, I do not drop the belief – the belief releases me.
The steps are very simple.
Explained thru real story from my life.
Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
Identify a thought that creates suffering.
Each one that we believe in does.
1. Is it true?
This question can change your life. Be still and ask yourself if the thought you wrote down is true.
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.
3. How do you react, what happens when you believe in the thought?
With this question, you begin to notice an 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.
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?
That’s the place, where your mind starts to open and everything falls into place.
It’s that “don’t know” mind space. The mind is usually “I know, I know, I know.”
But that “don’t know” mind space is where wisdom lives.
Turn the initial statement around, to self/other/oposite
Here we step into other people shoes or look at the situation from the other side of the street.
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.
Here the “I know” mind is dropped, and the mind is open to this world that you never have seen before.
Let’s look at how I question my stressful believe I want him to spend more time with me.
Real life story -I want my partner to spend more time with me
Identify a thought that creates suffering.
I want my partner to spend time with me
1. Is it true that I want him to spend more time with me?
If I ask my mind, yes. Of course, I want that.
2. Can I absolutely know that I want him to spend more time with me?
If I take a moment and go inside, what is my heart telling me? That I am not happy and I don’t feel loved as I used to feel in our relationship. And that I believe he spent more time with me would be proof of his love and I would again felt more loved. So I can’t absolutely know that he spent more time with me will give me the feeling that I am loved by him.
What happen when I believe That I want him to spend more time with me?
I became needy; I demand his attention and time. I feel unloved and not good enough. And when I am in that state of feeling unloved and not good enough even I would not want to spend time with me.
What/who am I if I don’t believe in the thought I want him to spend more time with me?
In the moments thru the day when I forgot that I want to spend time with me, I am more relaxed, feel better about myself and not thinking what is missing in me that he would fulfill. I am more focused on me than him. At that moment I actually enjoy being with myself and don’t even think about him.
Turn the initial statement around, to self/other (whatever work for me)
I want to spend more time with myself. Not really. Because when I feel not good enough and unloved even I don’t want to spend time with me. I could understand why he doesn’t want to spend more time with me when I am like that. So truth is that I am the same as him.
And here my story takes a turn.
I started to see why I (and he) does not want to spend time with me.
Because I am sad and boring and lacking aliveness.
The result was not that he started to appreciate me nor to want to spend time with me.
The result was that I discovered I didn’t appreciate ME, and I didn’t desire to spend time with me.
And the reason was that it was boring for me to be with me.
And behind that was an even more shocking truth.
That I was boring to me, because everything I did in my life was because others wanted it or I assumed others wanted it or I believed that by doing this or that it would get me other people’s love—my partner, girlfriends, my mother, and all the other people that I met in my life.
And I did that for so long, that when I asked myself what I wanted and what would make me happy in my life, I didn’t know.
I lived my life according to what others wanted so long that I could not find inside of me what I wanted.
Then slowly day by day, I started to discover small things that brought me happiness. And sometimes even big things.
I started to discover who I am and how I am enough.
READ NEXT: Loving what is – my own journey
With Katie’s own words – relationship:
We use our beauty, our cleverness, our charm to capture someone for a partnership as if he were an animal. And then when he wants to get out of the cage, we’re furious. That doesn’t sound very caring to me. It’s not self-love. I want my husband to want what he wants. And I also notice that I don’t have a choice. That’s self-love. He does what he does, and I love that. That’s what I want because when I’m at war with reality, it hurts.”