What helped me the most when I was going thru the pain of becoming invisible to him in the relationship, was the simple process, that consist of 4 questions and turnarounds, named The work of Byron Katie.
No one wants to suffer. We all want to be happy. It’s not that suffering is “wrong.” It’s that we naturally want to be free of it. The best way I know to be free from suffering is to question the thoughts that cause it. Suffering is one path to peace.
If I can teach you anything, it is to identify the painful thoughts that you’re believing and to question them, to get still enough so that you can hear your own answers.
Pain is the gift that alerts you to your asleepness. Feelings like anger or sadness exist only to alert you to the fact that you’re believing your own stories.
This is the core of The Work: to question your painful thoughts, that cause you to feel pain and loneliness and separation. To see your thoughts as one of the sources of your suffering.
And the second question: “Can you absolutely know that it’s true?” The answer again is a “yes” or “no.”
Approach this process of inquiry as a meditation. When you ask one of the four questions, go into yourself, recall the situation that gives rise to the question, feel into it.
If you approach this process on an intellectual level, it will not work.
But don’t be discouraged the first time you try. At first, my answers came from my mind, but with a little practice, I dropped into my inner voice and you will too. Just
do not give up on yourself too soon.
With Katie’s own words:
As we question a stressful thought, we see for ourselves that it’s untrue; we get to look at the cause and effect of it, to observe in sobering detail exactly what modes of pain and confusion result from believing it; then we get a glimpse into the empty mirror, the world beyond our story of the world, and see what our life would be like without the thought; and finally we get to experience the opposite of what we have so firmly believed and to find specific examples of how these opposites are true. Once we deeply question a thought, it loses its power to make us suffer, and eventually, it ceases even to arise.
With the third question, we actually explore the whole story behind the thought that causes so much suffering
The fourth question: “Who would you be without the thought?” And then turnaround the thought to see how its opposite is true for you.
To finish the process we would turn the thought that causes us suffering to the opposite.
And discover all about the painful situation from many other points of view.
Example: betrayal that hurt
When a betrayal of the heart, infidelity in the marriage happen and loss of trust and feelings, we suffer.
And that often then consume most of the daily thoughts after its discovery.
How to step out of suffering?
Let’s look at our painful story from another angle:
Betrayed? Do you mean that someone else determined to live her own life in her own way, following her own path, without your permission or direction? Isn’t that what betrayal is really about? Has your mind ever changed when you thought it wouldn’t?
Have you ever lied? How often have you betrayed yourself? Is it her betrayal or your own that you are suffering from?
Contemplate this in the stillness: is your mind not allowing your true nature, unconditional love, to live itself out of you?
It is always present, you know. The mind is sometimes louder, and it overrides the true nature of your own heart, but it can never obliterate what is real, what you truly are.
Isn’t it truer that your unquestioned thoughts are not allowing you to be more aware that you really love the apparent “betrayer”—that in reality you love yourself and you love her just as much.
Once betrayal and infidelity are discovered, “it is the worst pain anyone can endure, and it consumes all of one’s thoughts and energy into all of the details of WHY?”
Why did it happen?
Because it did. How else can ultimate goodness give all its beautiful self to you?
If I lose anyone or anything, I’ve been spared, since this is a friendly universe, and I have tested this thoroughly.
And not only spared but blessed, and so have they, and we are all better off because of it.
That is obvious if we are awake enough to see the real in everything and without exception. That’s how life works.
Our minds don’t have to understand this, but the kind of stress that comes from suffering and confusion happens until you do understand it. Until you do, you tend to see what is really grace as the oppressor, rather than to look to your unauthentic self.
I invite you to find a minimum of three specific, authentic reasons why your life is better without her. It doesn’t mean you don’t love her; it is just that her leaving is for you; it is not happening in order to hurt you. And know that for every reason you find, time in its kindness will show you even more.
If you question your thoughts and allow the open mind to live, the mind that you’re so capable of growing, you’ll see why nature, “the way of it,” is so perfect, wise, so benevolent. It is impossible for anyone or anything to take from us what is good.
Life takes from us what is no longer needed, in order to give us not only what is good but what is better, what is ultimate. This is always going on, and it’s all that is going on, through nature, in time. If your mind will not open to those possibilities that I speak of, it must remain in the non-generous, limited polarity of mind, the polarity I call suffering, the old paradigm.
Notice in the polarity of hell how deeply in its black cave you are living or have lived. I invite you to dig yourself out of that grave. You have all of the help you need.
For example, if you become still, listen, contemplate this wonderful thing that has happened, you will find three genuine reasons why your life is better without her.
And if you can find three, you can find more. Move toward the light, sweetheart. It’s a beginning, and you have you and reality to show you what is already obvious.
Pain sometimes lasts years and years, because of the disbelief that one could give 100% of oneself to another person, trust no other, love so deeply, and then find out all of the “reality of it.”
The problem is that you put conditions on your love, as you think you were giving 100%. “You trusted her”—is that true? I trust Stephen 100%. I trust him to do what he does. And he always does.
You trusted her to do what you wanted her to do and expected her to do. That is a very different matter.
You cannot dictate another person’s life with your desires, assumptions, and bribes and secret motives running. Dictate your own life, your own unconditional love, and see if you haven’t let yourself down as well.
That will keep you very busy, and out of the business of dictating her life in your head, only to be let down, to turn bitter, and be left to experience your own sometimes-closed heart. I love loving deeply and finding out the reality of it.
I am free. I have given my love 100% to the other, and this supports him to live out his life, with or without me, and because I love him, I love that. It feels right that I would allow him the same happiness that allowing him gives me.
It’s not as though I am noble or kind: I just no longer have a choice, since one way is to suffer and the other isn’t, and I’m about the end of suffering. And I love that this no-choice and my mind flow like a river as one.
“She was unfaithful.”
“This is the worst pain anyone can endure.”
“The pain will last years and years.”
“These thoughts consume all of your energy.”
“You gave 100% of yourself to her.”
“You trusted no other.”
Question these thoughts.
After you question them thoroughly, experiencing the answers from the heart, like meditation,
I would gently allow the mind to flow to the turnarounds,
finding the ones that make sense to you. And as you begin to seek authentic examples for each turnaround to enlighten any limited thinking you may be stuck in, allow yourself to take the examples you are being shown to live in your heart, as this allows them to shift you.
Find genuine examples of how these turnarounds are as true as or truer than the original concept.