Worth Reading! From Off the Web!
Worth reading – from Off the Web! (edited for readability)
Byron Katie is known world wide for her wisdom about ending human suffering. She says,
“Hurt feelings or discomfort of any kind cannot be caused by another person. No one outside me can hurt me. That’s not a possibility.”
That’s a bold statement. Many of us react instantaneously to such (seemingly) outrageous claims.
Someone asked Katie:
Katie replied, “Identify and question what they were believing in that cruel situation as it was happening.”
When children (or adults, for that matter) believe the thoughts they are thinking during and after a painful event, they suffer.
It is not the painful event that causes their suffering once the event is over; it is their thoughts about the event.
The event is in the past; the thoughts , and resulting feelings, are in the present – thoughts of shame, anger, humiliation, depression, unworthiness, resentment, and so on – yet it is only in the present that we live.
Children have no way to question these thoughts, so they can’t help but suffer over them. It’s not their fault that they suffer. They just don’t know that suffering comes from believing their painful thoughts. This is why without inquiry, it’s so difficult to overcome a trauma.
The things that upset us will stay with us as long as we still believe what we were believing in that situation. Whether in childhood, or yesterday – time doesn’t matter. Inquiry can break the spell.
The Work is not a philosophy. It’s a way that will let you discover that all suffering has been a misunderstanding.
I was never able to do that. The way I became free was by not ignoring or gliding over such things. I had to face them, to look back on those terrible and seemingly unjust situations that I suffered as a child, and as an adult, to write them down and question the thoughts I had at the time. I had to travel back and to see in my mind’s eye that situation, no matter how terrible it was, and to fill in a ‘Judge-Your-Neighbor’ Worksheet. I had to fill out one Worksheet for each situation. I do this by remembering as much as possible of what I was seeing, feeling, thinking, and believing in those moments.
I used to suffer when those images would arise in my mind, and now I don’t. In fact, all those old memories bring a sense of compassion, freedom and gratitude, and never suffering.”
Of course you should suffer when you remember those situations – since you are believing your thoughts.
Our children learn fearful and angry beliefs from us, and they, like us, have no choice but to live what they believe. What are we teaching through our own negative, fearful beliefs?
My job is to end the injustice in my world, the war inside me, and that has made the world a better place, since there is one less violent, angry person in the world now.
If I am at war with reality, I’m continuing in myself the very thing that I want to end in the world. A sane mind doesn’t suffer. Through inquiry, you can begin to eliminate war for one human being: you.
For more information on The Work of Byron Katie, go to TheWork.com
Quite an easy task, right? Wrong!
Our minds are processing external information, internal responses and dialogue; all the while trying to balance our brain chemistry and alert levels. So becoming more conscious about letting go of This thought, then the next, and on and on requires dedication.
Start with 5 minutes several times a day. Tune into one of your senses to quickly get into the Now moment. For instance, I close my eyes and focus on my breath. Or I can close my eyes and focus on sound. If I can’t close my eyes (like while I’m driving), I can focus on color.
But don’t forget why. Why does it matter to be, quote: mindful? — To quiet the mind, to de-escalate and get to a more authentic relationship with our selves.
One of the fastest ways to rewire the brain (in changing any behavior or emotion) is to stay in the present moment. When we take in a sunset, catch the scent of a spring flower, dance, or tune in to body sensations like our heart rate, breath, the tightness in our muscles, we are activating the right-brain, creating new neuro-pathways.
But what about the thoughts that keep arising? Whatever judgements/opinions you have that take you away from the present moment, I invite you to write on Byron Katie’s worksheet: the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. That is where all fearful, or “stuck” judgments about others, the world and self belong.
Katie shares her philosophy:
So how do I come to know what is true and what really matters? I identify and question the thoughts that take my awareness away, that take “me” away from my life now and plunge…
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