Relationships and Telling the Truth

How to tell someone the truth? Start with The Work of Byron Katie.


Everyone is gathered on the phone. We can hear each other’s voices, but can’t see one another. We each see the room we’re in, or the car, the street, the coffee shop, the airport.

Here we are again, ready to look closely at troubling stories in our lives.

The class title? Relationship – Hell To Heaven.

And it sure does feel like hell sometimes.

This week, we were looking at the topic “Telling The Truth” and how that impacts or gets twisted up in relationships with others.

When do you not show what you’re really thinking? When do you withhold information? When do you speak up abruptly, or say no, or say “maybe” when you really mean “yes”?… Or vice versa? Say yes when you really mean “no”?

I used to feel like I had to hide PILES of stuff about myself: “Be nice, smile, be helpful, act polite, don’t get too high-maintenance or PIA (pain in the ass). Be appealing. Be attractive.”


(Note: if you scream “RELAX AND OPEN YOUR HEART!!!!” to someone who is afraid, do you think they’ll relax and open their heart? This includes screaming it to yourself.)

I used to notice from time to time I judged some other people as too nicey-nice, too fakey, untrustworthy, false, saccharin, superficial, gooey.

What’s more is, I ALSO noticed when someone was too sharp, edgy, mean, critical, negative, cold, bossy, pushy, constantly making contact and asking mega questions, or rude….it made me really nervous, or irritated.

Such strong beliefs about how people should behave, in order for me to be comfortable!

Even if you think its SOOOOOOO TRUE that someone should stop being so high-maintenance or suspiciously passive…

….Who would you be if you couldn’t lock in on that story? (Question # 4)

Without believing they need to stop being like that, or something’s “wrong” with it … I might rest so much more comfortably.

I might notice I’m worried about hurting their feelings… But I can still say “I love you deeply and I don’t want to do what you’re asking right now.”

I might say “I’ll cook and eat with you tomorrow evening, but today I’m not really into a sit-down meal.”

I wouldn’t have SHOULDS and SHOULDN’Ts hanging over the scene from past teachings – past ideas about what is wrong or right.
I might say “hey when you tease too much about my driving, I start to feel a little hurt because I’m worried you think I’m a bad driver. Is that actually true?”

I could check things out, I could say no with lots of love in my heart….

.…not because I should have love in my heart, but because I trust the presence of the answer “no” I’m feeling, and when that happens, I also feel love. 
I can be with you even when you say (or look like) you’re disappointed about me saying “no”.

The Turn-Around

Turning the thoughts around about how I think people ought to be, I find I am the one who needs to relax and wait and pause before trying to create a big boundary with someone…..
….or, I am the one who could notice when someone asks or says something, all I need to do is respond. I don’t have to have a hissy fit because they are too fake-acting. Maybe they’re scared?

Every way of being is OK, I can be with others and their requests or contact or words or the way they act….without panicking and overriding my own values.

I can handle it all, I can delight in it all.
Who would you be if you lived the turnaround that everyone’s behavior is acceptable?

I’d be so much more excited about every interaction. I’d move towards or away, but there wouldn’t be such fury about any of my actions.

Everything more fluid.

It doesn’t mean I have to LOVE everyone’s behavior. But it wouldn’t be so dang important.

That’s relationship heaven. 

“As long as you perceive that anyone is holding you back, you have not taken full responsibility for your own liberation. Liberation means that you stand free of making demands on others and life to make you happy. When you discover yourself to be nothing but Freedom, you stop setting up conditions and requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to be happy.” ~ Adyashanti

Much love,

editing and pictures by JaneW

Practicing Non-Attachment


I love zen humor!

A Zen Buddhist believes attachments are the cause of all earthly suffering. It’s the clinging that hurts. But revulsion causes suffering as well.

It’s the attachment to meaning: “I want… I abhor…” One path to non-attachment is practicing mindfulness – being an observer of the present moment without judgement.

Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?    A Taoist Tale


There once was a simple farmer who lived and struggled alongside his village neighbors and friends.

One day a neighbor dropped by for a visit.

”How are things?” he asked.

“The fence broke and my horse ran away.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. How are you going to work the fields now?”

The farmer replied: “Who knows what is good or bad?”

 A week later the horse returned, but he was not alone! He brought with him a herd of wild horses. This time the neighbor congratulated the farmer on his good luck, but the farmer just replied: “Who knows what is good or bad?”

 Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. “That’s too bad! Now he can’t help you around the farm!” The farmer’s response was simply: “Who knows what is good or bad?”

 News of impending war came and every able-bodied man was required to join forces in battle. The farmer’s son, because he had a broken leg, was the only boy in the village to remain. His neighbors were envious, but said: “Oh, that’s good! How lucky! You get to keep your only son.”

The farmer replied: “Who knows what is good or bad?”


Are you looking for the good or bad in every situation? What could you do differently to be more peaceful and balanced in your life?

 From this story we can see that the farmer and his neighbor have different ways of viewing events in the world. And they create different results.

It turns out that it is our judgments that cause our suffering, not the actual events. These judgments create body sensations (emotions) and they can lead to an endless cycle where the emotion controls you instead of you controlling your emotions.

How can we learn to observe without judgment?

 Learning to observe the emotions arising and allowing them to pass will significantly reduce the stress you experience in your day-to-day life.

The point is to experience them, observe that you are having them, but not attach to them, thus allowing them to disappear just as they arose in the first place.

Developing a daily meditation practice is a great way to learn to observe feelings and develop the ability to not get caught up in my emotions when situations do arise.

If you’re new to meditation or want a guided meditation to try, check out my playlist on YouTube:  Jane’s “Mindfulness” playlist

I have also found activities that allow me to get into my body (such as Yoga, cycling, dancing), and connecting with nature (walking to the local park) to be very useful practices as well.