Thursday, February 04, 2010

94: Question 3 again: How do I make Hell for Me?

The Work of Byron Katie, Question Three, again: the consequences. How do I react and how do I live when I attach to the thought/ belief/ story that…?

Take some person who has been bugging you. Write a couple of shoulds or shouldn’ts about them. Then ask questions one (Is it true?) and two (Can I absolutely know that it is true?), and then add question three. How do you react and live when you attach to the thought?

You’ve done this before.

And many a wise or semi-wise person has said something to the effect of: “It’s not the thing that happens, it’s your reaction to the thing that matters in your life and your emotional well being.”

So once more, pen or pencil in hand, write down this question #3 laundry list of what happens to you when you believe in, when you indulge in, when you take as truth and reality the thought.

Write the list down. Writing slows. Writing helps us see it rather than just “feel” it. Writing clues us into the how the piling up of one bad feeling and attitude and behavior can come from the attachment to the simplest of thoughts.

The list is a big set of possible ways of being bummed out by our reaction to life.

It will include feelings.

It will include physical states.

It will include behavior patterns.

It will include how you do or want to treat the other.

Let’s take an example: So and so shouldn’t be so critical.

You imagine them being critical and write what happens: maybe like this: I get scared. I get angry. I want to run away. I want to attack. I bad mouth them to others. I feel small. I feel like a child again. I lecture them. I am critical of their criticalness. I feel tight and hard to breathe inside. I give them “the look” when they come near me. I cringe when someone mentions their name. I avoid events that I know they will be at. I wonder what I “did wrong.” I obsess about what they are “doing wrong.”

And so on.

Let the list get so long and top heavy that it begin, almost, to crumble, of its own accord.


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