Monday, January 16, 2006

Monday, Jan.16: Feeling Bad, 3, Do the Work

Earlier ( Jan. 5) there was a section on the work of Byron Katie. This is a premiere tool for those times when our mind is telling us that it is time to feel badly. The work is simple, but the work is work.

Get out the old pencil or pen and paper.

Write down what is bothering you.

Be specific about what it is. It is always some complaint about reality. Write down this complaint, preferable in the “should” or “shouldn’t” form. “My wife should have laughed at my joke.” “My husband shouldn’t ignore me.” “My father should be nicer to me.” “My mother shouldn’t have criticized me.”

And so on. This is our misery, all these other people not shoulding and shouldn’ting when they should and shouldn’t.

Then, having written them down. Do the work. Take each should, take each shouldn’t and run it through the four questions:

Is it true?
Can I absolutely know it’s true?
What are the consequences in my feelings and actions when I believe that it’s true?
Who would I be without attaching to the story/belief that this is true?

And then, the turn-around. What is the upside down of what I’m claiming and is that equally or more true?

So and so shouldn’t criticize me. Is that true? Only if the world is set up just to make me happy. Can I absolutely know it’s true? No. What are the consequences of believing that so and so shouldn’t criticize me? I feel small, or angry. I withdraw. I put. I plot to get even. I gossip. Make the list of all the ways the thought leads to the misery.

And finally, who would I be without attaching to the belief that so and so shouldn’t criticize me? Free. Able to breathe. Able to look at so and so and wonder: what’s going on over there? What is the suffering that is leading to their criticalness? And I can even be free to wonder: what part of their criticism is true?

The turn around is sweet: I shouldn’t criticize so and so. Can I pull that off.

And, most important of all, can I be my own friend and follow this rule: I shouldn’t criticize me. Here’s the key, eh? If I want so and so to stop criticizing me, can I stop?

This is a way back to happiness. To take all these thoughts that are leading to my unhappiness, and not try to ignore them, but to examine them, letting mind meet mind. ( More on this can be found at Byron Katie’s web sit,



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home