Is she talking to a schizophrenic?
That was my first reaction when I read an interaction of a woman working with Byron Katie. If you are not accustomed to exploring and identifying underlying beliefs, the things that are surfaced in those conversations seem a bit…well…crazy.
The Work is simple. And it works. But, one consequence is that you see reality as it really is. You begin to see that what was going on inside you was what was really crazy. Awakening invites us to live outside the context of the mind and to experience an entirely new way of being.
“As I began living my turnarounds, I noticed that I was everything I called you. You were merely my projection. Now, instead of trying to change the world around me (this didn’t work, but only for 43 years), I can put the thoughts on paper, investigate them, turn them around, and find that I am the very thing I thought you were. In the moment I see you as selfish, I am selfish (deciding how you should be). In the moment I see you as unkind, I am unkind. If I believe you should stop waging war, I am waging war on you in my mind.” —Byron Katie
The Work process is clear cut and easy to do. It is so easy, there is an App for it. You can do the work anywhere. The real key to it is the process of identifying and uncovering the beliefs that are shaping your view and experience of reality.
“Uncomfortable feelings are clear reminders that we’ve attached to something that may not be true for us. They are gifts that let us know it’s time to identify the stressful thoughts and do The Work. Until you can see the enemy as a friend, your Work is not done. This doesn’t mean that you have to invite your enemy to dinner. Friendship is an internal experience. You may never see the person again, you may even divorce him or her, but as you think about the person, are you feeling stress or peace? In my experience, it takes only one person to have a successful relationship, and that’s me. I like to say that I have the perfect marriage, and I can never know what kind of marriage my husband has.” —Byron Katie
Fighting against reality is the ultimate version of that quotation “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” So what have I learned? I have done The Work on every difficult relationship I have – my mother, my father, my former partners, the annoying guy at work…and in all cases, I come back to the same thing I need to do: accept the person as they are, accept reality as it is, and stop struggling to make it different. I often hold the belief that if I were somehow different, the relationship with this person would be different. They would turn in to the mother/father/lover/colleague that I always wanted them to be. And this is a form of crazy.