‘Loving What Is’ Byron Katie changes concepts on how life should be.Four questions are all you need to have a different perspective in life—and “Loving What Is” created by Byron Katie is your first step in achieving this.
The author is fond of saying “When you argue with reality you lose – only 100% of the time”
This can be a difficult notion to understand and some questions could remain.
How can you reach the stage where you are actually ‘loving what is’? How can you love and accept the truth that your friend betrayed you, your partner left you for someone else or you have cancer?
The answers can be found in the book “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie. In this post, we’ll show you the process she calls ‘The Work’, which can help you get all the answers you need in life.
The Work in “Loving What Is” Byron Katie: What is It?It’s a process involving writing down stressful thoughts and asking these 4 questions:
- Is it true?
- Can I absolutely know it is true?
- How do I react when I think that thought?
- Who would I be without the thought?
This exercise aims to reveal that your deepest beliefs are usually just misunderstandings. Katie believes that thoughts like “I will never find a partner who loves me” or “My boss shouldn’t have fired me” are often unproven opinions and so can be questioned.
Instead of trying to prove you’re right, she suggests doing the opposite. Free yourself by questioning the belief that things should have been different.
‘Loving What Is’ Byron Katie: Minding Your BusinessByron Katie strongly believes in the idea of minding your own business. She says there are three types of businesses: God’s, mine, and yours. Suffering starts when you get out of your own business and begin interfering with the other two.
For example, you are bothered by the fact that your son didn’t do the dishes like he said he was. Ask yourself “Who’s business is it that he didn’t do the dishes?
What your child does or doesn’t do isn’t your business but theirs. If you want the chore done, that’s your business and you can either do it yourself, remind him to do it or any number of things.
Believing they should’ve done it and they didn’t is guarantying misery and arguing with reality.
‘Loving What Is’ Byron Katie: Applying The Work
The Work can be applied to almost any problem and the more open you are to exploring your deepest beliefs, the more enlightened and relieved you’ll be!
The first step is to write down all the petty complaints you have about a situation. Try not to hold back—the key here is to get to the belief that’s making you uncomfortable and stuck.
Take those beliefs one at a time and answer the questions above. Then turn it around.
Let’s take the statement “My child is lazy.” For the first question “Is it true?” you might say “Yes! They didn’t do what they said they were going to do.” But, if you’re honest, you may say they’re not completely lazy—they excel in school, help with the laundry, etc.
If you’re stuck on the first question, the second will surely nail you. “Can I absolutely know that it’s true?” Truth is, you can’t. There’s no manual for lazy people to consult to prove your thought!
Then, move on to the third question. “How do I react when I think that thought?”
Well, when I think about my child being lazy, I’m tense and get angry. I feel like a bad mother.
From here, ask yourself. “Who would I be without the thought?”
Without thinking the thought that my child is lazy, I see their good qualities clearly. I’d be more relaxed and obviously would be better off without the thought.
Lastly, you turn things around. Turning the thought around means reversing what you wrote; it’s a great way to see your projections. So, in this case, the turnarounds maybe “I can be lazy” or “My child’s not completely lazy” or “My thoughts around my child are lazy”.
These turnarounds feel a lot truer than your first thought and when you investigate the truth, you relax and even love your child more deeply.
‘Loving What Is’ Byron Katie: Embracing Reality
Katie says that your work isn’t done unless you treat everyone and everything in the world as a friend.
‘The Work isn’t for the faint-hearted. It takes courage to accept reality as it is completely.
It helps you learn to love what you have whether you wanted it or not. With time, it’ll bring you to a state of love—more love you even thought was possible.