Thursday, September 20, 2018

My tug-of-war with Byron Katie :)

A long while back, a friend of mine recommended a book by Byron Katie to me. I picked up Loving What Is and started reading it.  As memory serves, I'm almost certain I was on a trip somewhere because I remember an airplane. 

Not that an airplane has anything to do with this.

I read the first couple chapters... and I hated it. 

It made me mad. 

There was this section I was reading, and the gist of what made me mad was this idea that we were wrong, or at least unhelpful to ourselves, to get stuck in believing people "should" act a certain way when they aren't.  It's hard to explain if you haven't read it yourself. But, she really argued against that idea, and I wanted to argue right back. 

People who are being dipshits SHOULD act differently!!

It just made me mad... or...  it might be more accurate to say that I just didn't want to do it that way. I wasn't ready to let go of the "they should be different"s.  I was still hanging on to what I wanted.

I put it away. I wasn't ready for that. I chalked it up to "Well... we can't ALWAYS like the same books." :)

Fast forward many many months... and I was sitting on the floor, matching socks, and listening to a podcast on my headphones, when the podcast guest was Ms Katie.

The guy who hosted the show was going through a time of upheaval in his life. He'd recently broken up with his girlfriend, and was having a pretty hard time getting through it and healing.  And so I just listened while Byron Katie went through the Work with him, asking him questions, guiding him through one part or another.

But she said something that really resonated and stuck with me. The gist of it was that he wasn't necessarily grieving the relationship as it was.  But, he was grieving for his hopes and dreams of what that relationship would become. It was maybe less that the relationship itself had ended, but that the hope had to end. The pictures in his head had to end. Letting go of the relationship itself held less pain than that of letting go of his future.

That's stuck with me for a long time.  And as I've walked through the healing of walking away from a friendship I had once really valued, I've come back to that a few times. My thoughts about what could have been were harder to let go of than what actually was.  Maybe she isn't crazy, after all.

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