Sunday, August 15, 2010

More on the Stories We Tell Ourselves....

Some people can't stand Byron Katie.  I've seen her in interviews...watched her doing "the work" in online videos.  I'm kind of neutral when it comes to liking or disliking her.  Probably veer more toward liking than disliking.  I think the compassion she shows is real...although there are people who think she is anything but compassionate.  But whatever....the Work...the 4 questions she tells us to ask ourselves can be very revealing and eyeopening.  I wrote about her a while back, in a post called Strange Bedfellows.  In it, I pointed out that some of her beliefs and teachings are very similar to the total sovereignty guys (Ray Prinzing, Preston Eby, etc) although those who adhere to that theology probably dismiss Katie as new age.  And you know...she probably is new age.  But she mirrors Prinzings "Whatever is, is right" that she believes that if it happened, it was supposed to.  Prinzing attributes it to the meticulous tweakings of a sovereign God.  Not sure what Katie attributes it to.

But they both tell us there is no sense fighting reality.  If it was supposed to.  That rankles me a bit...but alas that is not the subject of this post....which is letting go of the stories we keep repeating to ourselves until we believe there is absolutely no other way of seeing things.  Our truth is THE truth.  There are no other possible explanations or reasons.  Following are a few Katie quotes.....
Stories are the untested, uninvestigated theories that tell us what all these things mean. We don’t even realize that they’re just theories.
And to investigate our untested theories?  She suggests doing The Work....

When you’re operating on uninvestigated theories of what’s going on and you aren’t even aware of it, you’re in what I call “the dream.” Often the dream becomes troubling; sometimes it even turns into a nightmare. At times like these, you may want to test the truth of your theories by doing The Work on them. The Work always leaves you with less of your uncomfortable story. Who would you be without it? How much of your world is made up of unexamined stories? You’ll never know until you inquire.~ from Loving What Is
The Work is quite simple.  It consists of 4 questions....

Step 1 Is it true?

Step 2 Can you absolutely know that it's true?

Step 3 How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

Who would you be without the thought?

Number 3 is a reminder that we are usually the one who suffers the most when we hold a grudge.

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  ~Malachy McCourt
I see the logic of asking the questions and especially of coming up with the turnarounds.  I've done it myself a few times during some tumultuous periods in my life and it's helped provide some clarity.

Another method of bringing clarity (and perhaps reality) to a distressing situation is to apply the principles of Dr. David Burns and his unique approach to cognitive behavioral therapy.  During the tumultuous time mentioned above, I looked into it...even purchased the book used from Amazon. But it too has some really good, eye opening statements that hold a mirror up to some of our unexamined thoughts....the stories we tell ourselves about our situation. ...the stories we tell ourselves about others....and the ones we tell ourselves about....ourselves.

More to come on forgiveness.  In the meantime...if you are inclined....check out the links I've included in the text of this post. 

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: