Over the years doing inquiry, I sometimes hear this objection to questioning thoughts:
But what if it’s just plain true? What if there’s no doubt that something happened, and it’s irrefutable?
Like, my mom slapped me. She did.
I did lose all my money. I broke my leg. I got cancer. I got divorced. My father died. My grandfather was a control freak. I moved. My childhood is over. My children are gone.
Those things happened!
Well…yes they did. This isn’t about questioning facts of life.
This is about investigating what you believed, and perhaps still believe, about that event, that experience…when it’s painful.
Here are a few easy ways to get to the heart of yourself, and your pain, when you notice you feel stress about something that happens.
Let’s say someone is really upset with you. They’re not speaking to you anymore. Maybe they yelled at you and it was really obvious that they were super pissed off. Maybe you’ve called, written, emailed, facebooked, and they never write back.
Maybe they just had a look on their face that wasn’t pleasant. Maybe you’re not sure what went wrong.
You notice a clench in the gut. You notice your mind start to get a little interested.
As you think about this person, or the situation where you feel sad about what happened, or irritated, any kind of stressful feeling at all…..see what you believe it means that it happened that way.
Since she said that thing to me, and made that face….what I think it means is that she hates me. I’ve done this wrong. I scared her. People get confused. People are nuts. The universe is a difficult place. She could hurt me again. They don’t like me. I’m in danger.
Now….just pick one concept to question.
Are you sure that when that happened, it meant what you think it meant?
Can you really know if something is lost and over (including someone’s life) that it means this world is weird and full of loss, dangerous, or that you’re all alone and it’s entirely hopeless?
How do you react when you believe that whatever happened means something frightening, or bad, or difficult, or hard, or shocking?
Very anxious. Very sad. Very lonely. Very hurt. Very upset. Worried about the activities of reality, every single day even.
But who would you be without the belief that you know what that event means? Who would you be without the thought that you know what was going on with that person, or that it’s threatening to you personally, or that it means something stressful about life?
If I don’t know what something means….even that thing that happened that seems harsh, or that everyone generally agrees is a tough experience….
….who would I be? What would I be?
“For many people, life without their story is literally unimaginable. They have no reference for it. ‘I don’t know’ is a common answer to this question. Other people answer by saying ‘I’d be free’ or ‘I’d be peaceful’ or I’d be a more loving person.’ You could also say, ‘I’d be clear enough to understand the situation and act efficiently.’ Without our stories, we are not only able to act clearly and fearlessly; we are also a friend, a listener. We are people living happy lives. We are appreciation and gratitude that have become as natural as breath itself.” ~ Byron Katie
Try it today.
It starts with imagination. Your mind is excellent at imagination.
Who would you be in this moment, without knowing what that event meant…the one you’ve been thinking all this time was horrible, or difficult?
I’d be feeling the blood pulse in my arms and hands, hearing the cars outside the open window, smelling the fresh late summer air drift through the window slats, feeling the beat of my heart, seeing the colors, the magnificent color of this white couch I sit on.
Everything is incredible.
I get to see where this all goes, how it unfolds next, what direction it takes.
With a very fresh, open mind.
“Billions of things could happen that you haven’t even thought of yet. The question is not whether they will happen. Things are going to happen. The real question is whether you want to be happy regardless of what happens.” ~ Michael Singer
If I turn around every experience I see as difficult, into one I see as an opportunity for peace and happiness….then wow, I get a lot of opportunities.
It’s actually very exciting, very liberating.
Thank you world for everything you’re presenting, thank you for this moment, that previous moment, every hard time, every easy time, every time, every time.
Much Love, Grace
P.S. Turning Relationship Hell To Heaven starts next week Mondays 9-10:30 am Pacific Time. Still a few spaces. Click HERE for more information.