This morning I was reading from Loving What Is, Byron Katie’s book about The Work and how she discovered it. There are many dialogues of people with whom Katie did the Work in the second half of the book.
I randomly opened the pages to a man who is very angry at his uncle for advising him poorly on the stock market.
What an amazing story to question, the thought patterns which say “that person should not have told me what they told me”. Or the opposite, “they should have told me something different, something better…”
- My friend shouldn’t have told me that insulting joke
- My dad should have told me why he was depressed
- The man I was dating shouldn’t have told me I wasn’t his type
- My grandfather should have told me how to make money
- My grandmother shouldn’t have told me she was lonely
- My co-worker shouldn’t have told me she didn’t trust me
- That doctor shouldn’t have told me the mole was nothing to worry about
This morning in our teleclass Horrible Food Wonderful Food a participant selected the thought to bring to inquiry “I needed her to tell me not to hide my eating”.
How amazing to get an idea of who we would be without the thought that anyone should have said something different than what they have said so far. Or that we needed them to help us. Or that they should have said more.
What if we were ourselves, following advice, not following it, hearing their words, noticing the reactions inside of us….wanting just what we wanted (like cookies) without feeling shame, guilty, desperation, anger, sadness.
I have loved doing The Work on the concept “they shouldn’t have said that!” I bring the situation I’m most upset about to mind. There the person is, speaking. Words are coming out of her mouth. Her face is red. Her eyes are squinting.
Right in that moment, I remember what felt so terrifying about her speaking, the way her face looked. I remember what I thought it meant about me or about them, or the world, that was very stressful.
- She hates me, I hurt her, I’m bad, I should have done it differently
- Doctors can’t be trusted, bad things can happen to me
- I did something wrong
- My grandmother is suffering and I can’t help her
- My grandfather didn’t think I was good enough to make money
- My dad doesn’t think I’m good to talk with about his inner life
- My friend is making fun of me
- I am unattractive, ugly
When I do The Work, I not only find acceptance of what everyone has said or not said, I also find that I can find examples of how it was an advantage for me that it went just exactly the way it went.
So the man working with Katie saw his list of demands that he wanted from his uncle, and as he looked at every demand, he discovered that he was the only one who could really give him what he needed or wanted. Not his uncle.
I give myself the gift of the turnaround “I need to tell myself not to hide my eating“. I need to tell myself it is OK to be me, not hiding my behavior, my thinking, my feelings.
I tell people about my story of being bulimic for ten years, going on these episodes of crazed eating so much food it was amazing I could hold it, and then forcing myself to vomit. That I was borderline anorexic for two years, controlling every bite that went in my mouth (which was very little) and deciding I would simply never respond to hunger, ever.
I tell people of my terrible violent relationship with food and eating and how that is now over. I tell people that I eat whatever I want now, whenever I want to eat it. Sometimes I have a moment where I think I ate too much but it’s rare, sometimes I have a moment where I think I’m too hungry and “I can’t stand it” but it’s rare. Sometimes I look at my darling fiance’s bottle of coke and I think “he shouldn’t drink that” but then I laugh.
I know what to do the minute I feel anxiety or pain or discouragement of any kind. I see what it is I am believing, first, and then take it to inquiry.
“There is no such thing as verbal abuse. There’s only someone telling me a truth that I don’t want to hear. If I were really able to hear my accuser, I would find my freedom…..If your uncle says something that hurts, he’s just revealed what you haven’t wanted to look at yet.” ~ Byron Katie
Our mothers and fathers and all the people around us with their explanations and ideas about food, or stock tips, all these people with their intense feelings and words…maybe they are God in disguise. Giving us everything we need or don’t need for our freedom.
With love, Grace
The Hidden Gift in ANY Relationship
June 27 – July 1 in the glorious Breitenbush Hotsprings Resort in Oregon! Please register at www.breitenbush.com.