Turn around your judging thoughts

The Work, by Byron Katie, is a fascinating way to identify and question your judgmental thoughts, so you can understand your thoughts and address them clearly.

In the first step, instead of suppressing judgmental thoughts, we put them on paper in a forcible, uncensored fashion, so that we can SEE them.We ask ourselves 6 specific, judging questions and answer them honestly.

Next, about each of the 6 statements we’ve written down, we ask ourselves 4 questions: “Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? Who would you be without the thought?”

In the third step, we TURN AROUND the statements. For example, “He should understand me” turns around to:
He shouldn’t understand me. (This is reality.) OR  I should understand him. OR   I should understand myself.

Turnarounds show you aspects of yourself mirrored in your projections onto others. Once you’ve found a turnaround, go inside and let yourself feel it. Decide whether the turnaround statement is as true or truer than the original.

The 6th statement is in answer to “What is it that you don’t want to experience with that person again?” With this turnaround, we say, “I would be willing to experience …. again.”

In Byron Katie’s words, “Number 6 is about fully embracing all of mind and life without fear, and being open to reality. Uncomfortable feelings are merely the reminders that we’ve attached to something that may not be true for us.

Until you can see the enemy as a friend, your Work is not done.This doesn’t mean you must invite him to dinner. Friendship is an internal experience. You may never see him again, you may even divorce him, but as you think about him are you feeling stress or peace?

In my experience, it takes only one person to have a successful relationship. I like to say I have the perfect marriage, and I can’t really know what kind of marriage my husband has (though he tells me he’s happy too).”

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