Saturday, August 31, 2013

Applying The 4 questions

Wow, it's been a while! A few years. 

But enough about that. 
Have you heard of Byron Katie? The Work? She came up with this very simple way of testing your perspective on a problem before you actually let yourself feel affected by it.... And I've been intrigued to try it. 

These are the questions she suggests someone poses to a stressful thought: 
1)Is it true?
2)Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3) How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4) Who would you be without that thought?

So, I will pick on of my stressful thoughts and test it. For years I have been feeling unwelcomed by a relative. She asks a lot if I plan on moving away, and I feel she doesn't like me in general, even though she tries to hide it. I never confronted her about that. I don't usually confront people, unless I know them intimately and have to relate to them daily, which isn't the case here. We see each other maybe two or three times per year, in family occasions. So, is it true? I think it is true. I have theories about why it happens.
Can I absolutely know that it's true? No. - This question is important. Why waste energy, time, life, thinking , worrying, feeling bad about something that you don't know for sure is true. This makes me realize the importance of being assertive. Assertiveness feels confrontational to me. In any situation. It takes me a while to digest assertiveness. When I do digest it, I appreciate it, because it's so healthy and sane. But it always feels violent at first, so I'm not assertive. I haven't been an assertive person. Maybe I will be more assertive because of this question. I really don't want to feel as bad as I have over something that I may not be true. It's a horrible idea.
3) How do I react, what happens when I believe that thought? I feel unwelcomed, inadequate, rejected, I feel it's unfair. It's interesting that I feel it's unfair. Doesn't she have the right to not like me or want me around her family? I feel that she would have that right if I was anything but pleasant and unassuming, and I try extremely hard to be good, to add to people's lives and to fit in without bugging anyone. And ironically that is probably what her problem is with me. But it still feels unfair, because that was me trying. So that's how that feels.
4) What would I be without that thought? I would feel freer, accepted, cozy.

Well, the lesson in this particular problem is to be assertive, I think that's would would have prevented this.

There are other types of problems that would be cool to try this approach on.
My first reaction to The Work was that it seems to make many assumptions, people need to make certain assumptions for the questions to make sense, especially in what seems to be the next part of The Work, where people turn the situation around, and whatever they were feeling about the other person they say it about themselves. It makes assumptions that by turning the situation around, you will find reality. And I don't understand that concept. I guess it's exactly the quote I posted below "The external is the internal projected" ? I would like to hear more about that. Maybe I should buy the book. But it seems to work and bring insights... I want to do that with other situations in the future.Here, in writing, where I can keep better track of my thoughts. Is there anyone out there reading this? If you are, Hi and welcome. I hope this made sense to anyone else.

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