This month I am sharing insights from what, to date, has been possibly the single most transformative 9 days of my life, when I attended Byron Katie’s The School for the Work in March.
This week I have been pondering how Katie continually reminded us during the course that she is a “lover of what is.”
When I first heard her say this, to say I was mildly confused would be an understatement.
As the course progressed, however, and we began to gain practical skills for distilling the complicated dramas at play in our minds down to their essence, I slowly began to understand.
To love what is is to understand that what is is what should be.
For instance, when I wake up on a weekend morning to discover that my noisy next door neighbor is planning yet another outdoor get together around his large backyard pool, my inner dialogue tends to go something like this:
“Oh god *$#! not again. Really? REALLY? You think (this directed at the oblivious neighbor as he happily putters about in his yard) that the ENTIRE neighborhood wants to listen in vicariously as your shrieking friends arrive yet again and party the night away?”
Thinking this way is not restful, as you might imagine.
It is also operating on the premise that what is taking place – yet another noisy backyard party next door – should not be taking place.
In this case I am, as Katie would say, arguing with reality.
Katie taught us that arguing with reality is very painful, because we will never win. But as long as we don’t catch ourselves in the act, notice the pain, and cut the unfolding drama short with a healthy dose of “what is”, we will continuing arguing our case.
This behavior is exhausting. It is fruitless. It robs us of energy we need to make healthy PRODUCTIVE changes in areas where we can exert some influence.
And it makes us miserable.
That is not to say that I have yet achieved any noticeable success with toning down my neighbor-directed irritation. He did it again this past Sunday, and with predictable results within the confines of my mind.
But I am working on it.
Today’s Takeaway: When do you find yourself arguing with what is? Maybe you insist that you shouldn’t have an eating disorder, that your spouse or parents should understand and support you much better, that your rent payments should be lower, or that your loved one should stop drinking. How does it affect you when you argue with reality? What could you do with the energy and time you spend trying to change the facts of what is? How would your life look different if you could accept what life presents as what should be happening, and live and react from that understanding?