I'm fascinated by the way human beings perceive reality. We create worlds of beliefs to help us navigate our way through life. Without examination, these beliefs seem to be infallible truth. Right?
I think I know what is going with myself and other people, only to find out that they see it a completely different way. But my truth seems more...well, true.
Sometimes our "truth" causes us a great deal of pain. It often keeps us in our lower emotions of anger, jealousy, entitlement, resentment...you get where I'm going. So, if we were to examine our beliefs, would they hold up to scrutiny?
I've been enjoying a book by Byron Katie called, "Loving What Is." She has a nice little work-through to help you get to the underlying beliefs causing angst, stress, anger, etc. She calls it the 4 Questions and a Turnaround.
Her basic premise is that we don't accept reality as it is. We don't accept ourselves or other people. We have thoughts and beliefs about what is going on that create pain and disconnection. Our relationships suffer. We try to run other people's lives for them instead of focusing on the one we actually have power over...our own.
We project our rules of reality onto the world and they don't always work.
In order to gain freedom from each untruth, she suggests that we formulate a statement of our belief and then ask ourselves this first question: Is this thought true? Then the second question: Can I absolutely prove it's true?
When we examine our thoughts, beliefs, premises (especially the ones causing grief), we often find that they aren't always true. In fact, sometimes they're a flat out lie.
She then suggests that once we determine if our belief is absolutely true or not, we ask ourselves the third question: How do I feel with that thought? It's usually not very good.
Then the fourth question: If I couldn't think the thought, how would I feel? That's a tricky one, because as soon as someone says not to think something, it's hard to stop. But, if you play with the idea, you quickly realize that without the thought you actually feel better. It proves her point that our thoughts (beliefs) are what is causing us most of the pain.
Then comes the turnaround. In this step you rephrase the belief a number of ways until you find one that rings more true than the way you've been spinning it. For instance, if the belief is, "My spouse should stop telling me what to do." The turnarounds could be: I should stop telling me what to do. (How am I doing this to myself?) I should stop telling my spouse what to do. (Am I willing to live by the same rules I'm demanding?) My spouse should tell me what to do (unless he/she doesn't). That's my spouse's choice. Huh...
I'm finding this to be extremely helpful in getting to the root of my triggers and discomforts quickly.
How do you feel with THIS thought? :-)