01 Jan Four questions that can change your life quicker than Zoloft
One of TIME magazine’s most innovative people of the 21st Century, Byron Katie had a revelation one day after hitting rock bottom. In an epiphany, after years of suffering from depression, alcoholism and eating disorders, she discovered four simple questions that ended her suffering and pain.
The following questions if asked and answered honestly will release years of guilt and struggle and may be able to alter your mood, lift your depression and make you happier and more fulfilled in your relationships and life quicker than anti-depressants.
First, you need to create a statement. Pick a subject that you are passionately identified with and upset about. The statement should be judgmental like:
“My boyfriend should call me.”My children should obey me.” “My boss should appreciate me.”
Create a statement similar to the above specific to whatever you are upset about. At first, make statements about other people who upset you. It’s better not to start with statements about yourself like, “I should be more careful” or “I should be better at?.”
After creating your judgmental statement, ask the first question.
2. The first question
The first question is: “Is it true?”
Your first normal reaction will probably be, “Yes, it is true!
“My boyfriend should call me.”
“My children should obey me.”
“My boss should appreciate me.”
“But, the truth is he doesn’t call, your children don’t obey and your boss doesn’t appreciate you. So, the statement, “he should call, obey or appreciate” when he or she doesn’t, is unrealistic. It’s not true finally. Feel this completely. If you can’t feel a definite, “No, it isn’t true,” go on to the second question.
3. The second question
The second question is: “Can you absolutely know that it’s true?”
The emphasis is on ABSOLUTELY. We can’t know if something is true or not, absolutely. We don’t have all the answers. We aren’t all-knowing Gods. You can add, “Can you be absolutely sure you will be happy if this is true?”
4. The third question
The third question is: “How do you react when you believe this thought?”
Feel how your judgmental statement makes you feel. How do you feel when you believe “your boyfriend should call you” or “your boss should appreciate you.” How does believing this make you treat yourself and others? Ask yourself what you gain from believing this thought. Ponder for a moment when and where you started to believe in this thought.
At this point, you may start feeling the thought loosening its grip.
5. The fourth question
The fourth question is: “Who would you be without the thought?”
If you didn’t believe your boyfriend should call, who would you be? How would you act? What would you be doing right now? Imagine yourself as that person. Imagine yourself relating to your boyfriend, child or boss without the thought of believing he should call, obey or appreciate.
After stating this question you will start to feel a definite shift.
6. The Turnaround
To make sure the belief has been processed, you can use a follow-up called the” turn-around.”
A possible turn-around for the statement: “My boyfriend should call me” could be:
“I should call me.”
If we break this statement down, we see it implies: I should give more attention to myself. How do I feel with a boyfriend who doesn’t call? How am I not loving myself by not calling me and so forth?
A possible turn-around for the statement: “My boss should appreciate me” could be:
“I should appreciate myself.”
“I should appreciate myself enough to find work that suits me.” What don’t I love about myself that keeps me in a job situation that demeans me or where I go unnoticed?
These are simple questions that have very profound and surprisingly quick results. If we can release our addiction to complex solutions and accept a few simple ones, maybe we can lessen our increasingly frightening dependence on anti-depressants and mood-altering drugs. Any form of effective self-inquiry is helpful even while on medication.
This process is called “The Work”. Byron Katie’s books: Who Would You Be Without Your Story, I Need Your Love Is That True? and Loving What Is: Four Question That Can Change Your Life, as well as DVD’s and audio CD’s can be found on her website and in bookstores.