As much as I love the feeling of putting my thoughts to paper, writing lists, crossing off when tasks/ errands/ goals are complete, often the best laid plans don’t seem to work out. When that happens, I can tend to get frustrated and feel let down, just like the rest of us.
I’ve loved keeping a journal for many years. I’d look back and read about how I felt at times in the past and see how far I’ve come in understanding other people, (myself included).
Why is that sometimes, you feel so hopeful and excited when you write everything you’re going to accomplish down and then with enthusiasm, get it done. You can tend to think it will always be that easy.
Other times, life distractions get in the way and often hinder your good intentions!
Me: I’ll write it down on paper, meditate on it, pray about it, then of course, manifest it, voila….goals accomplished.
Universe: Nice thought, but I had other plans for you! And while you’re at it, google the term, “reality check”… and try out writing down the Four Questions to undo your unrealistic belief!
A book that I’ve talked about quite often, “Loving What Is,” by Byron Katie, never fails to bring me back to reality real quick. Here are the four questions from an article by, Caitlin Flanagan from The Oprah Magazine May 2010 Issue:
CF: All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality, says Byron Katie. It’s just a story we torture ourselves with. She has a simple, completely replicable system for freeing ourselves of the thoughts that make us suffer. “All war begins on paper,” she explains. You write down your stressful thoughts, and then ask yourself the following four questions:
Question 1: Is it true?
This question can change your life. Be still and ask yourself if the thought you wrote down is true.Question
Question 2: Can you absolutely know it’s true?
This is another opportunity to open your mind and to go deeper into the unknown, to find the answers that live beneath what we think we know.
Question3: How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?
With this question, you begin to notice internal cause and effect. You can see that when you believe the thought, there is a disturbance that can range from mild discomfort to fear or panic. What do you feel? How do you treat the person (or the situation) you’ve written about, how do you treat yourself, when you believe that thought? Make a list, and be specific.
Question 4: Who would you be without the thought?
Imagine yourself in the presence of that person (or in that situation), without believing the thought. How would your life be different if you didn’t have the ability to even think the stressful thought? How would you feel? Which do you prefer—life with or without the thought? Which feels kinder, more peaceful?
Turn the thought around:
The “turnaround” gives you an opportunity to experience the opposite of what you believe. Once you have found one or more turnarounds to your original statement, you are invited to find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true in your life.
If you continue to do The Work, you may discover, as many people have, that the questioning flows into every aspect of your life, effortlessly undoing the stressful thoughts that keep you from experiencing peace.
Here are a few of my “go to” quotes from Byron Katie (she goes by, Katie):
~ “I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”
~ “You are your only hope, because we’re not changing until you do. Our job is to keep coming at you, as hard as we can, with everything that angers, upsets, or repulses you, until you understand. We love you that much, whether we’re aware of it or not. The whole world is about you.
~“Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.”
~“You are your only hope, because we’re not changing until you do. Our job is to keep coming at you, as hard as we can, with everything that angers, upsets, or repulses you, until you understand. We love you that much, whether we’re aware of it or not. The whole world is about you.”
with a grateful soul.
My thoughts on this: Sometimes my plans don’t work out exactly the way I wrote them down in my journal. And that’s not because I’m not good enough, (insert whatever negative description comes to your mind…), but because life happens when you’re planning something else. Often, not in the way I personally had intended, but because of the fact that I cannot control life (or people), and it’s really not my job to try.
This concept gives me back my peace of mind and a deep gratitude that there is a greater source/power in control. I do my best to be awake to the directions that I want to go, but I’m also careful not to resist too much, when things turn out differently than I had intended.
I hope this post gives you some peace of mind and as always, I encourage you to read any of Byron Katie’s books. To me, they’re rather magical, and her concepts have helped me accept life in all it’s beauty as well as disappointments as well, simply just ~LIFE.
Sending You Joy, from a “Lover of Reality”