Katie responds to a question from a participant at the Forgiveness Workshop in Ojai, California in Sept. of 2009.
Byron Katie, the author of Who Would You Be Without Your Story? says that,
All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality; it’s just a story we torture ourselves with.
Many of us have a story we’ve created about who we are and what is possible for us in this life. Often, we will want or need something but reject the idea because of a story we tell ourselves about why we can’t have it.
Some examples of stories we tell ourselves:
I’m too fat to have a great relationship.
I can’t be happy because I had an unhappy childhood.
I’m too old to try anything new.
I don’t have time to work out.
I’m not smart enough to get a good job.
Nobody appreciates me, so what is the use of trying.
I’m not good looking enough to be successful.
And many more…
The stories we tell ourselves determines our feelings which affects our actions, and ultimately creates our whole life!
They become self-fulfilling prophecies!
Therefore, in order to get rid of the suffering and improve our life, we have to find a way to disconnect from our story.
This starts by questioning our thoughts and beliefs; realizing that we don’t have to believe everything we think.
Katie suggests we write down our stressful thoughts, and then ask ourselves the following four questions:
- Is it true? Ask ourselves if the thought we wrote down is true.
- Can we absolutely know that it’s true? Open our mind and to go deeper to find the answers that live beneath what we think we know.
- How do we react, what happens, when we believe that thought? Begin to notice how we feel when we believe the thought and the level of disturbance it causes us.
- Who would we be without the thought? Imagine how our life would be different if we didn’t have the ability to even think that stressful thought and how we would feel!
Ask yourself, what is my story? How is it holding me back?