A friend falls out with you. Your attempts to contact her, let alone continue engaging in what was once a warm and open exchange of friendship, are met with stony silence.

Bewilderment over the sudden termination compels you to explore the mystery for possible clues and reasons.  You retrace recent events, mentally rewinding and replaying over and over again, but still you draw blanks. Satisfied that your code of conduct has not veered from that of honourable, the only conclusion you can draw is the possible intervention of misinterpretation or a third party.

As you are denied the opportunity for discussion, what feelings arise? Disappointed, annoyed, angry, bitter, hurt? These feelings and their accompanying thoughts, besides being of no benefit to you, only serve to snare you in suffering.

A way to free yourself from this well of despair is to honestly question your thoughts as set out in Byron Katie’s The Work. It’s a simple, yet very profound process, which if followed through in the light of absolute truth, reveals the truth.

The understanding that situations trigger thoughts which we invariably weave and grow into stories, underlies much of our behaviour. In the scenario described above, the friend may have heard something upon which she grew a ‘story’. Her thoughts become her belief and in turn account for her behaviour.

You can never truly know the thoughts or intentions of others, or flick the switches in their minds to direct their life, or know what they need to experience in their journey through life.  The realisation that you are in control of yourself and only yourself, releases you from meddling in the business of others and leads you to the acceptance of what is, right now.

It is not for us to judge others, but rather to understand that they are acting out of the thoughts that they believe. We can only focus on our own thoughts and question them. If a thought causes you suffering, why hang on to it? If you follow through with the probing, you can turn your limiting beliefs and life around.

Work sheets are available on Byron Katie’s web site http://thework.com/thework.php


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