Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.‘ – Luke 6:44
Last time, I wrote about doing The Work. As the method suggests I filled in a ‘judge-your-neighbor’ worksheet. I let my ego run the show uncensoredly. No matter how petty or ugly it was, I wrote it down. Until it could think of nothing to write about anymore. Then Byron Katie asked me to answer four questions for each statement that I made and again she asked that I not hold back. And finally, I had to turn my statements around. This was the most enlightening part of the exercise. My statement ‘He shouldn’t ignore me.’ became ‘I shouldn’t ignore him.’ and ‘I shouldn’t ignore me.’, which both were true and, of course, was what the exercise was all about.
Funny thing is, when you’ve done The Work, your work is done. Somehow on a subconscious level this exercise changes the way you look at life. It cleans the lense through which your see, and leaves you with a more accurate view on yourself and the world.
For me, the exercise has brought peace and joy in ways that I could not have imagined. When I get up in the morning, I’m eager to start my day. When things go differently than planned, I have no or at least a lot less trouble to accept the situation as it is and shift my attention to what IS working. But what is most surprising to me, is that I am completely at peace with the person and the situation that challenged me to do The Work in the first place. The anger and sadness have dissipated. When I met him again, last week, I felt completely at ease with the situation and I knew that nothing he would say or do, could take away my joy. And in that space that I had created for me to be myself and for him to be himself, I watched him open up a bit. What a blessing that was!