You’re not what you think -How Byron Katie Changed My Life

My parents read to me every night till I was 12, and I have been an avid reader ever since I was able to read Dr. Seuss. A lot of my worldview and ideals have been formed by the books I’ve read. My parents introduced me to a lot of metaphysical and psychology books to. One of them that has a huge impact on me is “I need your love. Is that true?” by Byron Katie. Byron Katie was a really successful women, but she suffered a intense bout of depression in her 30’s. This went on for almost 10 years until one day she had a realization that everything she believed wasn’t true. She had a choice whether to believe in her thoughts or not. In her book she asks a simple question, “Is that true?”. A lot of our struggle and anxiety about life is caused by thoughts in our head that are often made up, “My wife should love me more.”, “I should make more money”, “No one loves me”. Personally I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time, and reading her book gave me a lot of tools for dealing with it. I can honestly say it has been one of the most impactful things I’ve ever read. It is such a relief to take a step back from the mind’s constant negative dialogue. One of the quotes from her book that I think really states the core message is “I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.” In her book she states that we are the only ones that can truly make ourselves happy and relying on external circumstances and others approval will make us anxious and miserable. “How do you react when you think you need people’s love? Do you become a slave for their approval? Do you live an inauthentic life because you can’t bear the thought that they might disapprove of you? Do you try to figure out how they would like you to be, and then try to become that, like a chameleon? In fact, you never really get their love. You turn into someone you aren’t, and then when they say “I love you,” you can’t believe it, because they’re loving a facade. They’re loving someone who doesn’t even exist, the person you’re pretending to be. It’s difficult to seek other people’s love. It’s deadly. In seeking it, you lose what is genuine. This is the prison we create for ourselves as we seek what we already have.” (Byron Katie).

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