Over the years, I’ve witnessed countless miracles as people question their thoughts and turn them around. Some of you may have heard me share these turnarounds (or have shared them yourselves) during the School for The Work or at weekend intensives, or may have read about them in my books. As many of you know firsthand, through your own turned-around lives, we exchange our war with reality for the peace that passes understanding.
The more turnarounds we experience and share, the more we open our hearts and our lives to the others who also want to wake up to who they really are.
Here’s a turnaround from a woman in Atlanta, which exemplifies what I’m inviting you to contribute:
The Man of My Dreams
“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” These words, which introduce a spiritual self-study called A Course in Miracles, pierced my heart when I first read them in 1989. However, it wasn’t until 22 years later while attending the nine-day School for the Work that my mind and heart opened to their true
At the age of 15, when most teenage girls were reading their first romance novels, I discovered the world of mystical poets and spiritual texts. My alcoholic father had killed himself when I was 12. During the years following his death, I sought comfort in the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, A Course in Miracles, and the words of poets such as Khalil Gibran, Rumi, and Hafiz. I was a spiritual-text junkie, always searching for the next fix, yet never being able to sustain a feeling of peace.
For many years following daddy’s suicide, he occasionally appeared in my dreams—always remaining distant and unresponsive when I would plead with him to not leave again. During a dream visit in 2001 (his final to date), he spoke for the first time, sending a clear and unforgettable message. As I begged him not to leave, he quietly but emphatically said, “Don’t do this to yourself,” as he gently released himself from my embrace and walked away. The dream left me reeling, yet oddly comforted.
I stumbled across The Work the following year, as I was living a typical life of balancing motherhood, career, and an impending second divorce. I began doing the four questions and turnarounds on everyone from my mother, husband, ex-husband, children, siblings, and friends to the family dog, taking excruciating care to never question the black hole of my father’s suicide. My mind began to clear through inquiry, and the truth began to reveal itself in all its glory. Yet the fear of going deeper still lurked in the background—until I attended the School for The Work earlier this year.
As the School progressed and I ventured deeper into inquiry with the support of those around me, I found myself not only questioning the thought that my father should not have killed himself, but turning that thought around to what had henceforth remained an unfathomable thought—”Daddy should have killed himself.” How did I know this was true? Because he did. Not only did I experience a spontaneous release—I burst out laughing! Could I give at least three reasons why the thought that he should have killed himself was as true or truer than my original thought? Absolutely. My father released himself from what was, to him, an unbearable life by the only means he knew at the time. Secondly, even though I loved my father with all my heart, my family and I were spared the misery of continuing to live with a depressed, out-of-control alcoholic. And finally, I realized that the pain of my father’s suicide had attracted me to a spiritual path at an early age, for which I am eternally grateful.
That same day, I experienced an equally powerful turnaround to “My father should not have killed himself”—”I should not have killed myself (over the pain of my father’s suicide).” And I should not continue to kill myself over it. The man of my dreams, my father, had already delivered this message to me years earlier. But it took me questioning my thoughts and turning them around to arrive at the truth. As The Work reminds us, there’s nothing serious about life or death, for there’s nothing that can threaten what is real. Everything becomes as clear as day because, in Katie’s words, “There really isn’t anything; only the story appearing now— and not even that.”
Kathryn, Atlanta, GA
As this woman has come to understand, peace is who we really are without our stressful, fingerpointing, unrealized stories. Through The Work, we wake up to the amazing truth that everything happens for us, not to us.
Love beyond reason,