After her teenage daughter drops out of school and pursues alcohol and drugs, Angela contemplates what it means to be her mother. She says she wants to show her fourteen-year-old the way, but she doesn’t know what that would be. “I didn’t know, either,” Byron Katie says, remembering how her daughter wouldn’t listen to her. But when Katie began to question her stressful thoughts, everything grew clear. When Angela tells Katie that it’s her duty to take care of her daughter, Katie suggests that she question the thought “I’m her mother.” “’You’re her mother’—is it true?” After Katie guides her through the four questions of The Work, Angela turns the thought around: “I am not her mother.” “Can you see that out-of-control, terrified woman?” Katie says. “That’s not her mother. That’s not what I was when I was so out of control with my daughter. It’s not the mother I wanted for my daughter. I loved her so deeply, and that didn’t look like a loving mother to me. And once I went deeper into this turnaround, everything shifted. My daughter discovered the power of The Work, and she didn’t have to go through the suffering I went through. Now she’s a mother herself, and an excellent one.”
Byron Katie: Angela from Moldova. Angela. Hi, Angela. Angela: Hello. Hi Hello, Katie. So, read the email that you sent to me, please. Well, Dear Katie. My almost 14 years daughter left the school. Now, she’s not sleeping home and got very aggressive. We even had a physical fight. I’m very sad and worried. I’m her mother and supposed to take care of her. At the same time I understand that she has her own life, her own thoughts. Still my dilemma is, whose business is it to show her the way. We are in a constant war. I started to work on myself, but the things are getting even worse. I cannot get over this drama triangle and stop playing the victim or a persecutor. I have tried to do The Work over and over again. But it’s worse. She started to drink. Uses drugs. I’m afraid for her and for me. And now I am struggling to access myself in order to find the way to her heart. Help me please to do The Work and move from drama’s place. Thank you for being and manifesting in my life. Oh, I’m so happy to be manifested in your life and I love your end line. Thank you. You know, this is my experience, as well, with my daughter. So, I know this Work well. Yeah. And I know the heartache. And I know the fear and the terror. Yes, I’ve seen a lot of videos and then I’ve done this Worksheet a lot of times without a facilitator. Yeah. Let’s see if we can get a little more help here. Yeah Or some additional help anyway. So, you say, Still my dilemma is, whose business is it to show her the way. Yeah. Now, in this situation with her do you know the way? Well, I know my way. Do you know the way through this situation with your daughter? I guess I know it. Well, why would you write me? Yeah, I don’t know it then. Yes. Yeah, because I don’t know it then. And what I can tell you is, I didn’t know it. I didn’t know the way. But when I filled in a Worksheet, on what I was thinking and believing and these terrifying situations that were running through my head, with her drinking and using and not sleeping home here, in the home at night and everything that you’ve said here. When I put the thoughts I was thinking, when I was so fearful, when I put them on paper, that Worksheet. When I turned around statements, 2, 3, and 4 they showed me the way. They showed me my way. And it was so dramatic, because that way was everything I expected her to live. But I saw I wasn’t doing it. So, I began to find my own way through those Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets. And it was easy for me to work on me, because she was so amazing. She would not talk to me. She would not listen to me. Yup. Anytime we talked, it got worse. So, I had to find my way. And those Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets, those JYN’s, that’s what brought me peace. That was my original insight, you know, from the very start. It’s just that when there’s Work to be done, there’s Work to be done. So, you say, “struggling to access myself in order to find a way to her heart.” Yeah. You said, “and for me, struggling to access myself in order to find a way to her heart.” What about finding the way to your own heart? Because when you are both screaming at each other, you’re totally in the wrong direction. You’re not in your heart. That’s right. Yeah. But everything, all that anger, is really fear. So, when that anger is coming out your mind is telling you it’s for her own good. You’re trying to save her. So, it really looks like love. But then afterwards you feel such guilt. And so, that’s how you know it’s not love. And then she keeps playing it back to you. And so, we’ve got this circle of out of the heart, lost. OK. So, let’s see what I’ve written here in response. So, you say that, “struggling to access myself in order to find a way to hear her. Help me, please, to do the Work and move from drama’s place.” OK. So, you say, that “you’re her mother” and “you’re supposed to take care of her.” So, that’s where I would start. You know, it’s like statement number 1 on the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. And for those of you unfamiliar with the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, it’s free at TheWork.com and that’s what we’re going to fill those in, statements 1 through 6. So, you say that “you’re her mother; you’re supposed to take care of her.” And what I did, sweetheart, is I questioned, “I’m her mother.” Is it true? Yes. I never thought on that. Pretty radical Yeah. But there it was in my head. “I’m her mother. I’m supposed to take care of her.” She won’t let me. “I’m her mother.” So, those thoughts that are there, I don’t say, “Oh no, not that one. That one.” How do I know? It’s in my head and now it’s on the paper. So, “You’re her mother.” Is it true? No. And those of you out there, you know, your answer may be yes. But this is inquiry and we get very still as we contemplate these questions. Now, I’m just, you know, near to her in this life and that’s all. I’m not … I’m not God. Well, wherever your mind goes with in response to that question: Is it true? “I’m her mother.” Is it true? And then notice how you react. What happens when you believe the thought “I’m her mother.” And in that situation, you can see yourself in that situation. Yeah, that’s what I need. Yelling at her and out of control. And the things we say and do in that state of mind. Yes. So, you see that. And as we contemplate how we react when we believe the thought can bring a lot of tears. Well, it is for sure. And then we move to the 4th question. And those of you new to The Work, there are only 4. Who would you be in that situation without the thought “I’m her mother?” So, be there in that situation. I’m with my daughter and she’s up against the wall and I’m screaming at her. I can see me so clearly. And who would I be without the thought, “I’m her mother.” And those of you new to The Work, it doesn’t mean I’m not her mother. This is inquiry. We’re just looking around. Where would I be without the thought, “I’m her mother?” I would be so compassionate and caring and understanding. Yeah. I see her little face looks like terror. Yeah. I saw her as an enemy. As someone ruining my life and I didn’t understand that at the time. But as I witness it I can see it. Yeah. That’s true. And now I see this little girl’s face just in terror. And they’re like the same age. Rocky was like 12 years old or something and yours is like, 14. Yes. And age doesn’t have anything to do with it. It could be the same with Roxanne in her 40s and me in my 70s. It could be the same if one of us didn’t put an end to it. And it was left to me. So, I’ve been listening to her. I’m connected. Who would I be without the thought? I’d be witnessing. And I can see that out-of-control, terrified mother as I look at who would I be without the thought “I’m her mother.” And I see a woman so out of control she really needs a mother. Yeah. And she really needs a daughter. You know: that longing. So, now we find opposites. We turn it around. “I’m her mother.” What’s an opposite? I’m not her mother I’m my mother. Yes. So, let’s take them slowly, because these are to be contemplated. You know The Work is really meditation. We meditate on that situation in our mind’s eye. So, “I’m not her mother.” So, what are you seeing, I’m not her mother, As you contemplate that turnaround. I’m not her mother, because she is … Well, the first thing is coming is that she is a creature of God, as I am. We are connected, but I’m not … I give her birth just physically, but I cannot … I don’t know. Yeah. It’s kind of a one-time act, it’s not all the time. Yeah. That’s the thing that I’m feeling now. Yeah. Inside. And as we contemplate that, you know, it’s an experience. And I can hear it. So, I’m so connected with what you’re saying. And I don’t really have words for it, but I get what you’re saying from here. And I have one. Would you like to hear it? Yeah. I’m not her mother. And as I witness that situation with me yelling and her so frightened and angry at me, it’s like, that’s not her mother. Yeah. That woman that is yelling and … That is not her mother. That’s not the mother I want for my daughter. And that’s not her mother. I know that, because I love her so deeply. And that doesn’t look like me. Yes. In that situation, like that, I’m not her mother. I’m some maniac full of fear and out of control. And I don’t want to be like that. And I’m like a monster to me and to her. Yeah. I’m not her mother. So, let’s continue to contemplate I’m not her mother. That turnaround. I’m not her mother, because … Well, for me, when we have, because we have very good times together and we are just like friends and discussing and laughing and dancing around. Yeah. So, in that moment I’m not her mother. Yeah. I’m her friend. Yeah. And those are real moments. Yeah. When we are connected. Yeah. Connected with no one higher, no one lower. Just … Yeah. … connected. And I see another one. In that situation with Roxanne, I’m not her mother. Any advice I gave her, she threw it away. Yeah. If I said, let’s spend some time together. She wanted nothing to do with it. And of course, I understand why now. She was, and you know rightly so, she protected herself from a crazy woman. So, I’m not her mother. When I look at it from her point of view, I’m not her mother. I’m nowhere near the mother she wanted or could understand or connect with. I was impossible. So, I’m not her mother. She really, to my mind, and I can ask her later, but, wanted nothing to do with me. Even though I’m sure in her heart, she did. We just were lost. Yes. That’s true. So, then statement number 2 on the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, in that situation, what did I want … my daughter; what did I want from my daughter? “I want my daughter to be in school.” Your daughter dropped out of school, you know, as I read in your email. Yeah. Yes, So, “you want your daughter to be in school.” And I’ll read it the way … “I want my daughter to listen to me.” In that situation, isn’t it what you wanted? “I want my daughter to stop fighting with me.” “I want my daughter to stay home and to sleep at home.” OK. So, I got all of those thoughts. I didn’t make them up. I got them from your email. And they’re all right there for a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. So, on statement 3: advice to my daughter. “My daughter should sleep at home.” Yes. Go back to school. “My daughter should stop doing war with me.” “My daughter should stop worrying me; stop making me so sad.” OK. So, I would find one of those and now I would work them all, you know. Angela: I will. Byron Katie: I either argue with my daughter or I sit with these thoughts all where it belongs on paper. It doesn’t belong at my daughter’s doorstep. Because every time I argue with her, the distance grows greater. Yes. So, “my daughter should stop worrying me.” Let’s grab that one as the first one to look at. So, “your daughter should stop worrying you.” Is it true? Can you absolutely know it’s true that “your daughter should stop worrying you?” No, because I’m worrying me. Those thoughts that I have of her are worrying me. Yeah. It’s not her. Yeah. What you’re believing about her is worrying you, not her. And I could see that so clearly with Roxanne as I always just stayed in that situation with her. She’s up against the wall and I’m just … I can see it so clearly. “My daughter should stop worrying me.” Well, really she’s too frightened to even talk back in that moment. Yeah, that’s true. And I see the look on her face and … So, then, when I turn it around. I should stop worrying me. Worrying me. So, an example of that: I’m yelling at her and that’s worrying me. Yes. In that situation, she’s just looking, you know, she’s just really frightened. I can see that now. So, the turnaround “I should stop worrying her.” Yeah. When I’m yelling like a craz … yeah. Yeah. In that moment and that situation. Which is all we’re ever going to deal with on that Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. And it doesn’t mean other things aren’t going to come to us, other situation,s and we’re going to get a lot of clarity from those. But we can always return to that moment so that that Worksheet and inquiry always makes sense to us. OK. Yeah. So, that’s kind of a short version of all 4 questions and turnarounds for the want. And I leave it to you to cover the other areas. And then for statement 4: What you need to be happy in that situation with her. And again, I’m picturing me with Roxanne up against the wall and I’m just this maniac. I’m so worried. But when I drop all that story, I just see this maniac. And this innocent little girl learning how to deal with; I mean in the future, how does she deal with her children? Well, I’m setting the example. When you want something, you yell and scream. So, luckily I found The Work and then she did too, so her children didn’t have to suffer this. So, we got over the monsters in our lives: the maniac mother/daughter. Yeah. So, what do I need to be happy in that situation? I need my daughter to listen to my words. And as I question that, is it true? How could she? Never. My God, she’s just trying to survive a maniac that’s capable of anything. Yeah. In that situation you cannot listen to you. Yeah. So, you know the term “out-of-control.” So, and what do I need to be happy in that situation? I need my daughter to stop using drugs and alcohol. So, when I was screaming and yelling at her, that was in my head. So, it belongs on paper. OK. So, that way The Worksheet is always, it’s never restricted in what we can write there. It comes right out of our head there. And so, that way we never have to attach any dogma to: This is the right way to fill in a Worksheet. This is the wrong way to fill it in. It’s better if you fill The Worksheet in like this or that. You know, this is meditation and we’re just sitting in a situation and then noticing where that takes us. Yes. So then, in that situation as we’re looking at it. Then statement 5: “My daughter is …” You know, “My daughter is …” You know, what do I think of her. “My daughter is violent. Confused. Doing drugs. And in constant war with me.” Yes. “And things are getting worse.” I don’t recall you saying that. But “I don’t ever want to see my daughter hurt.” “I don’t ever want …” So, let’s look at statement 5, simply because, I mean statement 6, simply because there are new people on the call. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a little different. “My daughter …” “I don’t ever want to see my daughter hurt.” Yes. So, I’m willing to … … to see my daughter hurt. Yes. I can’t wait. I look forward to … I look forward to see my daughter hurt. …to see my daughter hurt. Because, to my mind, when Roxanne was not at home late at night. Yeah. And I imagined her doing … All drugs. … drugs. Yeah. And I imagined her with her car flipped over in the desert, screaming in agony, dying alone in the cold, with no one to hear her, no way for me to get to her and it was so real. Yes. And just to sit in that and do The Work with all my thoughts. I’m willing to see that horrendous image in my head and experience that horrible moment in time so that I could collect my thoughts, put them on paper and free myself. That way if … It’s like when she does need me, I’m there and it could be, Mom, would you clean my bedroom? It wouldn’t matter what it … If I can’t get to her when she’s dying and it shows me how much I care about her. I mean, what is it I wouldn’t do for her? But, I learned a lot about myself. A lot. And I watch her with her daughter and her son and it’s remarkable. They have the mother that I wanted to be. I’m so grateful for this work. Ok, Angela. Sweetheart. So, I read the Worksheet out loud and if helps and they were your words. It helps. And if it helps, you can look at this again and collect the thoughts, but all you have to do is look inside and there they are. Yeah. Thank you, precious. Thank you very much. You’re welcome.