Melissa from Texas feels violated when she believes that her ex-husband read her journals. After questioning her belief, she notes that she violates herself with her constant fear, and by putting herself in situations that make her fearful. “Past and future are nothing," Katie points out. “When we believe our thoughts, we’re in a movie, worried over nothing.” After hearing this, it occurs to Melissa that she’s been afraid of nothing her entire life.
Byron Katie: So, Melissa. Texas. Hi. Hi, Melissa. Melissa: Hi, Katie. Hi. So, read what you’ve written. I recently was involved in a single-car accident that nearly took my life. It set in motion a hostile relationship with my ex-husband, who decided to read my personal journals while I was in the ICU. Oh, my goodness! And the man that I have been seeing did not come to my side, as he was with his best friend who was in the hospital in another city 3 and a half hours away. And he doesn’t really offer to help me much, although he has helped his ex-girlfriend significantly. How am I not loving myself in my personal relationships with men, and what has me choosing this. It seems that it is killing me. Well, first I would question “it nearly took your life.” That car accident “nearly took your life.” That’s so powerful. I mean, the doctors said so and you believe it’s true, but do we really know how far away from death we are? And the reason is it is, this comes out of personal experience. You know, I’m either dead or I’m not. But when I believe the thought, it becomes my identity. And the moment that happens, I have become a victim. It’s not right or wrong. It’s just how identity is formed. And victims are dependent. And so it’s wonderful to know where that begins and how to wake up from that identity. And, for me, inquiry is the way to wake up from. . . It’s like identity shifts every time we do The Work. So, that’s a wonderful concept to Work. And then when you say: How am I not loving myself in my personal relationships with men? What has me choosing this? What do you believe regarding you, regarding men, regarding being alone? It’s like: that, what you’re thinking and believing, is what’s killing you. And let’s see if that’s true for you. You say: I recently was involved in a. . . Let’s Work with that one. So, that is what’s killing you. What you’re thinking and believing. Is it what you’re thinking and believing that is killing you? About these men and relationships? Or is it them killing you? No. It’s me. It’s what I’m thinking and believing and how I’m being and how I’m holding it. OK. But you know a lot when you understand it’s what you’re thinking and believing that’s killing you. Because you can identify those thoughts, put them on a Worksheet, and then question them. And every time you do that, your life becomes kinder, your identity shifts into a kinder you. And I don’t call it The Work for nothing. It really is work. It takes time out to sit and get still and sit in those questions. So, you say: “It seems that it is killing me.” So, a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on your ex, maybe, reading your journals. And a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on your friend not offering you; not offering to help you more. You could start with those two Worksheets. How did you feel about your ex-husband reading your journals? Violated. OK. So: “I’m violated because my ex-husband read my journals.” It isn’t what he read so much as, so, now he was helping me because I had another physical issue and he’s removed all of his help at a time when I’m, like, my most vulnerable. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you’ve noticed in reality, you’re doing OK alone, right? I am. In reality. But you notice you’re doing OK. You’re pulling it off, without his help. I’m working around it. In other words, you’re doing OK without his help. Yes. You’re working around it. That is doing OK without his help. I’m going to assume that part of that. So, a Worksheet, statement number 2, it’s like: “I’m violated because my ex-husband read my journals.” And what do you want in that situation? Where did you discover he was reading your journals? Were you in the hospital? Well, when I came out, his hostility, and I had recalled that all my things had to be packed because I was in the middle of moving, so people had to go pack my place. Yeah. And I remembered I had left them out because I wasn’t moving right away and so they were right there. Yeah. And I realized by his attitude that he’d read my journals. And he tended to do things like that in the past anyway. Yeah. Yeah. So, when you saw the journals, when you had the thought he had seen your journals, so: “he read my journals.” “I’m violated that my ex-husband read my journals.” “He read your journals.” In that moment, you thought it. Notice, emotionally, the reaction. Fear. Fear. I went into fear. So, you feel that, in that moment. And where were you? What do you mean? Physically, where were you when you had the thought, “He read my journals.” Withdrawn. Totally withdrawn inside my fear. Yes. And where you physically standing or sitting when that thought hit you: “My ex-husband read my journals”? I was standing in; I was back into his condo because they didn’t know where to put me because I was moving. So, I was standing in the condo, realizing I was vulnerable to his help, when I realized. And so I felt even more vulnerable and afraid of what was going to happen to me, in my state where I was; I was very badly injured. And so: What’s going to happen to me now? Yes. Yes. And so you were standing in the condo and then you had the thought: “He read my journals.” I can feel it right now. I can feel the fear right now. Yeah. Now, do you see an image of you standing there? Yes. OK. Now look around the condo. Are there windows? Yes. Can you see walls? Are there pictures on the walls? Yeah, I can see it clearly. OK. So, without the thought, “He read my journals. I’m vulnerable,” without those thoughts, are you OK, standing there? Other than what you’re thinking and believing. Yes. OK. So, just continue to be there. Now, notice the room. Notice the ground that’s holding you. The floor. Other than what you’re thinking and believing, what do you like about where you are? There’s a beautiful view. Yeah. The lake is out in front and the colors are warm. It’s a place that I remodeled years ago. Yeah. So, now you see that so clearly. That’s reality. Now, come back to the moment when you were thinking and believing “you were so vulnerable.” “Your ex-husband read your journals.” Notice how all of that disappears. Kind of. It’s still underlying. It’s underlying, but look what’s on top. Oh. OK. Fear! And you see images of past and future and the future terrifies you. Yes. So, you see those images of the future? Yes. OK. Now, is that reality or imagination? As you stand there. So, imagination isn’t something; it’s, like, that future isn’t happening in the moment. No. So, your; I hope, you know, this is a stretch for some of you, but if you’re follow this it’s like: Notice how you’re afraid of nothing. I see it. You see it? I think I’ve been afraid of nothing my whole life. I think so. And I think everyone waking up to reality would say the same. Those images of past and future are nothing. Imagination is not object. Not physical. It’s like air. So, standing in that condo, you’re completely safe. You’re OK. In fact, it’s beautiful. And when you believe your thoughts, you are in a movie, worried over nothing. A movie. Not real. It’s not true. No. And you see those images of you, in the future, so desperate. Is that you or is that imagination? My imagination is strong. It’s strong. Good movies are. They’re just not real. They’re not true. So, that is the only self you’re ever going to see. That’s what’s known as false self. That is not you, dependent and needy. That is you standing there, other than what you’re thinking and believing, perfectly fine. And, good, “your ex-husband read your journals.” He’s learning who you are. You know, he’s learning who you are. He probably loves you anyway. Who knows? But you. . . I need to love me. Yeah. Yeah. Well, first note: You’re OK. So, we’ve got that much accomplished in that moment in time. So, “he violated me.” “He read my journals.” What is the opposite? Turn it around to the self: I. . . I violated. . . him? Me. OK. That’s good: I violated him. I read his journals. So, what does that mean to you? Well, I would judge myself for that. That’s OK. We’re just noticing. Where have you violated him? I have. I have. Good. OK, so those, you know, you can really get still in those and it will show you where to apologize, make it right where you can, get your life in order. We don’t even have to be able to walk to do that. We can do that paralyzed if our mouth can move. And if our mouth can’t move, we can do it internally. Never too late. So, speak my truth, and. . . I just; sometimes it feels like if I speak my truth, it hurts people. Well, you know, I would do the Worksheets and question them. When you turn them around, it shows you, though your own words, turned around, how to do that. You have guidance there, out of the words you write on the Worksheet. Once they’re turned around and you see the examples, complete guidance. It just shifts. It just turns around to that wisdom and you understood. So: I violated me. I violated him. I read my ex-husband’s journals. Well, where I went with that: Maybe I didn’t read his journals, but am I thinking for him? I am thinking that I know what he’s thinking about me? Am I violating my journals? I don’t. . . I violated myself as well, by; with all this fear. I put myself in situations that aren’t really; they more propagate the fear versus loving me. Yes. And that is like journal-writing. You know, that’s history. Everything you’re living and thinking creates history. You know: The past that you imagine now. And, yes, it violates you. You know, living in the present, there’s no violation there. And The Work allows us to really get clear experience in what that is to live in the moment. That’s what I want. Yeah. Well, I invite you to just take up The Work as a practice. We have certified facilitators available. There are profiles on TheWork.com. And they’re amazing. They’re amazing. Their phone numbers are there; their websites. I will do that. Excellent. Because I want my freedom more than I want this fear. Yeah. That’s what I was wanting to speak with you for was that, no, I could keep hiding, or I could really put myself out there and share this part of myself. And so I chose, I feel like, just doing this in the first place is a step in that direction. It is a big step. Every time you do The Work, less fear. Less fear. Less fear. And you have the ability, the gift, of running very deeply. And you’re ready. So, I; on behalf of all of us that have found piece through inquiry, welcome to The Work. We look forward to meeting you. You know, some of us. . . Just go through those profiles and you’ll find your heart there. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the end of fear. The beginning of the end of fear. Thank you very much. You’re welcome.