Letter: “Not taking the blame”

Dear Katie,

After some trial and error, I am finally learning how to use The Work, but I am wondering if my situation may help clarify something for others.

I have a difficulty standing up for myself and have found that often I inquire on questions in a way that doesn’t work. For example, when having a relationship problem I always craft the question as if I am wrong to be upset with the other person and it feels very dishonest by the end when I have basically just constructed an accusation towards myself, in other words, always with the assumption that I should stay in the relationship because my thoughts are what is wrong.

For example, I recently ended one relationship in which I was treated badly and I feel great! My stressful thoughts lead me in the direction of ending the relationship. With the inquiry I was doing, I found I was deluding myself into thinking the relationship was good and that I only needed to inquire to find that everything is really fine.

For someone like me, who tends to take blame and assume I am wrong, how can I avoid this trap and find the best thoughts to inquire about, honestly? How can I see my hidden assumptions?

Thank you for the Work you are doing.

Logan

Dearest Logan,

I am so glad you asked and for this Worked mind, I find that I am free to leave any relationship, at any time, with or without a “valid” reason. In this, as in everything, Stephen can trust me completely. He can trust that I want to be his wife, partner, friend, and he trusts me with good cause. He trusts and respects that if I want to leave our relationship, it isn’t about him, it isn’t about one or both of us being right or wrong, rather it is that I “myself” stay connected to him, no matter what status our relationship may seem to be. I am always focused on my connection to what is kind, that preciousness that never waivers, and that always includes connection to all apparent (projected) others, including Stephen. It’s never personal, and it couldn’t be more personal. And I want that kind of freedom for you too, if that’s what you want.

So, in answer to your question, here is what I suggest. First, download a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet from the website or go to the Work App on your Android or iPhone or iPad, and begin to contemplate that stressful situation. Become very still, with eyes closed, and begin to focus on one specific problematic, stress-filled, difficult moment within that situation, when you were, in your words, “having trouble standing up for yourself.” For example, “I am angry at” (or saddened, etc.—identify the emotion you were feeling in that moment) and then fill in the name. Now, eyes closed, identify and get in touch with why you were angry (or saddened or …) at that person in that moment. Next, as you continue to consider and meditate on that same situation, fill in the next five statements on the Worksheet.

Now, let’s continue, let’s do The Work. Begin by questioning each statement on the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, one by one. Meditate on all four questions, then find turnarounds, and examples for each turnaround. This process takes focus, an open heart, and stillness. Your examples for each turnaround will reveal new realities to you. Allow them, as they are shown to you, to settle into your awareness, realities you may not have been aware of, they will wake you up one by one and enlighten you, show you a much kinder world. With all the love in my heart, I invite you to meet that world that is living right here, right now, right under your nose, just four questions (and your answers to them) away.

Thank you, Logan, angel. Please let me know what difference filling in and Working the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet makes for you. No shortcuts, angel. A One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet is also available at thework.com, and if you want to meet the underworld of beliefs that makes possible your suffering, I suggest that the concepts you take to that Worksheet come from the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. The two can work as one. I see many people missing out on the full Worksheet, and I love that through your question a little more light breaks through into consciousness, into what really matters, and that is the freedom of your mind, your open heart, and the end of suffering in your world.

In deepest gratitude,
bk


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