Byron Katie speaks with a woman over Skype whose eldest son died of AIDS 18 years ago. Now she’s dealing with her daughter’s mental illness. She wakes up thinking, “I’ll never see her again.” Katie begins by asking her, “Is it true?”
“As you meditate on a question,” Katie says, “you never know what you’re going to find. Do you see your daughter? Is that an image or is it real? Notice the emotions that happen as you witness these images in your mind—as you sit in a dream that seems so real. Knowing the difference between what’s real and what is not is maturity. It’s like walking out of a movie and noticing that the sun is shining.
When you’re believing that these images are real, it’s so powerful; you can’t see the hand in front of you! You have a picture in your head and then you believe a story onto that picture. You make the image real with your mental soundtrack. So you’re not even connected with your daughter. And that’s why you’re so confused and lost; you’re disconnected from life as it really is.”
“That feels really true,” the woman says. “I’m not waking up thinking about my daughter—I’m waking up and telling myself a story about my daughter.”
“And are you doing that thinking, or is it just happening?” asks Katie.
“It just happens,” says the woman.
“Yes. You’re not doing it. And it’s completely harmless until you believe what you’re thinking,” Katie says. “I meditate on an image as I question what I’m believing about that image. Until I meet everything with unconditional love, my Work’s not done. The only daughter I’ve ever known is the daughter in my mind. When I can’t believe anything negative about her image any longer, then I’m connected with her. I’m fearless.”
The mind is so powerful that it creates your entire world. —Byron Katie