A husband feels that his privacy is being violated when he finds his wife looking through his texts. During a live event with Byron Katie, his wife reads each of The Work’s four questions to him and waits for his answers.
“‘I’m violating your privacy’—is it true?” says the wife. He pauses to consider the question.
Speaking to the audience, Katie says, “Don’t think the answer is supposed to be no. This is a journey. We’re noticing what arises as we meditate on the situation. And the answer to questions one and two is either yes or no. You started the Worksheet with a yes. If you aren’t seeing anything different in your mind’s eye, you’re still at a yes. So you don’t have to torture yourselves by looking for a no. Be open to ‘no,’ but if you can’t decide, it’s still ‘yes.’ She’s not asking, ‘Is it true? And don’t hurt my feelings.’(To the wife) So, sweetheart, let’s continue. And whatever his answer is, take it in fully and respond with ‘Thank you.'”
“Can you absolutely know that it’s true that I violated your privacy?” says the wife.
“Yes,” he says.
“Thank you. How do you react, what happens, when you believe the thought, I violated your privacy?”
“I get defensive,” he says. “I try to prove that I’m as open and enlightened as you are by just allowing it to happen. I become very judgmental and fearful of what it portends for our relationship.”
“Thank you. So who would you be, in that same situation, without the thought ‘I violated your privacy?'”
“I would be calm, happy, and better able to see you clearly. I’d be able to communicate more openly and honestly.”
“Thank you. ‘I violated your privacy.’ Turn it around.”
“I violated your privacy.” He pauses. “I can see that by believing you are violating my privacy, it taints my opinion of you and therefore I’m not as present as I’d like to be in our lives together.”
“Thank you. Can you find another example?”
“Probably(laughing). It makes me suspicious of you, so I want to check your phone (laughing), because if that’s the level of trust you have for me, then maybe there’s something going on with you.”
“Thank you. Can you find another example in that situation?”
Katie says to the audience, “Notice how she doesn’t defend, and she’s giving him plenty of time. He’s able to empty himself to her. This is conflict resolution. It’s a beautiful thing to experience and witness. It means that for all the days of your life, you can say anything to each other, and have an incredibly intimate relationship. And if there are times when you’re not ready for it, just say ‘Not now.’ It takes a lot of courage to stand with such integrity before the one you love.”
What you’re believing is the cause of all the hurt and anger you will ever experience. —Byron Katie
Give yourself or someone you love a fresh start to 2019 with the New Year’s Mental Cleanse. Join me for one day, two days, or all three and a half days. 29 December 2018–1 January 2019. The gift of peace. xo bk