Im currently reading ‘How To Be Sick:A Buddhist-Inspired Guide For the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers“. It teaches various Buddhist practices in application to the trials faced by those, like myself, who are chronically ill. As you might expect, there are many other practical everyday life applications that could be used by anyone.
I just finished reading a chapter about Byron Katie and her work in encouraging us to question the validity of our thoughts and ending any suffering that may accompany them, using what she calls “The Work” or inquiry. This inquiry practice begins with us asking whether the thought is true. Then, asking whether we know absolutely that is true. Third, is to note our reaction when we believe the thought is true. Fourth, reflecting on who we’d be without the thought and finally to come up with a “turnaround”, a statement in the opposite form of the original thought.
It struck me in reading this that there are many thoughts, illness related and otherwise, where this work would do me some good. So without further ado, I will tackle the thought that has been plaguing my heart for a good bit of time in what will likely be the start of a new blog feature called, what else?, The Work:
Thought: Im tired of being misunderstood by people who offer no benefit of the doubt or resolution especially in constrast to my continued grace and forgiveness with the same people.
Is it true? Yes, I absolutely hate not being given the benefit of the doubt, having the good brushed under the rug and a perceived flaw focused upon without being given the chance to explain or remedy the situation.
Is it absolutely true? YES!
My reaction: I feel wounded, hurt, maybe even betrayed. Unimportant.
Without the thought I guess I’d just be a person who continues to extend grace and forgiveness.
The turnaround: I love not being given the benefit of the doubt! Now I dont need to offer an explanation. Those who really know me, dont need one and those who don’t would probably not believe me anyways. This has to do with their thoughts. I cannot control someone’s elses thoughts anymore than I can control my own. I dont have to tiptoe around on glass trying not to re-offend. I conserving time and energy. I can be myself.
And there you have it, folks.