by Angela Brooks-Reese
Inspired by Morty Lefkoe & Byron Katie
When you are reading a book, how does the rain MAKE you feel?
When you are a farmer during drought, how does the rain MAKE you feel?
When you are having an outdoor wedding, how does the rain MAKE you feel?
How does the rain MAKE you feel?
Can the rain MAKE you feel? How exactly does it, does it grab your lips and pull them up or down? Does it reach into your heart and warm it or make it cold? Does it reach into that invisible place of feelings and stir it around?
If the rain can’t MAKE you feel… Then who or what DOES MAKE you feel?
When you are reading a book are you ignoring the rain, not thinking about it at all? Does it not like you? Does it think bad things about you for ignoring it? Why are you ignoring the rain like that? How could you?
Can you MAKE the rain feel?
When you are a farmer needing rain, and it MAKES you happy, is the rain doing you a favor? Does the rain like you better than others? Is the rain showing its approval of you?
When you are having an outdoor wedding, is the rain out to get you? Does it have something against you? Is it plotting against you?
Is the rain doing anything at all to MAKE you feel? Is the rain MAKING you feel a certain way? Can the rain actually MAKE you feel anything at all?
Or is the rain just doing what rain does… rain?
And are you just doing what people do before they realize they have a choice? Making meanings out of absolutely everything, even when they don’t have to. And before they know there is almost always more than one explanation of what they are interpreting to be the TRUTH?
Maybe it IS truth. Maybe it is FALSE. If thinking it causes you to feel bad, then why not CHOOSE to think something that causes you feel good?
If you CAN’T KNOW for sure you are right, then be right about what works best for you without consideration of GUESSING what is going on inside another person when they are just doing what they do, like rain, irrespective of you.
You can’t MAKE them act a certain way, they CHOOSE to act a certain way. How they act, they act. Whether it’s with you or someone or something else. How they act has NOTHING to do with you and EVERYTHING to do with them and you CAN’T guess or CHANGE what that is.
You can only work with WHAT IS. You observe a behavior, an action or an event and then you CHOOSE how you will interpret and respond to it KNOWING that those things have nothing to do with you and all you KNOW for CERTAIN is what you OBSERVED (without meaning).
Someone stood up. Someone looked at you. Someone didn’t look at you. Someone said words while looking in your direction. Someone said words while looking in another direction.
And isn’t that interesting?
And isn’t it wonderful that you can choose how and IF you respond to any of these things because you realize you have a rainbow of choices, and you have the CHOICE to choose anything which creates a feeling inside of you that works FOR you.
Maybe that feeling is not to be around that person. Maybe that feeling is create a different interpretation. Maybe that feeling is curiosity. You get to choose.
Not out of spite (which is a reaction to an interpretation), but simply because it makes you feel good about you, having to do with the event, behavior or action that you happened to witness and can’t really KNOW.
Can you choose how you respond to a sunrise, or a thunderstorm? Aren’t we all really just a force of nature, just like the sunrise or the thunderstorm? Can’t we see a person as a flower blooming… or as a tornado careening? Maybe we can stand and observe, get closer or maybe we need to seek protection, but we don’t take any of it personally. A sunrise, flower, thunderstorm, tornado or person will do what they do. With us or without us. We don’t MAKE them feel anything and they don’t MAKE us feel anything. It’s always a choice.
We may choose to enjoy their company and they may choose to enjoy ours. Or not.
Some times we are afraid to release a long held belief because it creates a vacuum. If that is gone, what will we replace it with? Don’t I need to protect myself from getting hurt?
When you are remembering something after it is over and choosing to feel “hurt” by it… WHO is hurting you?
At the moment something is said or done, you can realize you are interpreting an action, behavior or event on the spot. In that moment you CAN make a choice. Does this action, behavior or event REALLY have anything to do with me? Is there any point in involving myself in it? Would I like to stay or like when a tornado is coming, should I seek protection? It is going to happen whether I am here or not so I respond sensibly for what seems right to me. I GET to make that choice.
What would Byron Katie do right now? Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? Who would you be without the thought? Turn the thought around.
What can I choose instead?
What power that gives us over our own lives and the peace therein.
Old habits formed just because “That’s the way I have always done it” don’t mean that those old habits are right for you anymore. We can outgrow an unwanted habit and change it.
If you can trust that, even though you don’t know what that change is going to look like yet, you may just find your answer to the question about how to enjoy your new found freedom.
“Byron Kathleen Reid became severely depressed while in her thirties. Over a ten-year period her depression deepened, and for the last two years Katie (as she is called) was seldom able to leave her bedroom. Then one morning, from the depths of despair, she experienced a life-changing realization. Katie saw that when she believed her thoughts she suffered, and that when she didn’t believe her thoughts she didn’t suffer. What had been causing her depression was not the world around her, but what she believed about the world around her. In a flash of insight, she saw that our attempt to find happiness was backward—instead of hopelessly trying to change the world to match our thoughts about how it “should” be, we can question these thoughts and, by meeting reality as it is, experience unimaginable freedom and joy. As a result, a bedridden, suicidal woman became filled with love for everything life brings.”The Work of Byron Katie
“The Work” of Byron Katie is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. It is a way to find peace with yourself and with the world. Anyone with an open mind can do this Work.
Link to “The Work” worksheet:
Enjoy the Rain!