I listened to an interaction Byron Katie had with someone last night (on CD), and at some point somebody in the audience said I hate my life.
It struck me as a very powerful statement, and one that I can find in my own life if I look – as seems true for just about any statement. Although it is also not one I would come up with on my own to work on.
So I decided to explore it for myself. How is it for me if or when I believe that thought? How is it for me right now, assuming that I believe it to some extent? How would it be if I strongly believed it?
I hate my life.
- Yes (I can find it in me. It seems true to a certain extent – sometimes and in some areas.)
- No (Cannot know that it is really true.)
- If I believe that thought, there is… Dread, for another day. Guilt and shame, for not dealing with my life better. Fear, of this prision to never go away. Drained, of passion, energy, joy, interest. Not wanting to live. Shame of how I live my life. Wanting to become nothing. Shallow breathing. Contracted muscles. Separation, alienated from my life, others, life, existence. Wanting to hold it all back, bring it all to a stop. Wanting to paralyze my life, to deaden my life, to numb my life, to numb my experiences, passions, relationships, engagement. Wanting to drain any passion for my life, wanting to become nothing, empty, to disappear. Want to obliterate it all, through dying or at least dying to life, to anything juicy, alive, passionate, joyful in me.
- If I don’t believe that thought (or couldn’t think it), I am… OK with my life, as it is. Can even allow myself to enjoy it. There is a breath of fresh air, or lightness. The passion comes back, the engagement, the joy, the interest.
- (a) I don’t hate my life. (Yes, that is as or more true. I enjoy much of it, even the unpleasant aspects sometimes. Some examples: I don’t hate my explorations of life. I don’t hate the various forms of inquiry. I don’t hate Breema. I don’t hate my relationships. I don’t hate my opportunities. I don’t hate being alive on a beautiful spring day as today, breathing in the fresh air. I don’t hate eating good food. I don’t hate meaningful activities.)
(b) My thoughts hate my life. (Yes, that too is as or more true. My thoughts create stories which – if believed in, makes misery inevitable.)
(c) My thoughts don’t hate my life. (Yes, that is as true. They are just doing their job – inquiring into life in different ways. It is the belief in them that creates the suffering.)
(d) Others hate their life. (Yes, that is true too. It seems pretty universal, coming from beliefs in particular stories about our own life.)
(e) Others don’t hate their life. (Yes, that is true. They enjoy their life as well. And they only hate their life when they believe in particular stories about it.)
(f) I hate others’ life. (Yes, I can find that as well. There is resentment when they don’t live up to my shoulds about them, or when they remind me of how I don’t live up to my own shoulds.)
(g) I don’t hate others’ life. (Yes, as or more true. I appreciate the life of others – in many different ways. I deeply enjoy it when I see joy in others life. I appreciate the wild diversity. I am grateful for how others’ life reminds me of my own and my own potentials.)
(h) My thoughts hate others’ life. (Yes, a belief in certain thoughts is what creates the experience of hate or resentment.)
(i) My thoughts don’t hate others’ life. (Yes, true as well. There is only the belief in certain thoughts which brings up hatred or resentment.)
(j) Others hate my life. (Yes, I am sure that is true. Especially if they believe thoughts about me which do not fit their shoulds about me, or reminds me of their own shoulds about themselves.)
(k) Other’s don’t hate my life. (Yes, that is true as well. They have more than enough with their own life. And they also appreciate my life in various ways.)