Coming out of the meddling mind to see that your relationship with others has everything to do with you and nothing to do with them.
How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:
Put aside everything you think you already know.
Open your mind and heart to receive something new.
Take your time going through each point.
Return to any points that particularly touch you.
In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.
1. Whose Business Are You In?
“I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours and God’s.
Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business.”
“If you are living your life and I am mentally living your life, who is here living mine? We’re both over there.
Being mentally in your business keeps me from being present in my own. I am separate from myself, wondering why my life doesn’t work.”
We begin our exploration of the meddling mind by seeing that, much of the time, we're not in our own business. We judge and complain about many things, without any discernment of whether they have anything to do with us or not.
Notice the beliefs (strong thoughts) you have about a certain person and how you have been one with those beliefs for a long time.
Notice also how you feel when you are thinking about that person. (Remember, you only ever feel your present moment thinking.)
In this state of awareness, notice how much time you tend to spend in other people's business, and how this affects your capacity to be present for yourself.
2. Who Do You Believe Me to Be?
“My love is my business; it has nothing to do with you. You love me, and that isn’t personal. You tell the story that I am this, or I am that, and you fall in love with your story.
What do I have to do with it? I am here for your perception, as if I had a choice. I am your story, no more and no less. You have never met me. No one has ever met anyone.”
~Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change the World
“Every time you try to change someone, you are trying to change someone that doesn’t exist. They only exist in your head. People are who you believe them to be.”
It seems as though we are experiencing life as it really is but, actually, each one of us has a perception of reality that is coloured by our own thoughts.
Notice any resistance that rises up in your being at the statement, "people are who you believe them to be." Do you accept this or do you argue with it?
Can you think of a time when you told yourself the story that someone was perfect for you? Until your story changed and you no longer wanted to be with them.
Seeing that your relationship with others has everything to do with you and nothing to do with them, brings the focus back to minding your own business. Even if the other person changes and you blame them for that change, it is only ever how you see them that matters.
3. A World-Shaking Insight
“The basic realization that other people can’t possibly be your problem, that it’s your thoughts about them that are the problem - this realization is huge.
This one insight will shake your whole world, from top to bottom”
“It’s not you that people like or dislike; it’s their stories of you.”
~Byron Katie, A Mind at Home With Itself
Until you realize that it's your thoughts that are creating the problem, you will be stuck in a cycle of constant blaming and complaining.
Notice any blaming or complaining that you tend to do. There's no need to judge yourself or try to stop doing it. Once you have an insight, that kind of energy will no longer flow out of you so easily.
Remember a time when you felt offended by something that was said to you? Can you see that those words were a reflection of the story that person believed about you?
Next time you feel bothered by someone, realize that you don't need to take anything personally. They are simply giving you a window into what is going on in their mind.
4. Question Your Concepts
“I knew I wasn't dealing with a person; I was dealing with concepts, and once I investigated the concepts about my mother, I had unraveled all my concepts about everyone and everything.”
~Byron Katie, A Mind at Home With Itself
“We don't hear what someone said; we imagine what they meant.”
Once you start investigating your concepts instead of remaining in the world of the judgmental and complaining mind, your thoughts naturally begin to unravel.
What concepts do you have about a particular family member? Sit quietly and be honest with yourself. List everything that bothers you about them.
Now shift your attention to yourself - the one who sees all these problems. Notice how you've been projecting your concepts onto this person, wanting them to change according to your preference, and relinquishing a healthy relationship until they do.
In your interactions with them, make it a point to keep coming back to the ground of awareness, where you (even for a moment) step out of everything you think about them. NOTE: This is not "positive thinking," or forcing yourself to behave differently. Rather, it's coming out of the world of the mind to the world of now, and being fully present with this person instead of in your conceptual mind, with all its harbouring of the past and reservations about the future.
5. True Freedom
"No one will ever understand you. Realizing this is freedom. No one will ever understand you—not once, not ever. Even at our most understanding, we can only understand our story of who you are. There’s no understanding here except your own.”
~Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy
“Thinking that people are supposed to do or be anything other than what they are is like saying that the tree over there should be the sky. I investigated that and found freedom.”
~Byron Katie, I Need Your Love - Is That True?
Byron Katie teaches us self-inquiry - to question our thoughts instead of blindly believing them. This is how we go from living in the prison of the mind to finding freedom.
I spent a great many years of my life complaining that people didn't understand me. I was the unfortunate, misunderstood victim of my story. It never once occurred to me to question that concept, and that lack of questioning brought untold misery.
What's your story and what role do you play in it? Who have you been blaming for how you feel? Who needs to change? Who needs to understand you better?
Are you willing to question those beliefs? Until you give everyone the freedom to be as they are, you will never feel free yourself.
6. True Love
"I don't know what's best for me or you or the world. I don't try to impose my will on you or on anyone else. I don't want to change you or improve you or convert you or help you or heal you.
I just welcome things as they come and go. That's true love. The best way of leading people is to let them find their own way."
~Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy
"When you think that people should be kind to you, the reverse is true: You should be kind to them and to yourself.”
~Byron Katie, Loving What Is
“It’s not your job to like me. It’s mine!”
Isn't it strange that we should go through life thinking that we know what's best for everyone else, and for the world? We are so full of shoulds and shouldn'ts, believing our opinions to be true, that we have no idea how much misery we are creating for ourselves and the ripple effect this has on the people around us.
What if you actually don't know what's best for other people and the world?
What if you didn't try to impose your will on anyone else, if you were willing to just let them be as they are?
If you sit still with yourself for a moment, you'll realize that there is a love within you that allows everything to come and go, that trusts in the way of things, and doesn't need to manipulate life in any way. This trusting, unconditionally accepting love is known more fully when we let go of dictating that life should unfold according to our conditioned preferences, and we allow it to be as it is by minding our own business.