The Work of Byron Katie
   




 

Turn It Around
   
 


After you have investigated your statement with the four questions, you’re ready to turn around the concept you’re questioning.

Each turnaround is an opportunity to experience the opposite of what you originally believed.

A statement can be turned around to the self, to the other, and to the opposite (and sometimes to “my thinking,” when that feels appropriate). Find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true in your life, and then allow yourself the time and presence to feel them deeply.

For example, “Paul doesn’t understand me” turns around to “I don’t understand me.” Find at least three specific, genuine examples of times that you have not understood yourself.

Another turnaround is “I don’t understand Paul.” Relax, close your eyes, and with an open mind witness as the images and feelings within you begin to show you, example by example, where you have not understood Paul. Be very gentle and thorough.

A third turnaround is “Paul does understand me.” Be still and witness as your mind reveals to you examples of how this turnaround is true. Those examples might look like:

  1. He understands that when I’m angry I always get over it.

  2. He understood me last week when he laughed at the joke I was telling him.

  3. He understood me yesterday when I told him I really needed to get away with friends. He even stayed home with the kids.

As I began living my turnarounds, I noticed that I was everything I called you. You were merely my projection. Now, instead of trying to change the world around me (this didn't work, but only for 43 years), I can put the thoughts on paper, investigate them, turn them around, and find that I am the very thing I thought you were. In the moment I see you as selfish, I am selfish (deciding how you should be). In the moment I see you as unkind, I am unkind. If I believe you should stop waging war, I am waging war on you in my mind.
— Byron Katie

The turnarounds are your prescription for happiness. Live the medicine you have been prescribing for others. The world is waiting for just one person to live it. You're the one.


Embracing Reality

After you have turned around the judgments in your statements 1 through 5 from the Worksheet (and found at least three examples for each turnaround), turn statement 6 around using "I am willing to..." and "I look forward to..."

For example, "I don't ever want to experience an argument with Paul" turns around to "I am willing to experience an argument with Paul" and "I look forward to experiencing an argument with Paul." Why would you look forward to it?

Statement 6 is about fully embracing all of life without fear, and always being open to reality. If you experience an argument with Paul again, good. If it hurts, download another Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and investigate the thoughts you haven’t looked deeply enough into. Uncomfortable feelings are merely the reminders that we've attached to something that may not be true for us. They let us know that it's time to identify the stressful thoughts and do The Work.

Until you can see the enemy as a friend, your Work is not done. This doesn't mean that you have to invite him to dinner. Friendship is an internal experience. You may never see him again, you may even divorce him, but as you think about him, are you feeling stress or peace?

In my experience, it takes only one person to have a successful relationship. I like to say that I have the perfect marriage, and I can't really know what kind of marriage my husband has (though he tells me he's happy too).





 


The Work Essentials

PDFThe following are free PDF files available for you to download. (For downloads in other languages, click here.)

Examples of Turnarounds

Here are a few more examples of turnarounds:

"He should understand me" turns around to:
- I should understand myself.
- I should understand him.
- He shouldn't understand me.

"I need him to be kind to me" turns around to:
- I need me to be kind to myself.
- I need me to be kind to him.
- I don't need him to be kind to me.

"He is unloving to me" turns around to:
- I am unloving to me.
- I am unloving to him.
- He is loving to me.

"Paul shouldn't shout at me" turns around to:
- I shouldn't shout at me.
- I shouldn't shout at Paul.
- Paul should shout at me.


 

From Katie's Blog

Inquiry—I Hate My Husband...

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Inquiry—Terrorism and The Work

A Valentine's Story

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A Letter from Walter Reed

Live Now: Just Do the Dishes!

Dealing with Fear and Terror

The Difference Between The Work and
The Secret

Video: Racial Prejudice Makes Me Angry

Why Can't We Change?

The School: An Account
by Richard Lawrence Cohen

 

MORE INFORMATION

TIME
Four Questions to Inner Peace


HUFFINGTON POST
Stephan Spencer:
Byron Katie Just Wants You to
Be Happy


OPRAH.COM
Testing The Work of Byron Katie


OPRAH.COM
Webcast:
Byron Katie on Oprah's Soul Series


OPRAH.COM
Byron Katie's Four Questions


REALIZATION.ORG
An Interview with Byron Katie


LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE
Ready to Get to Work?
Bring it On!


AMAZON.COM
Byron Katie Author Page


WIKIQUOTES
Quotes from Byron Katie

 

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