The Work of Byron Katie



He Owes Me

He hasn't paid child-support in six and a half years. Is it true? Watch as a wife and mother finds that she has the perfect husband and father of her children, if only her mind wouldn't tell her otherwise. Her story is our story. Her many thoughts around the "unsettled" debt have made it impossible for her to see the person in front of her. Her turnarounds are deeply challenging and, for her, a powerful opening of the heart. To bring one turnaround home to each of us, Katie finds examples in her own life.



If you wish to subscribe to The Work of Byron Katie newsletter, complete the information below and click Submit.

First name

Additional Audio/Video:
Closed-Caption Text:
Who would like to do The Work? Emily?

Okay, so those of you that are new to The Work, there's a 'Judge your neighbour' worksheet.

I invite you just to follow the simple directions,

and fill in the worksheet with very short, simple, uncomplicated sentences.

Okay, Sweetheart, what did you write?

My worksheet is on my husband. He just moved in after six and a half years of separation.

Oh, my Goodness! How're you doing?


- A few ruffle little edges, yeah?
- Yeah, actually.

So, let's here what you've written.

I'm angry at Jim, because he hasn't paid child support for the last six years.

He hasn't paid child support, is that true?


So, just for the new people, The Work is meditation.

It's like my husband hasn't paid child support, is it true? Okay.

So, the answer is either yes or no to those first two questions.

This has nothing to do with Emily, but where my mind's going now is;

"Oh, he paid major side child support; he never showed up!"

"I got to raise my children to my specifications one hundred percent."

So, you just never know, what's going to meet you in the silence.

So, where did your 'No' come from?

Well, it popped up right away, that I have asked him on occasion for money

and he has always said 'Yes'.

And then every time I've come to The School, he has watched them,

on 'No-Body' he has watched them,

which is a huge thing, he just takes care of them completely.

- Takes them to school, makes their lunches, just takes over fully.
- My Goodness!

And then, he's fully present, when he's there, plays with them.

- More, than I do.
- Yeah.

He also called me every day for the past six years.

And what else?

Oh, he flew from Australia every chance he could.

He took my daughter to the Valentine's Day dance for a weekend from Australia.

He spent all of his money, that I wanted him to spend on child support and flying to be with them.

And I resented that.

I figured; "If you're going to live there, you should send us the money and suffer there without them!"

When he lived in Canada, he flew in as much as he could, he spent every penny flying to see them.

Thank you.

That's where I got my 'No.'

How do you react when you think the thought 'He hasn't paid child support in six years'?

I feel cheated. I punish him.

"You owe me!" That's where I go. I just feel like he owes me eternally.

And I get really critical. Everything he does, I have to wrong him.

It's just awful! Awful!

Now, just flow into - as you witness what you've been witnessing - without the thought;

'He hasn't paid child support in six and a half years.'

I see his generosity.

How he's trying so hard to take us out to dinner on my birthday.

He goes out, buys groceries and cooks dinner for the whole family.

He's playful, he wants to walk on the beach with me and swim in the ocean.

He makes me laugh, he's really funny.

So, he hasn't paid child support in six and a half years. Turn it around.

Let's start with; 'I haven't paid husband-support..'

Oh, it's tough, yeah!

- Actually, it's not!
- six and a half years.

I haven't. I rejected him over and over again.

He invited me to go camping numorous times with the family and I said no.

"You owe me! You go take them!" That was where I was coming from.

All the times, he wanted to be close to me and I pushed him away.

I didn't pay my support to him.

My head is with Steven this morning.

He wanted to sit with me and just spend a few moments.

And I had my computer. I was trying to catch up on e-mail.

But just for a minute, just for a moment.

It was two very urgents, having to do with countries.


And he's sitting there, so amazingly sweet, and he just gets up at some point and he says;

"You know, I'm going to..." He loves to work, he writes.

He says; "You know, I think I'm going to go and do a little work."

No bitterness, no... He's so much kinder than I am.

I can't begin to tell you.

And just so gently...and I said; "Honey, you know..."

"I just got carried away, you know."

"Let's spend some time together. Let's do that." Because that's what he wanted to.

So I put my computer completely down and I closed it.

It is so sweet to be with him.

Let's look at the next one.

I want Jim to make up for this bottomless debt, by paying for everything always.

It's a want!

Is it true?

I found a 'No.'

How do you react, when you believe that thought?

I get really angry and I feel this violence, and obsessive thinking of

"I just paid for that, now he owes me!"

So, it would appear in that hypnotic trance that you're describing,

that you're living with a loser,

a really cheap person, an unfair person,

someone that cares more about himself than you.

One of the images is he's often in Australia, taking long, glorious walkes by himself

and I'm there, picking up the kids, shuttling, I'm here and there..making lunches,

and he's off in sunny Australia and meeting women, who knows.

And the emotions as you're witnessing that movie, that dream.

Just vomit.

Okay, so close your eyes and looking at those same images again,

notice your life without this thought.

When he left, he didn't have a job. Now he got this job in Canada.

And I can be happy that he's building this for himself and

actually able to take care of himself instead of me.

- One less mouth to feed.
- Yeah!

So, let's turn it around.

This is going to be good.

I want me to make up for this bottomless debt,

by paying for everything always for him?

Of course!

But I did that!

Oh, really?

I did.


Okay, not in all those other ways that he supported me.

But still at the restaurant, you're not excited about paying the bill.

- Not.
- So, read it again, turned around.

I want me to make up for this bottomless debt, by paying for everything always.

What do you see there in that turnaround?

It takes me out of the place of being a victim around money,

and makes it about the relationship with my partner.

Thank you.

What I noticed is the abundance that I would have been to,

when I'm willing to pay for everything everywhere.

What a great place to live from!

Thank you!

And as you shift into this, that authentic shift,

when someone wants to pay the bill,

you just see true generosity where you used to be suspicious.

The next one?

He shouldn't think that he can make it right with a few groceries, dinners and clothes.

This is a fascinating question;

He owes you. Is it true?

I'm feeling a yes.

Can you absolutely know that it's true, that he owes you?

I'm still hanging on 'yes'.

How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought; "He owes you"?

It's toxic.

I walk around with like a hundred extra pounds

so angry and venomous.

I feel wronged and cheated.

I invite all of you to close your eyes

and just speak out loud one at a time - and if it overlaps, that's okay -

how you react, when you think the thought;

that family member or that person close to you, owes you.

Loser, angry, gossip about them, deprived...

So, just flow into who you would be without the thought; "He owes me."



and supportive.

"He owes me." Turn it around. " I owe.."

I owe him.

It's really rich that I owe him.

He's been so tenaciously there for me.

I owe him for that, that presence.

Everytime I get scared, he's there for me.

I owe him for that he teaches the kids how to surf.

I owe him a lot.

So, put a monetary value on that.

It's infinite like that bottomless debt.

So, "He owes me"?

I owe me.

Where have you cost you in this relationship?

So many times I've turned my back on him.

Shut him out,

put a wall up

not laughed at his funny jokes.

I refused to pay the bill when we went to Marmath.

I just flat-out refused and he said it was my turn.

You owe him and pay him. The bill for Marmath you owe him.

I do.

You can never repay it.

I owe him and I owe me because I suffer when I don't.

And the mind will trick you out of it again.

Yeah, I saw that coming.

It's like let's see it; "He at least owe the tax on that."

Okay Emily.

I need Jim to acknowledge and admit that he hasn't helped financially, the way a father should.

Another turnaround?

- I need help.
- "I need me..."

I need me to acknowledge and admit that I haven't helped

financially the way a mother should.

- It's been ugly the way I help.
- Yeah.

Really unkind, bitter.

And your kids have picked up on that.

Yes, my daughter says; "What do you mean, are we poor?"

I teach her that.

And the last one?

I don't ever want him to stop helping support our children again.

"I'm willing to..."

I'm willing for him to stop helping support our children again.

"I look forward to..."

I look forward to him stop helping support our children so I can start paying.

More attention to what you're thinking.

I want to pay my owing now, I want to feel what that's like in my new shoes.

- Exciting.
- It is really.

"I'm willing to see him small and fearful around money."

"I'm looking forward to.."

And comfort him in that instead of "Get it together!"

And comfort yourself in it and then that other, it just comes naturally.

- Thank you, Emily.
- Thank you, Katie.

So, one reason that so much can come out of this, is

she identified what she really didn't like about him, she nailed it,

and she put it on the worksheet in short, simple sentences. In other words, she followed those directions.

What did you notice about your own lives and experience in Emily's piece?

I have a son who turns eighteen at the end of June and

I've been in this place of deep constriction

because I was terrorizing and terrifying myself with "Child support's going to end."

I bought him this beautiful bed and he's moving to his Dad's and

I'm like "You're not taking your bed."

It's his bed.

Why wouldn't I want him to have that comfort?

You think that a good one?

I felt in this place of terror and tightness,

like I was watching this train passing, that had celebration in it,

and I was missing it because I was too busy on the side being tight and afraid.

Thank you!


I could just see one incident where he was looking for the compost bucket.

He was like; "Where the hell is that bucket?"

I was so upset with him for once again accusing me.

I was like; What would the world be like - if he says where the hell is the compost bucket -

and I'm so grateful that he's even putting his teabag in the bucket.

What a sweet.. that he would notice that we have a compost bucket,

that he would notice that somebody's moved it.

Instead I spent hours thinking he ought to apologise to me.


I got excited about I just wrote a list of the worksheets of people,

that I have believed, owed me.

Isn't that a good idea? You know those people that owe you

to write and individual list of every person

and then do this inquiry like; - "They owe me."

Is it true? - for each individual person

and notice what comes up because you're going to see like a similar...

a strain that runs through that will wake you up in ways that you cannot even imagine.

Thank you, Emily.

In this dreamworld that we call Earth and life in this duality;

you know it's like there's good and evil, right and wrong,

up and down and left and right. Polarity; right and wrong.

As we question our mind, we leave the other world.

We leave the world of duality and we find ourselves in a whole other paradigm right here, on Earth. In Earth.

It's like a whole other world that because we were believing our thoughts,

we don't have the privilege of seeing.

And we question them and it just begins to open and open

and it leaves the world without an enemy.


From Katie's Blog

Inquiry—I Hate My Husband...

Video: The Work in Prison

Inquiry—Terrorism and The Work

A Valentine's Story

Whose Business Are You In?

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



Four Questions to Inner Peace

Stephan Spencer:
Byron Katie Just Wants You to
Be Happy

Testing The Work of Byron Katie

Byron Katie on Oprah's Soul Series

Byron Katie's Four Questions

An Interview with Byron Katie

Ready to Get to Work?
Bring it On!

Jane Lynch and Byron Katie do The Work.

Byron Katie Author Page

Quotes from Byron Katie



Byron Katie's Blog

Live with Byron Katie

The Work Foundation

Institute for The Work

Store for The Work

Byron Katie on Facebook

Byron Katie on Twitter

Donate to The Work Foundation

AFRIKAANS   Afrikaans
العربية   Arabic
ČESKÝ   Czech
DANSK   Danish
DEUTSCH   German
EESTI   Estonian
ESPAÑOL   Spanish
فارسی   Farsi
한국의   Korean
HRVATSKI   Croatian
ITALIANO   Italian
עברית   Hebrew
LATVIESU   Latvian
MAGYAR   Hungarian
македонски   Macedonian
日本語   Japanese
NORSK   Norwegian
PAPIAMENTU   Papiamentu
POLSKI   Polish
PORTUGUÊS   Portuguese
ROMÂNÅ   Romanian
РYCCKИЙ   Russian
SRPSKI   Serbian
SUOMI   Finnish
SVENSKA   Swedish
TÜRK   Turkish
ייִדיש   Yiddish
中文   Chinese

© 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy and Legal Statement