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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life Paperback – December 23, 2003
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In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed, and over a ten-year period sank further into rage, despair, and thoughts of suicide. Then one morning, she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her, and now in Loving What Is you can discover the same freedom through The Work.The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, ?It?s not the problem that causes our suffering; it?s our thinking about the problem.? Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.Loving What Is will show you step-by-step, through clear and vivid examples, exactly how to use this revolutionary process for yourself. You?ll see people do The Work with Katie on a broad range of human problems, from a wife ready to leave her husband because he wants more sex, to a Manhattan worker paralyzed by fear of terrorism, to a woman suffering over a death in her family. Many people have discovered The Work?s power to solve problems; in addition, they say that through The Work they experience a sense of lasting peace and find the clarity and energy to act, even in situations that had previously seemed impossible.If you continue to do The Work, you may discover, as many people have, that the questioning flows into every aspect of your life, effortlessly undoing the stressful thoughts that keep you from experiencing peace. Loving What Is offers everything you need to learn and live this remarkable process, and to find happiness as what Katie calls ?a lover of reality.?
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I suspect to gain the most from this book, one would have to do the exercises, and complete the worksheets. I didn't, so my review might be lacking in this respect. I did find Byron Katie's approach insightful, and worth thinking about. I also found the book repetitive, annoyingly so, and eventually I gave up in frustration, feeling that I had gotten the gist, without having truly plumbed the depths of "The Work," as Byron calls it.
The book is designed to help those who have suffered great difficulties in their lives, particularly at the hands of others, and who have a tendency to blame those others for all their problems. Blaming is a roadblock on the road to self-discovery, self-understanding and personal transformation. For that reason, this could be a tremendously useful book, if you haven't already dealt with these problems through therapy or some other path that has freed you to think for yourself without needing someone to use as a scapegoat for your own troubles and dissatisfaction.
I also found 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. It is a book that is just as practical and actionable as Loving What Is, but it takes a slightly different approach. It posits that giving up concepts and ideas is the best way to achieve happiness. Using advice in this book along with "The Work," I have been able to clear my head and focus on my goals. I no longer worry about what other people think, and I've started planning my life more around concrete goals and less around the aimless wander. 21 Thing You Should Give Up To Be Happy talks about the "aimless wander" as one thing you should give up. My anxiety was always on high alert, but it didn't need to be!
I'm glad I found these two books, because I've been to produce much more positive effects throughout my life. I am working toward my goals and my mind is more stress-free than it's ever been. Neither of these books offer new age mumbo jumbo. They are written by real people with real life experience who have been able to construct effective action plans that work for a wide variety of individuals. I am just one success story in a sea of others.
I seems to me that how we describe Hell is very similar how we live our daily lives. The sad part of it is that we don’t even realize it.
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And... "it it true?" Why yes! Yes it is! :)