The Work and Decision-Making Are Two Different Things
The Work Helps Me Find My Truth
It doesn’t tell me what to do.
Sometimes, the stressful situations that I bring to The Work involve making some kind of decision. I’m confused and don’t know what to do. And I feel stressed, so I bring it to The Work.
Doing The Work helps me take responsibility for my own happiness no matter what situation I find myself in. It helps me question my beliefs and misunderstandings, and often find new options in situations that seem impossible.
But just because I find a turnaround while doing The Work, doesn’t mean that I am obligated to “follow” it. All I’m looking for in doing The Work is my truth. And I can recognize my deepest truth by the way it makes my internal conflict go away.
Here’s An Example
Someone was recently doing The Work on her adult daughter who was living at home with an agreement to pay rent. But she wasn’t paying it. The statement from her Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet was: “She should pay me rent.”
When she got to the turnaround to the opposite, “She should not pay me rent,” she found some examples. But she did not feel peaceful about the turnaround because she still felt strongly that her daughter should pay the rent.
It could be that there were more examples for the turnaround waiting to be found. Or it could be that both the turnaround and the original statement are true.
The Turnaround Is Just One Side of It
The original statement that “she should pay rent” can still make sense—even if there is truth in the turnaround that “she should not pay rent.” In this case, there may be a balance of opposites.
If I hold a turnaround this way, I can often find a deeper truth that encompasses both sides.
For example, the turnaround, “She should not pay me rent,” could be about why it’s understandable that she doesn’t pay rent. It’s a chance to put myself in her shoes. Maybe she’s not making enough money, maybe she doesn’t know how to budget, maybe the agreement was never clear to her, maybe she has resistance to paying something she never had to pay before. All this can give more understanding and compassion for her.
But it doesn’t mean I have to be a doormat because of this newfound compassion. I may still find truth in the idea that she should pay rent. It’s an invitation to expand my mind to see if I can hold both sides.
I Might Agree with the Turnaround
I might see that it is completely her business what she does, and that I can’t control her. But I can also be clear that it’s completely my business what I do.
If I don’t want her living here rent-free then, then it’s a simple conversation about how rent-free doesn’t work for me (it’s not about her at all).
I stay in my business. And she is free to move somewhere else, or to pay rent. It’s her choice. I’m no longer wanting to control her. I’m just honoring my truth, and respecting whatever she does with it.
It’s Only About my Truth
If, on the other hand, my truth is that having her stay is more important to me than having her pay rent, or that I prefer not to charge rent to family members, then I can go the other way with my actions by honoring that truth. It’s completely up to me.
Once I understand the turnaround, “She should not pay me rent,” I am no longer fighting with reality. I get it. I may be easy, or firm, or I may work out some kind of compromise. But in that space, even an eviction can come from a place of love and understanding.
All The Work does is help me step back into my business, and take responsibility for my part, instead of feeling victimized by how the other person should be different than they are. Once I do that, I’m often freer to act according to what feels best to me.
Have a great week,
P.S. I have decided not to go to the Sahara this October. If you are interested in going, please contact Margot Diskin who will be conducting the course in French in October. Instead, I will be offering The Work 101 online starting Sep 5.
“I’m the only one responsible for my life, my health, my feelings, and my happiness. When my neediness died away, what was left was love.” Byron Katie. I Need Your Love, Is That True?