Are the Turnarounds for Line 6 Taking it Too Far?
Am I really willing or looking forward to another oil spill?
The Work Is an Opportunity to Stretch the Mind
The Work doesn’t care how flexible you are when it encourages you to stretch. It just asks.
So sometimes you may come to a place where you think, “No way! This is too much!” And you stop doing The Work. Literally, the mind will blame The Work for “pushing” things too far.
This can happen in the turnarounds to Line 6 statements on the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. Line 6 statements are always in the format, “I don’t ever want…” with the most common turnarounds being “I am willing…” and “I look forward to…”
This Is about as Big a Stretch as you’ll Find in The Work
The Work asks you to consider if you could look forward to the very thing you don’t ever want to happen.
Is The Work some kind of sadist tool? You might think so at first glance, but in reality, The Work is not asking you to do anything crazy. It is only concerned with your internal experience. Are you experiencing openness or shut down?
You Might Think it’s Dangerous to be Willing
But if you think a turnaround is dangerous, it just means that you’re misunderstanding the purpose of the turnaround.
The turnaround does not say, “Go out and create an oil spill to prove that you are open to the worst that can happen.” No. It just asks you to consider, “Is it as dramatically terrible as you think it is if an oil spill does happen?”
If I’m really attached to my belief, I’ll say yes. But if my mind has been softened with some inquiry and I have become less fixated on my fearful belief, I may start to see that the worst thing that could happen could actually be the best thing that could happen. Or at least is not something to be so overly afraid of. My dramatic thinking becomes more realistic.
This softens my heart and reduces my fear, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and do something stupid to provoke the worst that could happen.
We’re Only Working with the Mind Here
And in doing The Work, we’re only looking for balance. If I’m contracted inside with fear because “I don’t ever want” something to happen, then I’m paralyzed and stressed.
This is an imbalance of the mind. I’m living in fear now because something terrible might happen in the future. The turnaround aims to balance this by introducing an opposite: “I look forward to…”
It takes an extreme opposite to balance an extreme opposite. “I look forward to…” is extreme because “I don’t ever want…” is extreme. The two cancel each other out and that’s where peace can be found.
The Turnaround Is Medicine
If you get bitten by a rattlesnake, you need the antivenom to balance it. But if you take the antivenom when you don’t have a snake bite, you’ll get sick. Always, when doing The Work, the original stressful thought (the snake bite) is balanced by the turnaround (the antivenom).
It may seem strange, even dangerous, to consider “I look forward to…” but if you go through this mental exercise, you may find that it is precisely the medicine you were needing to get out of the fear attack.
Ironically, once you’re out of the fear, your ability to prevent bad things from happening goes way up.
Have a great week,
“You just contemplate these. You test them. It doesn’t mean that the turnaround is true, but you stay focused on that phone call until you can see how the turnaround is true, even if it doesn’t seem true at first. You meditate. You test. You stay focused on it. This is really important, if freedom from suffering is your goal.” Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself