What’s Really Bothering You?

old sunflower

You never know what’s really going on until you ask.

Being Heard Is Important for Two Reasons

It’s important for the heart. And it’s a start to inquiry.

Most of my life I grew up believing that it’s bad to have anything going wrong in my life. It shouldn’t be talked about. It should be hidden. I should deal with it silently on my own.

That’s why I found it so freeing when I discovered The Work and found permission to share what’s really going on for me when it’s not pleasant. I learned that admitting my stressful thoughts was not the end of my reputation, but rather the beginning of self-acceptance.

I Especially Like to Do This With Another Person

There’s something about being heard by another if I can be truly honest with them that opens and frees me. I’m not even talking about doing The Work. This is what friends do for each other.

But there’s one drawback to sharing with a friend. If they are not completely impartial, they may end up taking “my side,” the side of my stressful thoughts, and reinforcing the stressful story. This is not actually helpful.

What is helpful is when a friend listens without trying to influence, advise, or reinforce the story. When that happens, something magical takes place: I start to see my story for what it is, a story. I start to see what’s really going on. I get to see my mind objectively as clearly as looking in a mirror.

I Can Also Do It Alone

It can be powerful writing my thoughts with the only motive being to see what they are. Or to write to an objective-minded friend (or some wise person I don’t know personally) even if I don’t plan to send the letter.

The effect is the same. I get to see what’s really going on in me. I start to see my thoughts more objectively.

This Is Not About Problem Solving

If either I or my friend wants to problem solve, there will be a bias. The stressful thoughts are not free to come out uncensored because the mind knows if it shares what’s really going on it’s going to have to change.

That’s why I like to write with no objective in my mind other than to see what’s really going on. I may never even work this stuff. And when I’m writing, or speaking, I don’t think about questioning anything. I just let myself be heard.

This Is Part One of The Work

I may stop there. And I don’t push myself to “turn it around.” But often I get excited when I start to see what’s really going on. I often do want to question what I’m thinking.

That’s when I start looking at what I wrote, or shared, and seeing if I can find some Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets there, or some one-liners to question.

When I don’t push myself, I find that I get pulled into inquiry naturally.

Or not.

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“You can’t force this process; you can only inquire and find out what’s true.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is It True?

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