Right now as you are reading this, you are living in the present moment. Because that's all there is. The past and the future are both thought projections.
The Power of Understanding Reality
Stop and think about it. The past is already over, you can never live there again. The future hasn't come yet. In fact, the future never comes. Because by the time the future moment you are focusing on gets here, it becomes the present moment. So the past and future don't exist. They are only concepts. They are not reality.
The only reality is the present moment. And in this present moment, you are fine. Everything is fine. I doubt you would be sitting here reading this if the house was burning down or your child was choking. In this present moment, everything is fine, and it always has been. It always will be.
When you realize this, you come to realize that everything you stress out about is either in the past or the future. And neither of those exist.
So then you must realize that the stress, suffering, and emotional pain you feel exists because of something that is not real.
But we have our stories about the past and future, and that's what we try to live in. Our stories about how our mothers hate us or we've been abused or our boss was unfair or our spouse doesn't listen to us. We focus on a past event and live in those thoughts. But right here, right now, we are fine.
So we must always question our thoughts. Whenever you have a troubling thought, ask yourself, Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it's true?
We live in a friendly universe. Everything is the way it should be and always has been.
Let's say you have the thought "My spouse doesn't listen to me." So first of all, we have to ask ourselves the question "Is it true that my spouse doesn't listen to me? Can you name a time when your spouse DID listen to you? So you can readily see that your statement is not true.
Everything is our teacher. And everything is always as it should be. So when you had the thought "My spouse doesn't listen to me" you were probably thinking of a specific incident. In that specific incident you were thinking of, name one reason why it was appropriate that your spouse should NOT have listened to you.
Some possible reasons are:
Your spouse was busy doing something else at the time.
The tone of voice you were using when talking to your spouse was inappropriate or irritating.
You were showing your spouse that you were not listening to THEM.
You chose an inappropriate time to bring up your concerns.
There could be many more. The point is, the fact that your spouse was not listenting to you was not arbitrary. There's always a reason for anything that happens. Let everything be your teacher.
So when you try to communicate with your spouse and you think the thought "He's not listening to me" and that troubles you, stop and do inquiry. If you think the thought and then realize that oh, he's not listening, and this does not trouble you, then just go on and come back and try again later. But if the thought troubles you, then realize you have work to do. Any troubling thought is a clue that you have work to do.
Then you might say, "What about my spouse? Don't they have work to do as well?" Maybe, but that's not your business. There are three kinds of business. As Byron Katie says, there's my business, your business, and God's business. When I'm worried about what my spouse should be doing, I'm in THEIR business. I only have to worry about MY business. That's all.
You can be perfectly happy in life by tending to your own business and leaving everybody else's business to them.
Besides, you can't change anybody else or their business. To do so is to argue with reality. And that only brings suffering. Fear of the future is the main reason why we get in other people's business. But remember, the future never comes.
In reality nothing ever happens that we can't handle. Because after it happens, it's in the past and the past is only a thought projection. It's not real, and therefore whatever happened can't hurt us anymore. It's only momentary. Everything that happens is impermanent.
Impermanence is a wonderful concept. Change happens. It's the one thing we can count on in life. If you don't like the way things are, wait a while, and they will change.
How do you know things happen exactly as they are supposed to? Take this example. How do we know that we're supposed to eat mashed potatoes? Because we do. How do we know we aren't supposed to eat rocks? Because we don't. It's that simple. We do the things we're supposed to do and we don't do the things we're not supposed to do. You may look at someone else's behavior and say "They're not supposed to do that." But the fact that they did it proves otherwise. Reality says otherwise. And when you pass judgment on someone else's behavior, when you use the words should or should not, or supposed to, you're once again in their business, not yours. How about questioning the thought "I have the right to tell other people how they should behave." Is it true?
So I challenge you, when you have a troubling thought, apply the Four Questions and Turnarounds to the thought. Investigate what you are thinking.
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To learn more about The Work of Byron Katie
Try this Byron Katie Video: End the War with Yourself