“I have never experienced a stressful feeling that wasn’t caused by attaching to an untrue thought. Behind every uncomfortable feeling, there’s a thought that isn’t true for us. “The wind shouldn’t be blowing.” “My husband should agree with me.” We have a thought that argues with reality, then we have a stressful feeling, and then we act on that feeling, creating more stress for ourselves.Rather than understand the original cause —a thought—we try to change our stressful feelings by looking outside ourselves. We try to change someone else, or we reach for sex, food, alcohol, drugs, or money in order to find temporary comfort and the illusion of control.
It is easy to be swept away by some overwhelming feeling, so it’s helpful to remember that any stressful feeling is like a compassionate alarm clock that says, “You’re caught in the dream.” Depression, pain, and fear are gifts that say, “Sweetheart, take a look at what you’re thinking right now. You’re living in a story that isn’t true for you.” Caught in the dream, we try to alter and manipulate the stressful feeling by reaching outside ourselves. We’re usually aware of the feeling before the thought. That’s why I say the feeling is an alarm clock that lets you know there’s a thought that you may want to do The Work on. And investigating an untrue thought will always lead you back to who you really are. It hurts to believe you’re other than who you are, to live any story other than happiness.” ~ Byron Katie, Loving What Is