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Excerpted from Loving What Is by Byron Katie. Copyright © 2002 by Byron Katie. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
"Every time you look at him and are repulsed, get your thinking in shape."
Loving What Is, Part 7
Katie: You trade your integrity for harmony in the home. It doesn't work. Spare yourself from seeking love, approval, or appreciation -- from anyone. And watch what happens in reality, just for fun. Read your statement again.
Mary: I want my husband not to be needy.
Katie: All right. Turn it around.
Mary: I want me not to be needy.
Katie: Yes, you need all this harmony. You need his approval. You need his breathing to change. You need his sexuality to change for you. Who's the needy one? Who is dependent on whom? So let's turn the whole list around.
Mary: I want myself not to be needy, not to be dependent . . .
Katie: On your husband, perhaps?
Mary: I want myself to be more successful. I want myself to not want to have sex with me.
Katie: That one could be really legitimate if you sit with it. How many times do you tell the story of how he has sex with you and you hate it?
Katie: Yes. You're having sex with him in your mind and thinking how terrible that is. You tell the story, over and over, of what it's like having sex with your husband. That story is what's repelling you, not your husband. Sex without a story has never repelled anyone. It just is what it is. You're having sex or you're not. It's our thoughts about sex that repel us. Write that one out too, honey. You could write a whole Worksheet on your husband and sexuality.
Mary: I get it.
Katie: Okay, turn the next statement around.
Mary: I want me to get in shape. But I am in shape.
Katie: Oh, really? How about mentally?
Mary: Oh. I could work on that.
Katie: Are you doing the best you can?
Katie: Well, maybe he is, too. "He's supposed to be in shape" -- is that true?
Mary: No. He's not in shape.
Katie: How do you react when you believe the thought that he should be in shape, and he's not? How do you treat him? What do you say? What do you do?
Mary: Everything is subtle. I show him my muscles. I don't ever look at him with approval. I don't ever admire him. I don't ever do anything kind in that direction.
Katie: Okay, close your eyes. Look at yourself looking at him that way. Now look at his face. [There is a pause. Mary sighs.] Keep your eyes closed. Look at him again. Who would you be, standing there with him, without the thought that he should be in shape?
Mary: I would look at him and see how handsome he is.
Katie: Yes, angel. And you'd see how much you love him. Isn't that fascinating? This is very exciting. So let's just be there a moment. Look at how you treat him, and he still wants to go to Hawaii with you. That's amazing!
Mary: What's amazing about this guy is that I am so horrible and mean, and he loves me without conditions. It drives me nuts.
Katie: "He drives you nuts" -- is that true?
Mary: No. So far, it's been my thinking that drives me nuts.
Katie: So let's go back. "He should get in shape" -- turn it around.
Mary: I should get in shape. I should get my thinking in shape.
Katie: Yes. Every time you look at him and are repulsed, get your thinking in shape. Judge your husband, write it down, ask four questions, and turn it around. But only if you are tired of the pain. Okay, honey, I think you've got it. Just continue through the rest of the statements on your Worksheet in the same manner. I love sitting with you. And welcome to inquiry. Welcome to The Work.