In The Work of Byron Katie, when we question our stressful thoughts, we turn them around and find genuine examples of how these turnarounds can be as true or truer than the original thought. The purpose is to open our mind to a broader reality. Because when we believe in just one tiny thought our mind is closed and rigid. Usually, the thought can be turned around in three directions – to oneself, to others, and to the opposite.
The original thought: He should respect me. Turns around to:
He shouldn’t respect me.
I should respect him.
I should respect myself.
So once I do The Work on these, we can go a step further. We can ask ourselves how would respecting someone look like? In an ideal situation, what would make us happy?
For me, that means giving somebody space to be who they are, not trying to control or manipulate them. It means regarding them as an equal to myself, acknowledging their evolution and current state of mind, and being fully present with them. And then I notice that when I act like this, I am at peace – so this would be beneficial both for me and others as I bring a little bit of harmony and clarity into the situation. Living turnarounds are thus our own prescriptions for happiness and peace. They show us that if we follow advice that we have been giving to others, we will be at peace and happy.