Sunday, October 20, 2013

A must read: Byron Katie's books!

My cousin Meredith loaned me a book by a woman named Byron Katie (who is amazing, by the way!) and the book is called "I Need Your Love - Is That True."  The book is great because it talks about loving yourself and how when you really love yourself (and not try to control everything or everyone around you), things in life fall into place.  I know quite a few people who try to control other people...and that's so sad.  They try to control their emotions or think that because they "need" love from that person, that the other person has a duty to love them back.  No one is forced to love anyone.  And sometimes, no matter what you do, it doesn't make someone love you.  But if you love yourself despite what's happening in your life, give love to people without expectations of it in return...then that's where happiness comes from.  And you'd be surprised how freeing it is.  Why fill yourself with all the hate, demands on others and "if they do this then I'll be happy" sort of feelings.  This happens in a lot of peoples lives (and I've had times when I've felt it in my own life), and it's like being stuck in a prison inside your own mind.  Being free of that feels so good.

It also talks about how love and need are different.  People confuse the two all the time.  It's also not just about romantic relationships, but about family relationships.  I know we've all felt like there's someone in our life who if they do x, y, or z, then we would be happier.  I remember being young and wishing that my mom would act a certain way to make me happier.  Or when I was older and married, I wished that my husband at the time would do x, y, or z and if he did then I would be happier.   It was short sighted and silly, because other people's actions don't make us happy.  We make ourselves happy.  Once we realize that, it's amazing how much love comes into our lives.  And the best part, is that the love that comes into our lives when we love ourselves completely is the RIGHT kind of love.

The most powerful part of this book, for me, is the part about seeking approval.  I know I make choices for my life that make me happy and that I feel comfortable with...but sometimes other people don't approve.  Seeking approval from people is not a way to feel free or happy.  Finding that we are responsible for our own happiness and not worrying about whether other people approve or not is hard to achieve, but really important for true happiness.  I see so many people struggling with what they think "should" happen in their life, and they are filled with so much anger and despair that it's terrible.   And what I wish they would do is read this book and see that the only person who owes them love is themselves.  We don't (and shouldn't) control, or want to control, anyone else's actions or emotions.  We can only control our own actions...and isn't that enough?   We can choose happiness in ANY situation! :)

Here are some quotes from the book that I love...

""If you don't seek our approval, there's no way you can ever have it". - can you really know that's true? You just act sometimes as if you're God, as if you need to make things happen.  I noticed that things happen with or without me, people approve of me or they don't.  It has nothing to do with me.  This is really good news, since it leaves me responsible for my own happiness.  It leaves me to do nothing but live my life as kindly and intelligently as I can.  If you don't understand and aren't grateful, I understand.  It's only me I'm dealing with, and that's enough for a lifetime."

"We're all children when we believe unquestioned, nursery-school thoughts.  "He doesn't like me".  "He's a bad person".  "It's not fair".  "I'll cry to get what I want".  "I'm a victim" "You are my problem".   Have you graduated yet?""

and the best ones....

"Thinking that people are supposed to do or be anything other than what they are is like saying that the tree over there should be the sky.  I investigated that and found freedom."

"When you believe the thought that anyone SHOULD love you, that's where the pain begins."

My take-away from this book is to love yourself.  Give love to other people freely without expectation. Be kind.  Be happy with yourself.  And when you do that, all the people you love will love you even MORE in return!

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