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A therapist at the Wisdom 2.0 event does The Work with Byron Katie on her belief “She won’t stop drinking.” “‘She won’t stop drinking’–can you absolutely know that it’s true?” Katie asks. “The answer is a simple yes or no. The ego will want to defend and justify–it can really scream. So just thank it for sharing and go back to the question. Can you absolutely know that it’s true that she won’t stop drinking?” When she believed this thought about her friend Kathy, the woman felt responsible, angry, and afraid, and she acted in a way that she calls passive-aggressive. In one of the turnarounds, she replaces “drinking” with “rescuing”–“I won’t stop rescuing”–and she sees how she too is addicted: to rescuing people who may not even want to be rescued. “If she stops drinking, then you’ll be happy–so it’s all about you,” Katie says. “You really don’t care if she drinks; you just want to be happy. And you don’t want anything to happen to her because you would be sad. So, if you’re unhappy, it’s her fault. When we’re unkind and passive-aggressive, we give them no reason to get sober. She’s drunk with her drinking, and you’re drunk with your thinking. Both of you are addicted.” “Yes,” says the woman, “my drugs are people. I’m mainlining Kathy, and if she’s not around I’ll replace her with someone else.”
I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t my teacher. —Byron Katie