The Truth Is The Truth

Having to be right is a national pastime.

We all do it. We feel like we’re in control when we fall into the illusion of having to be right.

The need to be the smartest person in the room stems from the need to be right, correct and in control.

Because of this peculiarity, none of us likes to be criticized.

My mother used to say: It’s not what you say, but how you say it.

But she didn’t like to be criticized, either.

In recovery circles, we take an inventory of the wrongs we have committed, the resentments we’ve held. Then, in order to take 100% responsibility, we see the part we played in the encountered difficulties, and when appropriate, go to the persons we have harmed, and apologize.

We get to be wrong. They get to be right.

This is a lesson in humility.

Sometimes, people criticize in an abrasive and upsetting manner, and we tell the story that we’ve been verbally abused.

When the old feathers get ruffled, this offers the opportunity to practice Ho’oponopono incessantly, to erase the memory of discomfort, and also to practice “The Work” of Byron Katie.

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian healing technique that simply requires the inner chanting of four phrases: I love you, Thank you, Please forgive me, (for the part I played in bringing about this “problem”), I am sorry (for the part I played).

Byron Katie’s “The Work” is a process where a “problem” is scrutinized with Inquiry, or a series of questions, that puts the responsibility right back where it belongs–inside yourself.

If you want to hear compliments, or you want people to agree with you, go directly to your friends, or to the people who like you.

Growth is minimal in those encounters (although a compliment can be the catalyst for great insight).

The teenagers and partners you live with, or the person you think is an enemy: these are the people who lay it out, and nine times out of ten, won’t always be kind in their appraisal of you.

This is a perfect time to continue the Ho’oponopono chants and go inward for peace of mind.

Looking back over my life, any criticism I have ever received has been correct. At the time, I didn’t like what I heard.

I said, “How dare she say that to me?”

Then during the 4th and 5th step inventory, I saw the part I played, took 100% responsibility, made amends, felt immediate relief, and could go on as a free-er human being.

The 4 questions of Byron Katie’s “The Work”

1) Is it true?

2) Can you absolutely know for sure that it’s true?

3) How do you react when you think that thought?

4) Who would I be without that thought?

—and turn it around—

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The Mini-Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet

I am angry at my writing instructor because she said I need to be more specific in my writing.

I need my writing instructor to re-evaluate her criticism and give me an “A” for my essay.

My writing instructor should see that I far surpass all of the other students in the class and I should get an “A”.

My writing instructor is an idiot.

UNDERLYING FEARS:

I fear that my writing instructor thinks I am a bad writer and that she is right!

I fear that I can’t excel in what I love (my writing) and that I am a failure.

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My writing instructor shouldn’t tell me to be more specific in my writing.

Is this true?

Yes, because I am specific in my writing.

Can you absolutely know that this is true?

Well, no.

How do I react when I think the thought, “My writing teacher shouldn’t tell me to be more specific in my writing?”

I feel uptight and exposed. I am afraid she is telling the truth.

What truth is that?

That I am a bad writer.

How do I react when I think the thought that I am a bad writer?

I feel miserable, sad and feel like crying.

Who would I be without the thought that I am a bad writer?

I would write for the pure joy of writing and not care what anyone else thinks about it.

Turn it around?

I’m not a bad writer.

My writing teacher should tell me to be more specific in my writing.

Why?

Because that’s what writing teachers do; give constructive criticism.

I need to tell myself that I am a good writer AND be conscious of being more specific in my writing.

UNDERLYING BELIEFS

Criticism is bad.

When someone criticizes me, I am exposed as a bad person.

I have to pretend that I am perfect.

1) Criticism is bad.

Is this true?

No.

Turn it around?

Criticism is good. It serves as an avenue for self-growth.

2) When someone criticizes me, I am exposed as a bad person.

Is this true?

No.

Turn it around?

When someone criticizes me, I can find the truth within the criticism, and become a better person than I was before.

3) I have to pretend to be a perfect person.

Is this true?

No.

Turn it around?

I no longer have to pretend. I can be ME, and love myself and everyone else without shoulds, without the need to be perfect.

I can love my flaws and everyone else’s flaws.

When I find myself resisting honest criticism, I can tell myself: What I defend against is the truth I don’t want to face.

Then I continue my Ho’oponopono practice to clean and erase all memory of past suffering brought on by the need to be perfect or to be the smartest person in the room.

The need for perfection, to be right are examples of stress that lead to war, abuse and violence.

Turn it around?

I don’t need to be perfect or right in order to be happy, here and now.

I don’t need a story.

I don’t need a personal history.

The world is mine exactly as it is.