Jun 15, 2017
I am reading Byron Katie’s new book “A Mind at Home with Itself” (I have an uncorrected proof – the book comes out in September 2017 – you can pre-order it now by clicking this link).
It is her best work yet. I read a story this morning I wanted to type in and share with you. It describes simply the healing power of love, listening and being kind. We often think we need to do complicated things, but really, often, in my experience all that is needed is JUST BEING THERE, IN LOVE, LISTENING.
From Byron Katie, from her upcoming book “A Mind at Home with Itself”:
“One day in February 1986, just before I checked into the halfway house, when I was in so much mental pain that I didn’t believe I could bear one more breath, things came to a head. For no particular reason I started screaming, and I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop screaming and thrashing around on the bed. Paul (her second husband) and Bob, my older son, came in and held me down, to keep me from hurting myself. The suffering got more and more intense, it was beyond what I thought was bearable, with no way out, no end to it. I felt it was beyond what I could endure.
They were holding me down and I was very frightened. They were to – they were panicked – and one of them began making calls to try to find a doctor who would talk to me on the phone. He kept calling different hospitals, different doctors. “What can we do? Will you talk to her? Is there someone there who can talk to her?” They were desperate. Finally, somewhere, in some state, in some city, they found one person who said he would talk to me. He was a psychologist on a psych ward.
They put the phone to my ear, and I experienced love coming from his voice. I felt that he genuinely loved me and wanted to listen. My screams became quiet and I could hear him. I don’t remember what he said; it was probably something like “I hear you. I understand. You must be feeling very badly.” But whatever he was saying, it made sense to me. What mattered was where his kindness came from. I knew he couldn’t want anything from me; he didn’t know me, there were no strings attached, so I trusted what he said. He said I needed help, and the agony shifted a bit.
That was the first time in my life I ever experienced love. I couldn’t get it from my first or second husband, or from my children. I got it from this simple act of kindness. Today I give others what this man gave me, and each time I do, I receive the original gift again. Often when I tell this story, tears run down my cheeks. It’s the experience of gratitude all over again. When anyone is hurting to the extent that I used to hurt, I know how simple it is to step out of it. And I know that you’re what’s left of me. So when you say “Help me,” I do what that kind man did. He showed me who I was – who we all are.
To pre-order a copy of Bryon Katie’s new upcoming book, click here: A Mind At Home With Itself
We will read this in my book study group starting in October 2017. It comes out September 17, 2017.