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Turning It Around

Saturday, February 19, 2011

After you have investigated your statement with the four questions, you’re ready to turn around the concept you’re questioning.

Each turnaround is an opportunity to experience the opposite of what you originally believed.


A statement can be turned around to the opposite, to the other, and to the self (and sometimes to “my thinking,” when that feels appropriate). Find a minimum of three genuine, specific examples of how each turnaround is true in your life, and then allow yourself the time and presence to feel them deeply.

For example, ”Paul doesn’t understand me” turns around to ”Paul does understand me.” Be still and witness as your mind reveals to you examples of how this turnaround is true. Those examples might look like:
  • He understands that when I’m angry I always get over it.
  • He understood me last week when he laughed at the joke I was telling him.
  • He understood me yesterday when I told him I really needed to get away with friends. He even stayed home with the kids.
Another turnaround is “I don’t understand me.” Again, find at least three genuine, specific examples of times that you have not understood yourself.

A third turnaround is ”I don’t understand Paul.” Relax, close your eyes, and with an open mind witness as the images and feelings within you begin to show you, example by example, of where you have not understood Paul. Be very gentle and thorough.
As I began living my turnarounds, I noticed that I was everything I called you. You were merely my projection. Now, instead of trying to change the world around me (this didn't work, but only for 43 years), I can put the thoughts on paper, investigate them, turn them around, and find that I am the very thing I thought you were. In the moment I see you as selfish, I am selfish (deciding how you should be). In the moment I see you as unkind, I am unkind. If I believe you should stop waging war, I am waging war on you in my mind.

— Byron Katie
The turnarounds are your prescription for happiness. Live the medicine you have been prescribing for others. The world is waiting for just one person to live it. You're the one.

Examples of Turnarounds

Here are a few more examples of turnarounds:

"He should understand me" turns around to:
- He shouldn't understand me.
- I should understand him.
- I should understand myself.

"I need him to be kind to me" turns around to:
- I don't need him to be kind to me.
- I need me to be kind to him.
- I need me to be kind to myself.

"He is unloving to me" turns around to:
- He is loving to me.
- I am unloving to him.
- I am unloving to me

"Paul shouldn't shout at me" turns around to:
- Paul should shout at me.
- I shouldn't shout at Paul.
- I shouldn't shout at me.

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