Bob Klein's Reviews > Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

Loving What Is by Byron Katie
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M 50x66
's review
Feb 25, 2009

it was ok

This is a hard review. Her book (and her questions, but mostly her interviews-as-examples) have the potential to help a lot of people deal with interpersonal issues (that she boils down to inner-personal). The problem I have is the potentially dangerous way that she applies a universal logic to dealing with complex problems. The questions are general enough, and the answers are supposed to be generated by the people answering them. Still, she makes it quite clear from the numerous case studies in the book (examples from her workshops) that it's all about owning the bad things that happen to you. My concern is for the danger of applying this technique to (an admittedly small number of) extreme cases, such as those who are victims of crime. The dialogues follow a predictable pattern and if mapped onto, say, a rape victim, would end with the rape victim "turning it around" and concluding things such as "I hate myself for being raped" or if you really bungle the "turn-around": "I raped myself." Clearly this is not Byron's intent, but a mass-market paperback in the self-help section is a potentially tragic lure for people who self-treat despite needing the help of a serious professional.

That said, I can't help but admit that the book provides a structure to dealing with conflicts and issues. This structure, whether or not I like it, changed me (as books should) in a small way. Probably more the case-studies than the narrative... The case-studies revealed the complexities of the technique in ways that the oversimplified narrative could not. Hmmm... two stars? Is that really true?
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Susan Tucker Yep, you got it. "I raped myself." With my thinking, every time I relived the experience. The turnarounds are there to give you concepts to consider. You never have to accept them if they don't ring true to you.

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