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

Loving What Is by Byron Katie
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Sep 09, 2011

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bookshelves: health, non-fiction, philosophy
Read from September 02 to 09, 2011

I was recommended this by my counsellor. I was very unsure about it because a lot of reviews suggested it includes a lot of victim blaming -- and this is, in a sense, true: Byron Katie's theory is essentially that we are always the ones causing ourselves pain. She does tell a woman to figure out what part her nine year old self had in her own rape, what she did 'wrong'.

That sounds very discomforting, but I think I see why she does it. When you've had some kind of trauma, there's often a question of what you could've done to prevent it. Maybe you let someone do something bad to you because you were frightened. You can believe almost totally that you couldn't have escaped the situation, but you still have that lingering shard of doubt -- and that could be a way in to learn to recover from it, starting with forgiving your own perceived complicity.

I don't think Byron Katie is 100% right. I found her attitude a little arrogant at times, and condescending. But the basic ideas can be useful and provide a way to logically see how you can better a problem by controlling your part in it. Likewise, it asks you to accept the past as it was, because that's the only way it can be -- you can't change it, only the way you relive it in your mind.

I would say, read this with caution, if you do read it. Aspects of it were useful for me, but I'm still uncomfortable about other aspects.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Nikki I'm not entirely sure whether you're responding to my review or to Byron Katie's book? I don't disagree with you, except that I think there is some value in getting someone to admit that they do think they carry some blame (as long as you make it clear they don't).


message 2: by LJB (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJB We cause our own pain not in the first instance, but as we relive and remember it. We keep reinjuring ourselves mentally. My takeaway is that this method is a way of helping us get past those feelings when we are now safe. I don't think Byron Katie ever wants anyone to let a perpetrator off the hook for what they did - she just wants us to be able to live more freely now, without crippling after effects.


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