A week or so ago I was pondering the saying ‘good grief’, which posh English people tend to say when either faced with something surprising, shocking or terrible (or a combination of all three!). Where does it come from? Because how can grief ever be good?
It came to mind because I feel as if during the past few weeks and months I’ve been grieving for past relationships, opportunities missed, things that didn’t work out, and none of it feels ‘good’ in any way.
However, having recently read Loving What Is, by spiritual teacher Byron Katie, I just don’t seem to be able to let myself get too depressed about it anymore. According to Katie’s book (we have a feature about it in the January issue of the mag, on sale soon), she gets you to look at your belief and to first ask yourself whether the thing you are bothered about is actually true, and secondly to turn it around.
So taking this on board, when I start thinking ‘oh I should be with so and so’ or ‘if only I had done X, then my love life would be great’ can I actually know those things to be true? Do I know that my life would somehow be miraculously better and happier if I had made different choices and things had worked out wit this person or that person? Well, no, not truly. I think I know they would have made a difference, but I do not know they would have, so my answer has to be know, I don’t they are true.
It makes more sense when you read the book, but in a nutshell, Byron Katie gets you to really question your beliefs, and to see that usually the reason you are suffering is because you want the world to be working out to benefit you, and often it does not! This is quite Buddhist in a way, in terms of suffering because we grasp at things, concepts, people, places etc and either want them to stay the same, or mould themselves to our liking.
So despite some evident sadness I have been going through, I just have to look on the positive side, or at least be neutral, because I don’t know that my life would be better if it had gone along a different path, it’s just easier to imagine so. And as Louise Hay, the queen of spiritual wisdom, always says: “You are in the right place, at the right time doing the right thing.” Amen to that.
The december issue of Soul&Spirit is on sale now, and the January one, with an article by Byron Katie, will be on sale December 17. Visit www.soulandspiritmagazine.com