As humans, many of us believe that our feelings come first and then we have thoughts about the feelings or situation. In fact, as Byron Katie teaches, the order of creation and how we create our false world is this:
Think>feel > act > have
Feelings are the effect of what we are believing, so instead of thought being the first order of creation, we could say belief is first because a thought by itself can easily come and go through our minds without effect but once we believe it, the feelings follow. I have heard it said that “beliefs are simply thoughts we keep thinking.”
In my own experience, it makes so much sense that we would believe that the feelings come first because thoughts and beliefs can be so subtle or unconscious much of the time that we don’t even see them. Often when I am doing “The Work”, it is in hindsight that I see what exactly I was believing in the past and was unaware at the time. Furthermore, I experienced confusion about my actions that followed because I didn’t see the underlying beliefs and would think “where did that come from?” after making a snide remark or acting angrily in some way for example.
This is where the act of identifying the stressful moment in time and then doing a worksheet on that moment can be so fruitful. If I don’t take the time to go back to that stressful moment, so many of the thoughts believed can continue to live under the surface and wreak havoc; if not now, at the moment of vulnerability and/or stress when the ego can more easily take over.
I’ve noticed that for myself, if I have something stressful happening or if something in my life feels unresolved, if I look back in time and identify the exact moment of stress for which I have not yet done “The Work”, and write a worksheet, wow, how amazing to take the time on this and notice the peace that comes. In addition, I can see how the action that had been happening in my life due to this un-worked belief may have also been subtle. Perhaps something as subtle as not connecting with another, looking the other way instead of into their eyes. These kinds of subtle acts, as well as other not so subtle acts, are happening all day every day in proportion to my un-worked stressful beliefs. Moreover, these acts much of the time cause further stress and suffering.
Given that most of us are not free of suffering like many of the masters such as Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, , Bentinho, Adyashanti, etc., we continue to create false worlds and these dormant beliefs have plenty of opportunities to come to the surface and cause further suffering. The Work of Byron Katie is a superb tool to address this suffering or any stressful thought and helps us find our way to peace.
~Marylynn Grimes, Certified Facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie