The turnarounds are a powerful tool of “The Work” used after questioning each thought.
Susan is lying to me.
Turn the thought around
a)to the opposite. (Susan is not lying to me).
b)to the other. (I am lying to Susan.)
c)to the self. (I am lying to myself. )
Turn-around to the opposite: Susan is not lying to me.
Now, ask yourself the question: Is this turn around true? If this seems difficult, start with: Can I find just one specific, genuine example of how it is true that. “Susan is not lying to me?” Is there any way in which this turn around could possibly be true right in this situation? Sit with this question…there’s no hurry. The mind may want to jump and say “no” it’s not true and when given just a moment of silent looking, an answer may arise…
1)Susan was not lying to me when she mentioned she was angry at me.
Okay, great…now take another moment to look and see. Use this as a meditation. You found one example when you didn’t think it was there. Can you find another? If the mind automatically says “no, I can’t find any examples”, take a moment, close your eyes and simply ask again, “can I find just one more specific example of where it’s true that Susan is not lying to me?
2)Susan was not lying to me when because she may believe that what she is saying is true.
Fantastic! You see how it works…mind tells you “no” and you hear that no and gently ask again. Close your eyes and ask, is there one more specific example? And wait, you do not have to push it, just ask and wait.
3) Susan was not lying to me because I have no actual proof that she was lying.
Turn- around to the other: I am lying to Susan.
Three specific, genuine examples, if three feels like too many, start with just one:
1) I acted as if I wanted to spend time with her today when I actually didn’t want to.
Wonderful, can you find one more example of how it’s true, close your eyes, how is it true that “I am lying to Susan?”
2) I told her I wasn’t angry at her when I was feeling anger.
Keep your eyes closed, find one more example. How is it true that “I am lying to Susan?”
3)By acting as if I believed she wanted to spend time with me when it didn’t appear that way.
Turn-around to the self: I am lying to myself.
1) I lied when I told myself that I wasn’t angry.
2) I lied to myself when I pushed myself to see Susan when I didn’t really want to.
Okay, wonderful…see how it works? Take another moment and look…one more example? Be gentle with yourself and look again…
3) I told myself that she was telling the truth when I really sensed that she wasn’t.
By finding the specific examples we get to see that what we think about the other is actually true of ourselves. It allows us to see that we actually turned out to be them. The realization comes: “Oh, I’m actually doing exactly what I’m angry at them for doing.”
Questions to ask yourself when finding turn-arounds:
~Is your turnaround as true or truer than your original statement?
~Where do you experience this turnaround in your life right now?
~If you lived the turn around, how would your life be better?
~Do you see any other turnarounds that seem as true or truer? There’s no right or wrong. Get creative and play with this!
Some people respond with: Well, why do I have to take the blame when Susan is actually lying? The response is: This is not about turning our blame from others towards ourselves or saying others are right and I am wrong. It’s about taking responsibility. I only have control over myself and my life and no one else. When I am focused on the other and what they are doing, I notice that I hurt. When the mind is given the space to see this truth, there is potential for the stressful thought to drop away.
A clear mind doesn’t want to hurt itself!
“The power of the turnaround lies in the discovery that everything you think you see on the outside is really a projection of your own mind. Everything is a mirror image of your own thinking. Once you have learned to go in for your own answers and opened yourself up to the turnarounds, you’ll experience this for yourself. In discovering the innocence of the person you judged, you’ll come to recognize your own innocence.” ~Byron Katie