Byron Katie, a successful middle-aged business-woman, suffered from depression, paranoia, rage, and despair that steadily got worse for ten years, in spite of the medications and psychotherapy. She was in a half-way house attic, lying on the floor, since she felt unworthy to use the bed. One morning, she woke up to find that her self-centered personality with its stressful thoughts had vanished. Joy welled up from deep within, breaking out in long bouts of laughter and be unconditionally loving.
When she returned home, the family members noted the profound change. Katie remained so peaceful and happy that people brought their troubles to her and were healed. I felt much love and acceptance from her, participating in her transformative workshops. She teaches us to stop blaming others or ourselves, but to be here and now, accepting and loving what is (the title of her book).
Byron Katie was with her daughter Roxanne in the labor room during the delivery of her granddaughter. Katie looked at her daughter and her grandchild with a loving smile when suddenly the child stopped breathing, and the hospital staff were in a panic, as they worked hard to revive the child.
However Katie continued to smile cheerfully, while she looked at them. Eventually the child started to breathe again. Later Roxanne expressed her gratitude to the mother for her joyful presence during the ordeal.
Katie had some blood tests and saw a doctor who checked the test results, and announced with a long face that she had cancer. Katie laughed which was naturally rather confusing to the doctor. Later they did more tests which reversed the diagnosis. When the doctor informed Katie about it, she laughed again.
She was always in a state of joy, and totally surrendered to God’s will. Hence Katie was able to smile when her grandchild stopped breathing, and laugh as the doctor diagnosed her to have cancer.
Once Katie was visiting at a hospital a friend who had cancerous tumor. The doctors had told the patient that she would live only for few more days. The friend told Katie that she loved her. Katie replied that it was untrue; she could not love anyone until she loved her tumor. The friend acknowledged that what Katie said was true, and was grateful.
When we understand and accept that all our problems and pain are a blessing, and are happy with ourselves, only then can we love ourselves fully. Without loving ourselves we cannot love others.