Book review: Loving what is

“When you argue with reality, you lose. But only 100% of the time.”

This quote by Byron Katie sums up the central message of her book “Loving what is“. The book is about The Work, a very simple process developed by the author, to help people inquire about their own beliefs and thinking.

The process is astonishingly simple. For every stressful thought, ask yourself these four questions:
1: Is it true?
2: Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
3: How do I react when I think that thought?
4: Who would I be without that thought?

And then you “turn the statement around”. The process is described in depth at

The book explains the process in depth, and contains many transcripts of Byron Katie doing the process with people. And it seems to work. In a very short time, people are led to deep insights about their own thinking. People see, that it’s not the problem itself that’s hurting them – it’s their thinking about that problem. Change your thinking, and the pain goes away.

Contrast this with “normal” therapy, where you can spend a long time, sometimes years, looking for the root cause of your problem, when it’s not the problem you need to solve – it’s your thinking about the problem. Once the pain caused by your thinking goes away, you’re also much more free to deal with the problem itself.

So the central message is to take full responsibility for what you’re feeling. If you’re upset, it’s never anybody elses fault. Nobody but you, can make you feel good or bad. And you can’t take responsibility for other peoples actions or thoughts either. That’s freedom, huh?

I recommend the book highly. It was very inspiring and uplifting to see, that radical, positive changes in peoples attittudes towards problems, can be be brought about so quickly. So while it may seem, that people are often stuck in their problems, there is a way out.

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