The Work: Self Inquiry

Disclaimer: This example dialogue of The Work by Byron Katie is for helpful and educational purposes only. No financial support is gained from this example dialogue. All support offered by Dylan is given out of the love in heart for the shared purpose of moving through inner conflict and suffering, to remember the innate peace that is available right now. For more about Byron Katie and The Work, visit

Example Dialogue of The Work by Byron Katie

What is the perceived upset?

I am upset with my mom and dad because they don’t trust me in driving the car. 

1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to question 3) 


2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no) 


3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

I feel dismissed, small, lonely and unloved. I feel like I need to do more to be trusted. There is this mental story or hypothetical image in my mind that I have to have them approve of me or else a consequence will occur in the future, like me getting kicked out of the house. I feel like I need to defend and somehow make sure that they ask me to drive them somewhere. I feel like my sense of worth and peace of mind comes from getting approval from others. I feel like I need to show them in many different ways that I am responsible and have control over things to avoid them saying things to me like this again.

4. Who or what would you be without the thought? 

Unbothered, peaceful, trusted, loved. 

Turn the thought around. Try them on and see if you can provide evidence!

What are the turnarounds to “My parents do not trust me driving”?

I don’t trust myself
If I was confident and trust my true Self fully, I would not mind what others do towards me, even if it was the appearance of my parents seemingly saying things. I do not trust myself fully, which is why the ego in mind is looking to others for cues of “trusting me” or “not trusting me”, which is part of duality. If I chose to fully trust myself and Source or Love or Life in this instant, embodying full trust, I would not even perceive lack of trust outside of myself. The false idea of “lack of trust” which is an ego quality—as the ego is the only untrustful and suspicious self—would not even enter my mind if I had full trust in Source and my Self, therefore, I would not perceive it in others.

I don’t trust them and their decisions
Yes. I am not trusting what is, as Byron Katie says, “Loving What Is.” Because my mind is misidentied with the ego, and focussed on what is not (my parents changing to make the ego happy and peaceful—albeit, temporarily, I am not trusting them. I am not trusting them because I have abandoned my true Self of Love and non-judgement, and the ego (being the self of lack of trust and lack of peace) gets projected out onto them. So, really it is me that is looking with the ego in my mind and seeing it out in the world in them (projection).

They do trust and their decision have nothing to do with me
Despite the ego yelling that they don’t trust me, I am open to looking for evidence that they do trust me. After all, perception is selective, and the mind sees what it wants to see. They do trust me, because without the false ego thought that, “They do not trust me,” I would not even be upset or see that they do not trust me. They do trust me because they let me drive the car, despite any words during the drive. They do trust me, because behind all the words and appearances I trust that there is a Loving Presence of unconditional trust, Love and non-judgement. I am open to seeing that what is said and done is not personal at all, it has nothing to do with the me that is the true Self. Everyone is just acting out doubt thoughts in my own mind. Just like in the movie, “The Truman Show,” all the characters were acting their part perfectly for Truman. It all worked out for good, because he eventually woke up and left the fake world of control, fear, and illusions.

Final comments from this inquiry?
From this inquiry I now welcome this to happen again, as I got to see my own mistrust that I didn’t see before. So, it actually helped me and I am grateful for the form being used to raise this up for me to look at.

I can now see that it was my decision to not take full responsibility for my own state of mind that was the basis of the upset. It then got projected from my mind, by the false ego, onto my parents as a smoke and mirrors tactic to keep my attention of the false problem, when the problem was really my own decision to misidentify with the ego in my mind. I now have the opportunity to see that it was me that seemingly “left” my true Self of Love and full Trust to see with the ego that was not trusting.

No one actually did anything wrong and nothing actually went wrong, it was only unloving thoughts in mind that were believed and acted out in a fearful perception of not being trusted. The true Self beyond the ego is whole and does not need changing to be trusted. I now am able to open to letting everyone and everything be exactly as it is and exactly as they are, because I only suffer when I try to argue with what is. From this embodiment of acceptance, Love rushes in because I am not making love or peace conditional. I now rest as the true Self and love What Is. It is all well and okay. Peace is ever-present as the present, and not in my mental stories of making the ego safe in the past or future. Loving What Is rather than being lost in what is not.