Loving What Is Summary & Review

Author: Byron Katie

Loving What Is (2002) sheds light on different ways in which we can turn our negative thoughts into positive ones and fight our anxiety and depression. It will provide you with different and fresher perspectives about life and reality.
loving what is
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Detailed Summary of Loving What Is

Loving What Is shows that contrary to popular belief you cannot fight reality. To become happy you need to alter the way you think. You cannot change what is happening around you but you can change how you react to it. Respond with thought, comprehension, and analysis. Do not react out of anger, sadness, or jealousy.

When you ask yourself the four important questions, turn the problem around, and analyze it you will find that you can control certain things and you have to let go of the others. So change what you can control and forget about the rest.

The key to peace and happiness in your life is coming to terms with this reality. Do not play the role of the victim as it will take away all of your power. The cause and the problem cannot be solved by something external. You are powerful.

Loving What Is Key Points

In this book, the author emphasizes that no one can get happiness and life joys until suffers pain and grief. Moreover, she explains that suffering arises when we resist reality. The quick we accept and live the moment the more it becomes easy for us to welcome the truth.

The following key points are the basic principles that will let you know how to be happy by embracing your thoughts and ultimate reality. Furthermore, the below step-by-step key points are built on four questions (the work) that help to free ourselves from delusions, suffering, and pain.

You might also like to read Think Small Summary.

Change what You Think about Thinking

Stress, anxiety, or tension is not caused by whatever is happening in your life. These are not occurrences rather they are a reaction to things that are occurring around us. You cannot change reality but you have the power to change your reactions.

Think about what you can control in such situations. Can you turn the reality? That is hardly possible as circumstances are usually not in your control they are influenced by other people and factors.  It is not the event that hurts. It is the interpretation of the event that causes you to self-inflict pain.

For example, you feel that a very good friend of yours has been ignoring you and this is making you feel left out and sad. In this situation, either you can keep on making yourself bitter and miserable by thinking or you can do ‘the work’ by Byron Katie.

Do ‘the work’ to simply the Problem

So, you have a problem at hand. You have already identified it. Now it is time to do ‘the work’. Write down why you are feeling this way. Your statement can be simple and general at this stage such as: ‘ I am feeling sad because my best friend has been ignoring me for a few weeks.’

 Analyze this with the help of four questions described in What Loving Is. Ask yourself if this thought is true, are you feeling this way, and is your best friend ignoring you for real? Then ask yourself if you are absolutely sure of the truth. This is called finding the true value of your statement.

Now write down how this thought is making you react. That feeling is getting triggered? The last question will allow you to separate yourself from the problem so that it becomes less subjective. It is asking yourself who you would be without that thought.


Duh, not you. Turn around whatever you have at the last step of ‘the work.’ As you can understand by the term. In this new step, you will be looking at the problem from a different perspective. You will be turning and tossing it around from all angles. Think of all the possibilities. So you are feeling ignored by your best friend but have you tried approaching him?

Is it possible that you said something hurtful the last time you talked to him? Is he having a family or personal issue that might be keeping him distant from you? Maybe he has just moved out of the city and is busy with renovations and this is why they cannot talk to you. Look at all the possibilities.

Change what you Can and Leave the Rest

You cannot change everything. We have already discussed that when being accountable does not mean you are going to change everything. You are taking the first step. You understand that you cannot sit and cry over a situation.

So you wrote it down asked yourself the question, did ‘the work’, and turned around the problem so that you can look at it thoroughly. But there are always going to be certain things that you will not be able to control.

For example, in the scenario above I can reach out to my best friend and ask him if everything is okay, I can maybe go over and surprise him or convey how I am feeling. What I cannot do is force him to talk, tell me why he is being distant, or keep making one-sided efforts to rekindle our friendship.

I will need to understand that I have done my part and if the friendship does not work I should not be the one to carry the guilt of a failed friendship. These things were out of my control. In your life, there will always be certain things that will not be up to your expectations but you will not be able to control them either. Learn to let go.

Loving What Is Summary Quotes

“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless.” –Byron Katie

“In my experience, we don’t make thoughts appear, they just appear. One day, I noticed that their appearance just wasn’t personal. Noticing that really makes it simpler to inquire.” –Byron Katie

Loving What is Book Review

Loving What is Summary is an excellent book to let go of the victim’s mindset. It will teach you to become more grounded and patient so that you can work through all the problems whether personal or professional.

To Whom I Would Recommend Loving What is Summary

  • To the twenty-two-year-old fighting with depressing thoughts.
  • Anyone who has no hope in life.
  • People with mental health issues start to panic when they are faced with any sort of trouble.

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