I’m reading an excellent book called Loving What Is, by Byron Katie. One of her main points throughout the book is that it is essential to stay in your own business.
Katie says there are three types of business in the world:
- Your business. Your business consists of everything that is happening in your own world and that you have control over, including your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions.
- Someone else’s business. Someone else’s business consists of everything that is happening in someone else’s world, including the people you are in relationship with. Their thoughts, their feelings, and their actions all fall under someone else’s business.
- God’s business. God’s business consists of everything that doesn’t fall under the umbrella of your business or someone else’s business. Natural disasters, the weather, illness and diseases that you don’t have any control over—this is all God’s business.
Lots of problems happen when we live outside of our own business. If I’m worried about what you should be doing or not doing, I’m in your business. I’m living outside of my own business. If I’m anxious about something like a tornado or when I will die, I’m in God’s business. I’m living outside of my own business.
Living outside of your own business causes a lot of pain and anxiety, because ultimately the only thing you have any control over is your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. That’s just the way life works. If you are spending a lot of time and energy worrying about what someone else is doing, you will experience a lot of pain, but it is unlikely to actually improve your situation at all, because you don’t have any control over the other person.
Living outside of your own business also distracts you from doing your own work. When you spend a lot of time and energy in someone else’s business or God’s business, by definition you are not spending as much time in your own business. You have a lot of control over your own peace and happiness, but to get there, you have to do our own work. This means spending time and energy in your own business, working through your issues and the thoughts and beliefs that cause you pain.
Discussion: Where do you spend most of your time and energy: your business, someone else’s business, or God’s business? What is one step you could take toward spending more of your time and energy in your own business?