Learning what to keep your attention focussed on.
In Byron Katie’s infamous book, Loving What Is, she explains, amongst other things, her concept of the 3 businesses we can be in.
"I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s. For me, the word God means "reality." Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that’s out of my control, your control, and
everyone else’s control - I call that God’s business." - Byron Katie.
We can be in ‘our own business’ - attending to the things that we are responsible for; ‘someone else’s business’ - no longer present in our own business and now busy messing in things that aren’t our responsibility; or ‘god’s business’ - trying to control things that are absolutely beyond our control.
The gist of her concept is that it is in our best interests to stay fully present in just our own business. If we aren't paying attention to ourselves then who is?
"Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, "You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself," I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation." - Byron Katie.
It's so easy to get distracted by being concerned with what other people are up to, and we can spend the whole rest of our lives putting the world to rights - and all the time we are doing that, who is looking after our business?
It's hard though to watch the people you love going through all kinds of things and ultimately realising that whatever they are going through is their business and not yours. It feels counter-intuitive, cold even, to leave them to it but what actually is being asked of us is to first be aware of ourselves and only then we can be in a better position to help them anyway.
There are some lessons though that are not ours to learn, and that's what we can ultimately realise. We want to protect our children, parents friends and partners from harm but there also comes a point when we have to let go and let them learn things for themselves. We can only take them so far, and vice versa.
I find this 3 business concept very freeing. I can only concentrate on my business anyway. I might think I can change somebody else in some way, perhaps I also have some deluded sense of being able to influence the world in some way too. It doesn't matter what I might think, when it comes down to it I can only truly influence myself - and at times I'm not that great at doing that either.
Right back to business now. (My own of course).