Byron Katie (or simply, Katie, as she is called) had an experience in 1986 that she calls “waking up to reality.”
After spending many years in deep depression and rage, she suddenly experienced a life-changing realization one morning as she was lying on the floor. In her own words:
"I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always."
What she discovered was that suffering is a result of arguing with reality or thinking that things should be some way other than the way they are. Realizing she had spent years and years waiting for the circumstances of her life to become how she thought they should be - which, by the way, is utterly hopeless - she discovered that she could question her stressful thoughts and discover truth, reality, and the perfection of things as they are. She was and still is filled with an indescribable joy and love for everything life brings. That’s right – everything.