81 Byron Katie Quotes On Love & Marriage (Takes Only One To End Suffering)

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It is often said that it takes two people to make a relationship work. But American speaker and author Byron Katie said it doesn’t.
In her best-selling “Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life”, Katie gives us a fresh look into how our relationship problems and suffering in life is actually created by our own thoughts. She reminds us to start taking responsibility of our happiness as well as our suffering, letting go of the stories and the drama created by the mind and accepting reality as it is. To do so, she created a self-inquiry method which she called “The Work” to question the stories in our mind. Check out the 80 quotes below to get a piece of her powerful wisdom.


Marriage and Divorce

1. “You cannot hurt me. Only I can do that.”

You cannot hurt me. Only I can do that. Byron Katie

2. “Nothing can cost you someone you love. The only thing that can cost you your husband is if you believe a thought. That’s how you move away from him. That’s how the marriage ends. You are one with your husband until you believe the thought that he should look a certain way, he should give you something, he should be something other than what he is. That’s how you divorce him. Right then and there you have lost your marriage.”

3. “The teacher you need is the person you’re living with.”

4. “The voice within is what I’m married to. All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage. My lover is the place inside me where an honest yes and no come from. That’s my true partner. It’s always there. And to tell you yes when my integrity says no is to divorce that partner.”

5. It doesn't take two people to end war in a marriage; it takes only one. And if two people have ended it, life can be twice as beautiful. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

6. We don’t have to be fearful, bitter, or angry to end a marriage.

7. If you’re not ready to leave, you may stay in the marriage, but with a greater awareness of how you’re abusing yourself by allowing him to abuse you. It’s like a yard with a big sign on the gate: THIS DOG BITES. If you walk into the yard once and are bitten, the dog has bitten you. If you walk into the yard a second time and are bitten, you have bitten you.

8. “The voice within is what I’m married to. All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage. My lover is the place inside me where an honest yes or no comes from. That’s my true partner. It’s always there. And to tell you yes when my integrity says no is to divorce that partner.”

See also: 55 times Winnie The Pooh Was Spot On About Love, Life and Death 


Love and Relationships

9. “Love is who we are without our stories.”

Love is who we are without our stories. Byron Katie

10. “I can’t love you as you have been or will be. I can only love you as you are.”

11. “Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.”

12. “I see the goodness and beauty in everyone, and everything is a gift given for me and for all of us. If you don’t love it, question your mind until you do.”

13. “It’s not easy to find your own way when you believe that you need love, approval, appreciation, or anything from your family. It’s particularly hard when you want them to see things your way.”

14. We're all looking for love, in our confusion, until we find our way back to the realization that love is what we already are. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

15. “It’s difficult to seek other people’s love. It’s deadly. In seeking it you lose what is genuine. This is the prison we create for ourselves as we seek what we already have.”

16. “Forgiveness is just another name for freedom.”

17. “I’ve heard people say that they cling to their painful thoughts because they’re afraid that without them they wouldn’t be activists for peace. “If I feel peaceful,” they say, “why would I bother taking action at all?” My answer is “Because that’s what love does.” To think that we need sadness or outrage to motivate us to do what’s right is insane. As if the clearer and happier you get, the less kind you become. As if when someone finds freedom, she just sits around all day with drool running down her chin. My experience is the opposite. Love is action.”

18. “Love is worth living. Why do you trade life for less?”

19. It's not your job to like me - it's mine. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

20. “Defense is the first act of war. When people used to say, “Katie, you don’t listen,” I would immediately bristle and respond, “Of course I listen! How dare you say that! Who do you think you are? I listen!” I didn’t realize that I was the one making war by defending myself. And I was the one who could end it.”

21. Your partner is your mirror. Except for the way you perceive him, he doesn’t even exist for you. He is who you see he is, and ultimately it’s just you again, thinking. It’s just you, over and over and over, and in this way you remain blind to yourself and feel justified and lost.

22. For the ego, love is nothing more than agreement. A relationship is two people who agree with each other's stories. If I agree with you, you love me. And the minute I don't agree with you, the moment I question one of your sacred… Share on X

23. “Thinking that people are supposed to do anything other than what they are is like saying that the tree over there should be the sky. I investigated that and found freedom.”

See also: “The Best Fighter Is Never Angry” – Lao Tzu



24. “Would you rather be right or free?”

Would you rather be right or free? Byron Katie

25. ”Your suffering is never caused by the person you’re blaming.”

26. “When you’re focused outside and believe that your problem is caused by someone else, rather than by your attachment to the story you’re believing in the moment, you are your own victim, and the situation appears to be hopeless.”

27. “’My husband doesn’t respect me.’ ‘I should be thinner.’ Those are stories. When there’s no story, there’s no suffering.”

28. When we believe in our thoughts, when we tell ourselves a story, we suffer. Byron Katie Share on X

29. “I suffered from severe depression for over a decade. My condition deteriorated steadily. I was suicidal.”

30. “If people are living their lives for security and comfort and pleasure, then mind’s every waking moment will be plotting those things. That’s how it stays identified – as a body, as a you.”

31. “If you want a little fear and terror because your life is dull, get a future. Terrifying!”

32. “Suffering over things that have happened to us is nothing more than an argument with the past.”

33. By questioning your mind, you begin to realize that ultimately no one can hurt you--only you can. You see that you are 100 percent responsible for your own happiness. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

34. “When I was in my early forties, I slept with a loaded gun under my bed. I’d become severely depressed in my thirties, and for almost a decade I spiraled down into paranoia, rage, self-loathing, and thoughts of suicide.”

35. “I do whatever I can to serve peace. My job is the end of suffering.”

36. “I believe in the power of every human being to end suffering.”

37. “Eating, drinking, and depression disorders are really thinking disorders.”

38. No one can give you freedom but you. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

39. “An unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.”

40. “The end of suffering happens in this very moment, whether you’re watching a terrorist attack or doing the dishes. And compassion begins at home. Because I don’t believe my thoughts, sadness can’t exist. That’s how I can go to the depths of anyone’s suffering, if they invite me, and take them by the hand and walk them out of it into the sunlight of reality. I’ve taken that walk myself.”

41. “Every uncomfortable feeling, every pain, every moment of stress & suffering is for your own self-realization.”

42. I am the perpretor of my suffering - but only all of it. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

43. “There is no peace in the world until you find peace within yourself in this moment.”

See also: 85 Funny and Deep Life Lessons Calvin and Hobbes Give Us


Reality and The Mind

44. “The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story.”

"The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story." Byron Katie

45. For me, the future lives only here in my mind, as thoughts and images, just as the past does, and I love those thoughts and the world that it produces. I am entirely optimistic about the future.

46. “The world you live in is 100 percent your own responsibility. If you don’t like your world, it doesn’t work to say, “Well, it’s my mother’s fault. She taught me how to think.”

47. A mind that doesn't question its judgements, makes the world very small and dangerous. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

48. “I know that even at moments of apparent danger, nothing is out of order or lacking, other than our own unquestioned thoughts about those moments.”

49. “Mind is infinitely creative. And when it’s not stuck, that’s where the joy comes from. Something happens, and the way we think about it, understand it, see it, is actually hilarious, whereas before it used to depress us.”

50. “The world will be at war as long as the mind is at war with itself.”

51. “There is no thought or situation that you can’t put up against inquiry. Every thought, every person, every apparent problem is here for the sake of your freedom.”

52. Once the mind is met with understanding, it can always find its way home. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

53. “Thoughts are just what is. They appear. They’re innocent. They’re not personal. They’re like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop?”

54. “What is perfect health? The unraveling of all imagined states of mind”

55. “I’ll tell you that for me, one when someone used to say something that was true, one way I knew it was true was that I immediately felt defensive. I blocked it off, and I went to war with them in my mind and suffered all that goes with it. And they were only saying what was true.”

56. You’ve never reacted to someone else. You project meaning onto nothing. And you react to the meaning you’ve projected. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

57. “The mind’s job is to validate what it thinks.”

58. “Thinking that people are supposed to do anything other than what they are is like saying that the tree over there should be the sky. I investigated that and found freedom.”

See also: 25 Inspiring Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Death to Help you Find Peace 


Finding Peace

59. “I came to see that there was nothing to forgive, that I was the one who caused my own problems.”

"I came to see that there was nothing to forgive, that I was the one who created my own problems." Byron Katie

60. “I used to sleep on the floor next to the bed, because I believed that I didn’t even deserve a bed to sleep in. And then, one morning, a cockroach crawled onto my leg. I looked at it, and suddenly I awoke from a kind of hypnotic trance in which I had been all my life.”

61. “I haven’t had a single thought for 26 years. I have only understanding. It’s somewhat complicated to understand that. I’ve hardly ever spoken about it. You’re in a state of total peace of mind. A kind of nirvana.”

62. “One morning, in February 1986, out of nowhere, I experienced a realization. In an instant, I discovered that when I believed my stressful thoughts, I suffered, but when I questioned them, I didn’t suffer.”

63. Stress never feels as natural as peace does. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

64. “Without an uninvestigated story, there’s only the perfection of life appearing as itself. You can always go inside and find the beauty that’s revealed after the pain and fear are understood.”

65. “I don’t let go of concepts -I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.”

66. “If I say, if I talk about, ‘I want to be enlightened…’ it implies a future. And there isn’t any.”

See also: 50+ Buddha’s Quotes on Love and Relationship (That Will Help You Be More Loving) 


Quotes About Loving What Is

67. “I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”

"I am a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality". Byron Katie

68. “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”

69. “I love the world, because I love the mind that created the world.”

70. Reality is always the story of a past, and what I love about the past is—it's over. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

71. “Actually, I can’t take credit for any of my decisions. I noticed one day that all my decisions were making themselves, and always at the right time. I haven’t had to make one decision since then. They are always made for me, and they come from the wisdom that is in us all. I trust that wisdom completely. That trust itself was a decision made for me as inquiry cleared my mind. No decision, no fear.”

72. “I love what I think, and I’m never tempted to believe it.”

See also: The Work of Byron Katie 


“The Work” (Inquiry of Our Painful Thoughts)

73. With inquiry, every painful story unravels. Freedom is possible in every moment. Byron Katie Quote Share on X

74. “I use the word inquiry as synonymous with The Work…Inquiry is a way to end confusion and to experience internal peace, even in a world of apparent chaos. Above all else, inquiry is about realizing that all the answers we ever need are always available inside us.”

75. “The Work is merely four questions; it’s not even a thing. It has no motive, no strings. It’s nothing without your answers. These four questions will join any program you’ve got ad enhance it. Any religion you have-they’ll enhance it. If you have no religion, they will bring you joy. And they’ll burn up anything that isn’t true for you. They’ll burn through to the reality that has always been waiting.”

76. “The WORK 1.Is it true? 2.Can you absolutely know that it’s true? 3.How do you react when you think that thought? 4.Who would you be without the thought?”

77. You can't drop concepts. You can only shine a little flashlight on them as you do inquiry, an you see that what you thought was true wasn't. And when the truth is seen, there's nothing you can do to make the lie true for you again.… Share on X

78. “It’s important to realize that inquiry is about noticing, not about dropping the thought… Inquiry is not about getting rid of thoughts; it’s about realizing what’s true for you, through awareness and unconditional self-love. Once you see the truth, the thought lets go of you, not the other way around.”

79. “Who would you be without the thought “I need more money to be safe?” You might be a lot easier to be with. You might even begin to notice the laws of generosity, the laws of letting money go out fearlessly and come back fearlessly. You don’t ever need more money than you have.”

80. “Thought the mind can justify itself faster than the speed of light, it can be stopped through the act of writing.”

81. “The Work reveals that what you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened. It should happened because it did, and no thinking in the world can change it. This doesn’t mean that you condone it or approve of it. It just means that you can see things without resistance and without the confusion of your inner struggle. No one wants their children to get sick, no one wants to be in a car accident; but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? We know better than to do that, yet we do it, because we don’t know how to stop.”

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