I think everyone has a slightly different definition of karma.
There are phrases like, “Karma is a bitch,” which to me implies wishing bad things on “bad” people because you believe they deserve it. Deepak Chopra teaches The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect which states; Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.
This is a definition that makes sense to me personally.
Many years ago Vic and I were betrayed by a close friend in a business deal.
It was not a situation we saw coming and we were stunned, hurt and shocked for the first few months after the incident. As time went on, the situation became legal and we had a choice to make, we could try to recoup our financial losses (which were substantial) or we could try to recoup our financial losses plus bring a criminal case against our former friend. With no hesitation we both rejected the idea of a criminal suit. Our lawyer did not understand but we did not care.
How would this person, with a family and small children, being in jail benefit us?
We did not want revenge only restitution. (Which never came.)
That situation taught us many things about ourselves, our marriage and our family.
The truth is that we had everything that matters; our health, each other and happy, healthy grown kids. I realized that if we had been forced to sell our home because of the money we lost, we would still have been OK.
That situation made me realize that what I choose to focus on will grow. So instead of focusing on feeling victimized or hating on the other party, we both focused on our profound gratitude for what was right in our life together.
You’ve all been hurt before because this is a part of life. You may have been wronged by a friend or a stranger. You all understand the pain that comes from being betrayed by another. You know the fear and anger that arises from being mistreated. You know the damage that words and actions can do.
It is what you choose to do after being injured by another that impacts your karma.
You may feel a desire to retaliate or lash back.
You could spend endless days crafting the perfect letter or speech you would deliver, if you ever saw that person again.
You may tell yourself that you have a right to be enraged, perhaps even a right to hate.
The truth is you have a right to feel however you feel. You also have a right to do (within accordance of the law) whatever you choose to do. Yet remember you sow what you reap. Every moment you focus on revenge is another moment of your life wasted. Trust me when I tell you,
When you act in alignment with love, love is what will come back to you. The same goes for hate, fear and revenge. Many people don’t recognize that being wronged does not give you a karma free pass for bad behavior.
I believe there is a universal moral code of ethics by which we all must abide. That code is based on love.
When you stray from love, no matter what the reason may be, you feel the effects. It may be guilt, anxiety, regret, loss and pain. Or you may stay forever trapped in a bitterness prison of your own design.
Today in honor of our conversation about karma, I invite you to commit to Deepak’s suggestions about living the law of cause and effect:
I will put the Law of Karma into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:
1. Today I will witness the choices I make in each moment. And in the mere witnessing of these choices, I will bring them to my conscious awareness. I will know that the best way to prepare for any moment in the future is to be fully conscious in the present.
2. Whenever I make a choice, I will ask myself two questions: “What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?” and “Will this choice bring fulfillment and happiness to me and also to those who are affected by this choice?”
3. I will then ask my heart for guidance and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. If the choice feels comfortable, I will plunge ahead with abandon. If the choice feels uncomfortable, I will pause and see the consequences of my action with my inner vision. This guidance will enable me to make spontaneously correct choices for myself and for all those around me.
I am always interested in your thoughts so please share your stories below of creating your own karma, good or bad. Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments. I look forward to learning more about you. May you align with good karma this week, keeping your side of the street clean. And as always, take care of you.
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of ihatethenewlayout