Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Karma, what an interesting topic! It is not just the doctrine of eastern religions but a universal law - you reap what you sow, like attracts like, you give what you get, every action has a reaction. Some folks even believe that what returns to your life is actually three times what you dish out. So if you treat people poorly, cheat, or are deliberately unkind, you will get back consequences threefold. On a positive note, if you strive to be kind, reach out to others to help and act with integrity, the natural and divine law says the same will return to you in kind.

So what does this have to do with my reinvention journey? I made a conscious decision a number of years ago to better educate myself about the laws of karma and this has impacted how I deal with situations in my life. I strive to be as kind and generous as possible with my time, attention, love and material resources. Do I always meet that goal, heck no- but it is a goal and I work toward it.

The wonderful as well as frustrating thing about this concept is that laws like this have their own timeframe (not our emotionally driven schedule) and are universal. So you do not have to try and "make it happen." If someone does something awful to you, taking revenge is not the answer. Perhaps that is one reason that forgiveness is so important. The person will receive their due, it just may not come from you and you may not be there to see it. This is of course, much easier to say than to do.

There has been one time in my life in particular when I was so hurt that I really, really, really, really wanted to respond in kind and take revenge. I am not talking about self-defense- in my opinion, we have the right to do that. I mean revenge - to find a way to hurt the person who so hurt you. I restrained myself from going there and had a good friend who reminded me that "hurt people, hurt people." I am so glad that I remembered the lesson of karma during that time of pain. Now, many years later I have a broader perspective and have been able to retain relationships that would have been damaged with revenge. I was able to get through the experience with dignity and grace and I have some blessings in my life because of it. And when karma finally did catch up with the person involved, I didn't take any pleasure from it, it just made me sad.

Nobody goes through life jolly, happy and wearing rose colored glasses all the time. And sometimes it is hard to envision how all of this works when bad things happen to good people. But we are not privy to their lessons or their agreements with God or other people. I have to be honest and admit that I still struggle with the karmic meaning behind situations when children are hurt.

The whole idea of karma is on my mind this week because I have seen such wonderful things happen to two dear friends of mine. Friends who have endured some tough times and stayed loving, honest, kind and compassionate through their challenges. I can rejoice with them.

I have realized as well, that this universal law of action, sowing and reaping is sometimes hard to recognize because it doesn't always show up as we expect- we are not provided a balance sheet that says you do X and you get Y. Here is an example, I was talking to my daughters a few years ago about the importance of helping other people out when they need it. I have had the good fortune of being able to open my home as a place to stay on occasion when family and friends have needed a fresh start. My daughter said, "mom you must like helping people and maybe we (she and her sister) are your karma reward for helping them." Um, I think she could be more than a little correct. I tell that story NOT to pat myself on the back by any means but to demonstrate the intricate nature of all of this.

So when it gets tough and people around you seem to be getting ahead or gaining at your expense or the cost of another, remember there is much more here than meets the eye and as long as we stay focused on ourselves and our actions, the law of karma will take care of the rest.

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