How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours” –Wayne Dyer
According to the World English Dictionary, Karma is defined as:
The principle of retributive justice determining a person’s state of life and the state of his reincarnations as
1. the effect of his past deeds.
2. The doctrine of inevitable consequence.
3. Destiny or fate.
That is some pretty heavy energy in those definitions – serious, somber, critical. Something that hangs over one’s head, by which you are weighed, measured and judged accordingly.
I much prefer the simplicity of the energy in Wayne Dyers’ statement.
Karma is quite simply part of our spiritual evolvement.
If a person believes only in themselves as their present day body and mind, that there is no after-life, no God, Creator, higher power or cosmic force of energy, then how would it be possible for karma to exist?
With that belief system, a person could do whatever they want and, assuming their actions are not illegal, or they are never caught, arrested or punished for their actions, they would never be held accountable – no introspection necessary, nothing to be learned.
You may even know one or two people who appear to live their lives this way!
In most Christian religions, your karma, as a result of your negative actions, is taken care of in hell where you suffer for all eternity, unless of course you repent and receive absolution. Yikes!! I don’t care much for that option, relying on a third party – a minister, priest, pastor – acting as intermediary between me and God to judge my actions and determine my worthiness for heaven or hell.
When my youngest daughter was 10 years old, she and a friend were discussing the concept of heaven and hell one day. They decided that rather than calling it “hell”, it should be re-named “help”, and that if someone had done really bad things in their life, they would go to “help” when they died -something like a spiritual rehab facility where they would receive assistance in right-ing their wrongs and learning how not to repeat those actions.
For two 10-year olds, I thought they were somewhat ahead of the game.
So, how do you manage karma – the consequences of your actions? Does it appear that you are stuck in a karmic cycle from which you can’t escape or that you are unable to change?
Conscious awareness and forgiveness is the key. Making the decision to turn your attention inwards and recognize the energy of your actions and words – through meditation, introspection, visualization, etc. – automatically begins the process of addressing karmic agreements that may no longer be valid or which are ready to be completed. This can be achieved right now, in your present life.
On the other hand, who are you holding in a karmic agreement because you are determined not to forgive their actions? This decision not only holds them in the past at the place of that action or event, but you also. There is no freedom there, no space to grow or move forward.
Karma provides us with a valuable opportunity for learning and growth – something from which we learn what is acceptable and what is not, how to respect others whatever their beliefs, how to forgive ourselves and others our transgressions.
Rather than seeing karma as a burden, a heavy weight of atonement, you can choose to look at it as an opportunity for healing and, as a result, freedom.
Photo courtesy of flickr.