Karma. Many people hope and prey that karma will bite someone else in the ass, as revenge for pain they have suffered at the hands of other people. Karma is not punishment. Karma will not discipline your ex for breaking up with you. Karma will not hurt anyone other than you. Karma is your own, it belongs to only you. Therefore, it is 100% up to you to deal with and clear your own karma. You cannot inflict karma onto other people.
What is karma? Karma is just an energy of our own beliefs, perceptions, judgments, feelings, and limitations. Karma can be positive when we let go of our judgments, tweak our perceptions, forgive those who have hurt us, work on our feelings, change beliefs that don’t serve us, and move on. This is the process of clearing our own karmic debt. It is work that we do on ourselves for a lifetime. It doesn’t matter how you work on it, with the help of a psychologist, priest, spiritual advisor, or alone. What matters is that you accept responsibility for your own karma, and know that it is solely up to you whether and how you want to clear it.
Karma can also be negative. When we hang onto anger, guilt, shame, judgment, fear, resentment, past issues, we are also hanging onto negative energy. That negative energy is ours, 100%. A lot of people are resistant to admitting that bad energy is theirs, and spend lifetimes hating and judging other people. They perceive the problem as outside of themselves. In thinking that it is the other person’s fault, they are failing to release anger and any negative energy associated with their past, and they carry that karmic debt, their negative emotions with them throughout their lives. Eventually that karmic debt grows and compounds like interest on a credit card. They now carry the burden of negative karmic energy of a lifetime of unresolved issues, anger and emotions.
Regardless of your spiritual or non-spiritual background, you have to deal with unresolved issues, false beliefs, and your own bad energy. In eastern philosophies, those negative energies, compounded over many years will cause physical and emotional illness. In the west, we see them as emotional and psychological problems, that again, should be dealt with, not inflicted on other people.
But karma cannot punish your ex boyfriend. If your ex has cleared his own energies, beliefs and issues, then his beliefs about love and healthy relationships will only benefit him. He will go on to find someone who suits him better. He will enjoy his dating life. Karma can only bring you more of what You believe to be true for yourself. Think of karma like a magnet. It will match you up to exactly those things you believe in, and repeat situations over and over again, because you have not resolved them within yourself.
If you are wondering, why am I always being cheated on? Why am I always dating crazy men? Why am I always clashing with people in my work environment or getting fired? Why am I always experiencing repeated financial loss? Why is my body always in pain? Why is my family always against me? Those answers lie within you. Any situation that repeats itself is your clue as to what is going on within you, what issues and feelings you have got to resolve, and always, forgive, forgive, forgive. Forgiveness is the release of any burdens you have carried with you from the past.
Have you ever heard of stories of people forgiving their oppressor? That mother who forgave her daughter’s killer then paid for his education, that rape victim who forgave, that atrocity survivor who realized she doesn’t want to live like a victim for the rest of her life, and went on to help others heal and forgive. Those are people who released their emotional burdens and cleared their own karma. The reason they were later able to live positive and healthy lives is because they found a way to forgive and release, then replace those negative feelings of anger, fear, judgment with positive ones of love, understanding, and peace.
Karma is your own work. No one can clear it for you. You may seek the help of a professional and that is always helpful, But, you must accept the responsibility for your own karmic debt. You can’t expect your therapist to do the work for you, you can’t expect your guru to enlighten you, you can’t expect people in your life to adjust themselves to your state of mind. The work is all on you.
Karma is not punishment from God, the universe, nor whatever philosophy your believe in. Karma is it’s own punishment. If you hold on to negative energy and beliefs, that karma will only hurt you. That karmic pain is not God’s judgment, instead it is your indicator, your mirror, your tool, your signal to change yourself. We all know that living in negative energy feels like hell. That hell is your own creation. You chose to stay stuck on a concept, a situation, or a feeling, and as a result you bring about more of it to yourself. If you have been victimized in any way, without your own work to forgive and let go, you will hang on to that victimhood for years to come. Victimhood then becomes your reality. You are a victim, not because someone did something to you, but because you have chosen to believe in your victimhood, stay in that feeling, and stay in that situation mentally as long as you want.
When we attach ourselves to certain discordant energies and beliefs, hold onto them, refuse to release, they intensify. Have you noticed that emotional pain can increase over time, as you continue to judge, continue to hate, continue to create new beliefs that support your own perception as the victim. Karma is what you bring onto yourself.
The good news is that karma is also what you clear all by yourself. This is why we are taught to forgive. Forgiveness is not saying that the crime doesn’t matter, my pain is not important, it didn’t happen. Forgiveness is not denial. Denial is about ignoring your pain, pretending it didn’t happen. Instead, forgiveness is acceptance, finding peace in the situation, understanding that at your core, you are still that Self you love so much, loving and caring for that Self. Forgiveness is also releasing the other person from the burden of feeling guilt, shame, and fear of your wrath. I am okay, and you are okay. Whatever happened happened, I find peace, and I free you to find your own peace.
All humans get hurt all the time. We cannot make it through a day without facing the opposition of someone else, a boss, a coworker, a lover or a family member. Understand, that people aren’t against you, and they are not hell-bent on making you miserable. They too are just humans who are trying their best to stay true to themselves, and what you want and need sometimes conflicts with what they want and need. How you react to other people is your own choice. You can react, or you can act. I hold the intention that whenever possible, I will not explode the second someone imposes a restriction on me. Instead, I will hear the restriction, determine how best to achieve what I want without condemning them. How I act is totally my choice.
So, how would you deal with a painful breakup, or an unfair loss of a job? It feels like judgment when someone rejects us or tells us that we are not good enough for them. The important thing is to recognize that we cannot possibly know what is inside their mind, they may not be judging us at all. They may simply be letting us go because they found some other situation that brings them happiness. The judgment we feel is the judgment that we create about ourselves. I must not be good enough, it sure feels awful that I am not good enough. That bad feeling is inside your body, therefore you own it, not someone else. No one can release it but you.
With my last two breakups, I made the conscious decision to break up differently. In the past, I would identify that other person as the wrongdoer. I would blame him for how I feel. I would judge him to be what is wrong with my life, judge him to be flawed, and quickly seek to cut off the problem from my life. I would swiftly dump the person, then wallow in what was wrong with the relationship, specifically, what was wrong with him. I would fester in that wrongness for weeks and months, and find more examples of how all men are wrong, they all have the same flaw, and feel like a victim for always attracting the same person in a different body. Life was happening unfairly to me. It is no wonder then that every new man I met, would bring me the same expectations, the same narcissism, the same conceit, the same self-servingness, the same wrongness. I have been seeing this wrongness in men since college. In fact, what is really funny is that I earned a college degree that helped me develop a deep understanding of narcissists. Is it any wonder that my preoccupation with the mind of the narcissist meets my expectations every time?
So, the last two breakups were very different for me. Instead of finding fault in the other person, I decided to refrain from that. I understood that this relationship and this person aren’t bad, instead, they are not what I am looking for right now. Instead of blaming the other for how I feel, I honored how I feel because my feelings are valid. But, the other person is not at fault for being who they are. They are not flawed, they are simply not what I need right now. There was no blame, no harsh words exchanged. I spent a lot of time thinking of how can I break up with loving kindness, and feel good about it? We can’t feel good unless we do our best to also allow the other person to feel good too. Neither of us is the bad guy, we are not committing an evil act by removing ourselves from an unwanted situation. ‘I wish you peace, I wish you happiness, I wish you a good life, I wish you much more love than I could ever give you, I wish you a much kinder, more loving, caring person than I could ever be to you. You deserve it.’
How do those last words feel? Sure, there is a feeling of discomfort or sadness in every good-bye. But, ponder for a second what it feels like to break up with love in your heart for the other person, and to sincerely wish them their best life? Is there anything negative or resentment to hold onto in this situation? In fact, with both men, I accidentally ran into them years later. Each time my words were: ‘I see you are doing very well. You look happy, Life must be treating you well.’ None of my words are fake, I am not acting. I truly believe in their ability to find success, love and happiness in their lives. They are awesome men, quite a catch for some lucky lady. Why not make people feel good about themselves?
But how do I feel about those breakups? Sure, every good-bye feels a little sad. But, the important thing is that I no longer hold resentment for people who I broke up with. They didn’t do anything wrong, there is no wrongness in a breakup. All healthy humans choose the best possible situation for themselves. It is a sign of self-respect. I feel like a woman who always does right by herself. I stand in my own certainty that I am my own creation, that I deserve the best possible situation for myself.
What is my karma now? My love life sure feels different than before. I no longer carry the burden of negativity from past relationships. I forgave everyone because I saw the positive from walking away. Each ending brought on a new beginning. That new beginning was always a new version of me, smarter, kinder, more evolved. Isn’t that what we all strive to be? How do I know that I have released bad karma or that I have released my karmic debt? I see that I no longer attract repeating situations. Instead, I am finding myself in new, fresh situations. Karma will always bring you whatever needs to be resolved. It is never 100% released. As we release old karma, we create new karma, One energy gets released, and we develop a new belief system, a new feeling about a new subject. As long as that new belief or feeling serves us, it feels positive. As soon as it no longer serves us, it starts to feel negative. That is our signal to check our belief system.
As we grow, our belief systems must change. Change is uncomfortable unless you embrace it. Does it serve you to still believe in pain and the awfulness of situations from the past? No. We must adjust to our new reality because we have worked to create that new reality. Therefore, with each change, and each new situation, we have a choice about what we believe to be true, and how we relate to anything that opposes us.
Karma is not punishment for those things done to you by other people. Karma is a very important tool to help you deal with your own life’s path. It is an indicator that shows you whether you are doing right by yourself, or whether you are hurting yourself. If you don’t release your own negative energies and bottled up feelings, then karma can only hurt you. Those negative feelings of anger, rage, jealousy grow within you like hot air in a pressure cooker. If it is not released, it will explode. Do you want to go through life feeling like a pressure cooker? I guarantee when your pressure cooker explodes, it will affect everyone else in it’s surroundings. But worst of all, you will hurt yourself. That is your karma.
Karma can feel like justice. It feels like justice when we are self-aware and understand how we are feeling about a situation, and how those beliefs have brought us into this circumstance. I understand that my preoccupation and frustration with narcissism has brought many friends and lovers into my life who were in fact, narcissists. I earned that. I clear that every day, so that I can clear my karmic debt. Karma can also feel like great injustice. It feels unjust when we lack awareness of our Self, and how that personal belief has brought us the pain we now experience. We bring onto ourselves that which we are. Whether it feels just or unjust is simply our awareness of essence or our karmic burdens and the actions we have taken as a result of those beliefs. Some of us choose not to recognize our own role in our own life.
Learn to transmute energy. You can’t magically turn anger into love. But you can release anger and judgment, let it go, like letting steam out of your pressure cooker. Once enough pressure has been released, there is now plenty of empty space to fill with positive energy. Karma is your own energy. If your creative energy is not bringing the best possible outcomes in your own life, it is because you aren’t actively participating in managing that energy, releasing, letting go, moving on. Life can get better, and better and better, but you have to create space for the better situations by releasing old ones. Karma is the essence of you.