This is not karma
People often misuse “karma” to mean some future judgement for actions in the present. If the present action is good, we will be rewarded – so-called good karma – but if the action is bad, we someday will be punished with bad karma. The idea that someone or something is punishing us implies retaliation. Revenge. Tit for tat. These are elements of humanity. This is not karma. Karma is not some all-seeing being in the universe who lovingly smiles and pats the heads of good people and sternly frowns and slaps the bottoms of the bad. Karma doesn’t judge.
This is karma
Imagine you have a spiritual closet. Every emotionally-charged thought, word or action you have, say and do – positive and negative – gets stored in this closet. You open the door, push it in, and quickly shut it again. One day, you have an emotionally charged thought, word or deed, and when you open the door to push it in, something else happens. A past thought, word or action we previously had comes falling out on top of you, via an experience.
This experience may be new to us, but it has the same size and weight of the thought, word or action we previously stored. We feel it fully, and interpret it: positive or negative, joy or pain, butterfly or bee.
This is karma
There is a way to take the sting out of karma. It’s the act of forgiveness. Only when we fully open our hearts, repent, and deeply feel the effect of what we have inflicted on someone else will the negative interpretation of karma dissolve. Karma is not punishment. It is neither good nor bad. It is merely our past thoughts, words and actions returning to us. Completing the circle. Balancing the scales.
The old adage “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” needs an update. It should read: “When life gives you lemons, understand that these are the same lemons you gave to someone in the past, and only by eating the sour fruit will you fully understand the impact your actions had on them. Eat enough lemons and it will cause you to repent. The result is a feeling of compassion and a deeper level of understanding. A mini-awakening.