The brief meaning of the word Karma translated from Pali is ‘action.’
The actions you take effect your future.
I’m not here to debate or lecture on the philosophies around the laws of karma.
I will leave that to the experts.
I’m more interested in how we can learn from it in day to day life, how we can practically apply it consciously.
Karma teaches that you get what you need to learn and what you do not learn, deal with or refuse to look at, returns at some point. Who knows when…. And be sure to know it will find you wherever you might be or whatever life time you may be living. There is no running from it. This in itself maybe understood as fate.
The choice of how you RESPOND or REACT to it, is not up to fate. That is entirely up to you, and your own free will.
Remember the movie of the grumpy penny pinching Scrooge? The film has been re-done many times due to its popularity and its poignant message. His fear of lack and selfishness was brought back to him through a haunting due to losing empathy and compassion for his fellow man. He was offered a once in a possible life time chance to re-address his karma and after been awakened to his own neglect, he took responsibility and made up for his previous actions while responding through kindness, generosity and compassion. This came by being lead to inquire deeply into the cause of his actions. Something that he did not want to deal with or question. The result left him with gratitude for his fellow man. One could say that on that Xmas morning he actively chose to re adress his karma and bring it into balance.
Recently I have been pondering more deeply into why we attract certain people into our lives who seem completely different from us on so many levels. Like why for example does someone attract a verbally abusive partner when they are so loving and kind and seek only to care and love the other.
The victim often tends to do everything they can to please, to accommodate, to understand and adapt, but it does not stop the abuser from lashing out, nor do they learn from their behavior and seek to correct it in any way other than repeating that they are sorry after the fact
Why does this happen?
Firstly I believe that the person who allows themselves to be abused has an inner abuser/critic that is thriving on the inside which treats them as badly as their partner does and even if the abuser is not around the dialogue in the mind keeps it up. ‘I’m not worth anything’ ‘He is right, I am so useless’ etc. This enables the abusive pattern to continue. In working with victims of abuse the level of self-esteem is incredibly low even from an early age, no matter how built the outside bravado might be.
Secondly, there is an energetic soul bondage between the pair who are drawn to each other. This may be due to promises, vows or actions from other lifetimes coming back to be given another chance in unlocking the shackles that bonded them in the first place.
This relationship however, may not be base on love as much as a lesson in addiction or power. One may feel compelled to repeat the same pattern because they are still unable to see their own part in it. Even in acknowledgement that it’s not healthy they are unable to walk away for too long as the agony of letting go is a reminder of dying a slow and painful death. Many would rather feel a kinship of belonging to the toxic relationship because in some way it offers an illusionary sense of being alive and a brief glimpse of hope from time to time.
Drama for some equates to being alive, maybe horribly, but still, drama is one of humanities living addictions. Fear of death is a strong wound in these kinds of relationships for both the abuser and the victim.
Thirdly and the point that I find really most important: it’s not about the people one attracts whether they be partners, family members, children, friends etc. Its more about the core wound that brought them together in the first place, the wound that needs to be to be healed on an individual basis.
Example Story scenario: As a member of the Jones family you are quite aware that everyone is rather self protective in some way or other. You visit your parents and other siblings for a visit and share that you feel your relationship is on the way out but you try to play it down even though your body language can’t hide showing that you are deeply unhappy and feel like a failure.
Your mother starts with ‘What did you do?’ Then when you share what he recently said to you and the way he has been treating you she verbally slanders your partner as you try to hold back your tears. “I did tell you in the beginning that you were putting all your eggs in his basket too soon, but no you wouldn’t listen.” After a quick patronizing hug due to your tears she occupies herself in the kitchen saying she is listening but has a lot to get done. She is has lost interest and you know it. Your mother has been a victim of your fathers verbal bullying for many years and it has made her quite hard when it comes to dealing with emotions.
Your father overhears and comes in advising you how to fix the issue by talking at you and telling you to ‘Toughen up, that’s life, it’s not all roses, maybe your nagging him too much, and need to be more supportive of him”. Your father was brought up by a dominant but pleasing mother who did everything for him and a father that had no time for him. He has his first beer at 11am and continues into the evening. He says it doesn’t effect him.
You’re younger brother who should have left home by now has his head jammed into a violent computer game but pulls his head out for a moment to offer sarcastic jokes that go down like a lead balloon, saying there is plenty of desperate guys down at the local club, go and get one of them and make him jealous, that will make him come crawling back. Your brother has little luck with girls unless they are really drunk, as he usually is.
Your younger sister picks on you for not listening to her in the beginning when she told you he was a creep and rolls her eyes at you, assuming she knows all. She is currently treating boys who like her like dirt and she is one of the mean girls at her school.
Each member of the family is protecting their emotions in some way and offering their version to you as a hand me down rather than listening to you and validating how hurt you are and giving you space to explore your feelings in safety.
This approach makes you feel attacked rather than supported and you start to emotionally, psychically and physically close down and retreat from your family to protect your already vulnerable self. You get up to leave and as you do you say ‘Why did I bother coming here at all! Thanks for nothing!’
The lesson underlying each member of the family is around self protection so they don’t let anyone close enough for fear of getting hurt. Each member may deal with it differently but each member when confronted with strong emotions goes into automatic ‘protection’ pilot
Mother: Blame, attack and distract (buffer)
Father: Fix (like fixing a car part) you are not a car (buffer)
Brother: Make mock, game play and manipulate (buffer)
Sister: Criticise, judge and revel in righteousness. (buffer)
You: Close off, shut down and throw darts as you leave. (your self-created buffer)
Everyone is at the core defending their inner child from being hurt ever again.
Each ones reasoning is valid and rational to the person that is expressing them.
This is the core karmic wound that brought this family together.
The ‘wound’ is what reincarnates souls together.
When people say I have to stay in this relationship because I don’t want to come back and do it again they don’t get that it’s not about staying with the person so much as learning about how to heal the wound within yourself that you came to learn about. Many people are waiting for others to change rather than looking at what they need to stop enabling within themselves. Eg. When you stop the abusive self talk then you wont indulge or enable another to act abusively towards you and you can do this by not feeding the energy that calls you to play the karmic game.
If the fish takes the hook its caught and most likely dead, if the fish swims by the hook but knows what happens through experience of observing others, it will WANT to keep swimming till it finds a source that does not take from it but gives back.
A question worth contemplating:
How are YOU continuing to enable the wound to fester within yourself?
Back to the scenario in the Jones Family
You know your family has trouble with emotional feelings and you know by experience that this is how they deal with emotions in general. So instead of sharing your private pain with your family you choose to go and see a counselor to share in complete confidence and safety what you really feel whilst being validated and supported. You also see that your partner is often verbally abusive because you have never stood up to him responsively with conviction and loving boundaries. You have enabled his disrespect of you. Nor when he has felt moments of deep connection with you, have you been able to really let him in due to what you have learnt with your family about the fear of letting anyone too close.
When you wake up to taking responsibility for YOUR WOUND STORY, You may choose to stay and work together or leave the relationship via your own free will but it’s not about blaming them or blaming yourself, it’s about waking up to what the underlying wound is, that needs to be addressed. You are your own rescuer.
Karma is action, it’s about how YOU take action. Will you respond and grow and learn or will you react and deflect? You can begin in clearing your karma right now by living in the moment and being authentic in your truth without a whisper of intent to harm another.
The inner critic
The inner protector
The inner child
When they are more embraced in your life, you will have more free will available to you.
Food for thought.
Grab your journal or go and consult with someone. Time to explore your own karmic wound.
All p0sts on this blog are copyright to Odette Nightsky (c)