Or rather, I don’t believe there’s something waiting to punish us and make our life hell when we treat others like crap.
I used to believe in it. And facebook is prevalent with photos telling others “The karma train is coming” or “Karma’s gonna kick your ass”. But I don’t any more. I’ve come to the personal realisation that karma is more how we respond to what life gives us. It’s how we react to situations and people that creates our karma. Some years ago I decided to step away from a friendship that turned out to be very one sided. The person in question didn’t respect or trust me, and I decided I didn’t want to put energy in to a relationship I didn’t feel comfortable and secure in. Friendships are precious. When we find friends we really trust and value they become an extended family, people with whom we share hopes, dreams, happiness, sadness, and time. So why would we consciously choose to give all that to someone who criticises and ridicules us? It wasn’t done with any malice or hate. I didn’t bitch at them. I simply stepped away and stopped making contact. Part of it was easily done in that I broke my ankle and couldn’t actually leave the house for several weeks, and the person in question visited me just once in that time anyway. The other part was done in that I did not visit once I was mobile. After 6 months the person turned up at my door on a Sunday lunch time and it so happened some of my family members were ill, so I said they couldn’t come in. That was it. There was no publicly humiliating fight. There had been a wine filled evening which had led me to this decision some time before, and I blogged about it in 2011, but that was it.
Now since then, a lot has happened. My kids switched schools and then switched back again. Several situations have come and gone. And life moves on. There’s been lots of ups and long periods of downs. But I have always tried to be a good genuine friend to people around me. I have tried to be polite and friendly to acquaintances, and I don’t walk around wishing harm on people. So it came as a bit hurtful when one of these people from back in 2011 decided to blank me, even at close range. I would smile. She would glare and look away. I would stand back so she could come in through the playground gate to get to school on time, she would not even acknowledge me, let alone say thank you. And I’ve carried on smiling, I’ve carried on being polite if it means me standing back so she can pass through a gateway. The other day I snapped. I made a bitchy comment about how mature she was being, because it upset me that I have never ever done anything to her, and she only knows what she has been told by others. I admire the loyalty to another friend, but at what cost when you can’t even display courtesy to another human being? She wouldn’t treat a stranger the way she has treated me.
But then it hit me. In my trying to be polite and smile and hoping for a positive response, I am bringing about my own stress and anxiety, and hurt and upset. So, she doesn’t want to acknowledge me in any way. That’s her choice, and it is up to her how she will deal with the consequences that come out of her behaviour toward people. Just like it is up to me how I deal with my choices and the consequences of how I treat other people. I am no longer going to make the effort with any hope. I will smile, just like I do to anyone else. I will move aside to allow others space, just like I always have. And I will live, confident in myself, and aware that I don’t have to justify myself to anyone at all. I am not a bad person. I am not a hateful person. But I don’t need to prove this to anyone. I can choose to be hurt, and upset, or I can choose to accept that this is the way things are, and free myself from the upset. This is how I see karma now. And it’s kind of freeing.